Place Branding

Leveraging Data to Design Future Places. Introducing a New Urban Creative District.

Leveraging Data to Design Future Places: Introducing a New Urban Creative District


QuadReal Property Group is a global real estate investment, operating and development company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. Its assets under management total $61.2B. Their holdings include a 75-acre big-box park in the heart of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, which is itself a large-scale redevelopment plan designed to transform the sprawling, upscale Toronto suburb into a dense, urban metropolitan area.


QuadReal’s goal is to transform their holdings in this area into a unique new urban district to shop, live, work and play, and Blackjet was tasked with developing a vision, positioning, brand and placemaking strategy for this massive transformation, which would include high rise residential, retail offerings, parks and public spaces, schools and offices.


We conducted qualitative and quantitative research to uncover future audiences, including shoppers, visitors and residents, and focus groups with key audience segments. We held DesignThinking panels to inspire architecture, public spaces and retail. We were able to uncover new audience segments and personify them, and ultimately to develop a positioning based on a clear opportunity to position the neighbourhood as Vaughan’s creative district. We branded the district as Assembly Park and proceeded to develop a DesignThinking playbook, which would inspire the greater design team of architects, landscape planners, arts consultants, interior designers, PR specialists and our approach to social media. We subsequently rolled out branding, communications, environmental design and placemaking strategies, including the launch of Assembly Studios, an arts hub and activation space.


Assembly Park is currently one of the fastest selling residential neighbourhoods in Canada, with multiple towers, retail and public spaces currently under construction.