Ever noticed how a lot of high rent commercial strips in Canada are basically old residential areas where standard city homes were converted into stores, clubs and restaurants over time by tacking on an assortment of window boxes, patios, hastily built extensions and verandas? Some of our most celebrated neighbourhoods are basically this: Montreal's Quartier Latin and Toronto's Yorkville (Kensington Market is the edgier, lower rent version of the same idea). But you can find the same aesthetic in cities big and small, young and old: Hamilton's Hess Village, Calgary's Kensington, parts of Kitsilano in Vancouver, I can probably think of others.
I think this is a very Canadian form of urbanism. It doesn't exist in Europe because they already have solid mid-rise areas built out of stone to work with. It doesn't really exist in the US, either, for a variety of reasons. I think commercial and residential uses were kept strictly separate in a lot of American cities, and American cities that regentrified had a lot of old, solid stock to work with so they didn't feel the need to take old working class frame homes and shove nightclubs into them.
Anyway, does your city have any examples of these kinds of places? And expanding on these thoughts, what does it say about Canadians or how we view our urban spaces?