Changes On the Drive

September 1, 2011

With a welcome dampness in the air this afternoon — not to mention a few honest-to-goodness raindrops — I wandered the Drive from Broadway down to Venables making note, as I do every couple of months, of the changes on the street.

Of course the old Far East building on the east-side of the 2200-block is perhaps the biggest change going on right now.  The developers got City Council to agree a change in zoning that allows them to add two more stories to the current three.  That was a shame as the architects had already agreed they could have achieved the required density without a re-zoning. I was fascinated to see that the Credit Union is still functioning as work goes on around them. Everything else seems to be vacant.

I was pleased to see how few vacancies there were in storefronts.

The sites of the former Leira Cafe, Deja Vu Hair, Fun & Games, DQ, La Goalette, and the video store at Kitchener are vacant.  The folks at DQ seem to have done a runner and not paid rent.  The old Waazubee and Renzo sites are also vacant but are currently being worked on for Liberty Wines and a coffee shop respectively.

I had reported earlier that the Spanish tapas restaurant The Pond was closing. It did and has swiftly been replaced by another sushi restaurant (just what we needed!)

Finally, as if to match the new larger Far East Building in the south, I hear a rumour that a developer is planning to redevelop the Astorino’s/Kettle/Ace of Suedes site south of Venables into a multi-storey (7-10?) condo building that will include new offices and housing units for the Kettle.  That’ll be quite a change on that corner if it goes ahead.