Somehow the sun comes out every time I do one of these Changes on the Drive walks as I did this morning. It was a glorious day giving promise of a week of springlike weather to come.
Down at the south end of the Drive, the Far East Building (the old Van East Cinema etc) is still in the process of massive renovation. I’m guessing the scaffolding will be with us for a while yet. Across the street at 2223 Commercial, the old Rental store is vacant since they moved to Venables at the beginning of January.
Also still vacant from previous month(s) are 1840 Commercial (previously the Deja Vu hairdressers), 1629 Commercial (used to be the DQ in the Mall), the Sumo Teppanake restaurant on the corner of Commercial & Graveley, and the brand-new storefront next to Liberty Wines. Not many vacancies which is excellent news.
The River store at 1748 Commercial may also be closed. It was hard to tell this morning. But 1830 Commercial has now been taken over by Pulp Fiction Books. It didn’t seem to be fully open today but they are a welcome addition to the Drive.
There is a rumour that Wonderbucks at 1801 Commercial will close temporarily for a major renovation.
Marcello’s is undergoing a moderate renovation. The main door has been moved from Commercial to Kitchener, and the patio on Kitchener seems to be being overhauled.
This is no doubt affected by the soon-to-be-open Famoso’s Pizza Chain on the opposite corner. There had been rumours about what the old video store was being turned in to. But Scout Magazine seems to have the scoop and they have some interesting shots from inside the restaurant as it is being developed.
On the corner of Commercial and the Park the old Renzo’s Tailoring store is now fully open as Renzo’s Cafe.
In the far north of the Drive, the mystery over the Astorini’s – Kettle Society site continues. There has been a lot of talk about a development of the entire site (Astorino’s, Kettle, Ace of Suedes, and the car park) including multi-storeys of condos plus assisted housing and facilities for the Kettle. I have reported on this earlier. However, we have been told that no development plan has been received by City Planning. There are now “For Lease” signs on the Astorino building.
As I walked by this morning, City Engineer surveyers were working in the car park and temporary fencing was being readied for use. Coincidence perhaps? At the next GWAC meeting on Monday a rep from the Kettle is going to catch us up to date, we hope.
Previous Changes on The Drive posts.