Changes On The Drive #7

March 3, 2012

I still have my cold, but I really needed to get out into the fresh air today. My monthly Changes on the Drive walk seemed a useful excuse and off I went.  The weather started out OK but by the time I had walked back there was a really unpleasant rain.  Oh well, I survived (so far at least).

There are a number of stores still vacant, including 2223 where the Rental business used to be, 1840 (formerly Deja Vu), the old DQ spot in the Mercato Mall, and the new store next to Liberty Wines across the street  Newly vacant is 1340 from where BLVD Skateboards has moved (see below), and 1020 where the Vigo Remittances store that has been there for ever seems to have closed, with a note that Penelope’s On the Drive can send remittances in Spanish.

Other stores not currently operating include 1787, the old Leira Cafe (it seems that BLVD are moving in there), the old Sumo Teppanake place on the corner of Graveley (which will soon be a Babylon Cafe shwarma and felafel place), and the former Videotronics store at Kitchener (which is still under wraps before becoming a pizza joint). It also has to be noted that Open Door Yoga is planning to move from 1111 as soon as the place can be leased.

More positively, the Merchant of Dreams storefront at 2137 which has been vacant for a few months has now been filled by the Pain Management Society, a cannabis-as-medicine site.  I hope they keep the old facade with the Merchant of Dreams sign!

Almost across the street, the Tandoori Corner has transformed itself into Siddhartha’s, complete with an impressive mural.

Finally, I heard earlier this month that the building on the south-east corner of Napier, known by all as the Florida building, is up for sale.  I heard both $1.5m and $1.8m as the price wanted.

The Florida Building was the first brick building on the Drive, completed in 1908.  The original tenant was Alexander Main and his Main Grocery. They stayed there until moving up the block in 1929. The building stayed vacant until 1932 when the Japanese-run Cape Sun Fish Market took over the space. The owner, Yoshigoro Hamade and his wife Toyo lost the store when the Japanese were interned and had their property confiscated in early 1942.  The Florida Market opened in 1945.

Previous entries in the Changes on the Drive series are here.