Changes on The Drive #50

October 1, 2015

It was another in a series of spectacularly perfect Fall days today, with temperatures around 16 and bright sunshine — a shirt-sleeved day.

Starting as usual at the southern end of my Drive, 2245 and 2247 Commercial are still vacant (11 months each). However, after literally twenty years of being vacant, their neighbour at 2235 is finally occupied! It is yet another dope shop, so far as I can tell, called Eggs Canna Inc.  They have thumbed their noses at the City’s proposed rules by opening right next door to the Canna Clinic (although they could be linked, I guess).

2015 Oct Canna

Across the street, the 2240 storefront in the Marquee Building is still vacant (2 months).

In the Brandon Block, the JNZ store at 1729 Commercial is still closed (15 months), but there are clear signs that a re-opening is close, probably in the next couple of weeks.

At First & Commercial, the Super-Valu store celebrated a 20th birthday this weekend.  I assume it was the anniversary of the current ownership (good folks who have worked hard to improve the business) because the store itself was built sixty years ago this year.

Inside the Il Mercato Mall, the old Strawberry Bakery place is still unused (9 months) and there are still ads for vacancies in the upstairs offices.

Now for some really sad news — the Blue Bird salon at 1503 has closed.  This was, along with Magnet Hardware/Home Hardware, the oldest continuously operating business on Commercial.  It first opened at 1420 Commercial in 1926, moving into 1503 when Angus Campbell completed his new building in April 1936. Sad to see it close after 89 years of service to our community.

2015 Oct Blue Bird

The sign on the building says “Leased”, so I will guess a new tenant, no doubt paying a gentrified rent, will move in sometime.

At 1401-1411 Commercial, the scaffolding has now come down and the building looks good with its new paint job.  However, I am not sure about the wood section between the ground floor and upstairs. Perhaps that was original and uncovered when paint or stucco was removed.

2015 Oct 1401 building

Across Kitchener, I am still confused about whether Mama Lucy’s has opened at 1399. Once again there was no-one to ask today. However, there now are chairs and tables in place, so perhaps …

The old Scandalicious storefront at 1340 is still vacant (7 months). At 1268, the space is still vacant (28 months) an the sign still says City Bistro is about to open; but, after five months, I am not sure I still believe them.

The storefront at 1124 has been taken over by the Green Party’s Federal campaign office.  However, with the election coming up on the 19th, it will soon be vacant again.  The store at 1108 Commercial is still vacant after 18 months.

The old Peg business at 1003 is still vacant after the building was purchased (1 month) and we await whatever is coming with anticipation. They seem to have been working to fix the roof, so we hope that means it is not being primed for immediate demolition.

The restaurant site at 950 Commercial is still closed (9 months) and the expected Nonna’s Italian Sandwiches seems no near opening than last month.

Finally, the old Money Mart at 901 is still vacant (5 months) but I understand Robyn’s Pharmacy next door is going to expand into the space.


Previous Changes On the Drive posts

Image: Mosaic of Leaves

October 1, 2015

mosaic of leaves