Changes On The Drive #62

Well, another just perfect day to go walking. There was a threat of rain in the air, it is true, but I was comfortable enough to walk the Drive in rolled-up shirt sleeves; marvellous.

Down south, 2271 Commercial still has Kingdom Beauty Supplies operating, but with a large For Lease sign in the window.  2245 is still empty (24 months vacant) but there is now a sign for a storefront renovation company, so maybe something will be happening there.  2240 is still vacant (14 months) with the same Leased sign as last month.

The former MoGO location at 1850 Commercial is still vacant (7 months).

The long-established sun-tanning store, Solaris, at 1740 is now vacant. For the last few months it had shared space with a marijuana dispensary which has also closed.



The situation inside Il Mercato Mall is the same as before: both the former Strawberry Bakery (21 months) and Lombardos2Go (8 months) are still vacant.

The upstairs apartments at 1612 Commercial still appear to be empty. Downstairs, the Libra Room is still closed (2 months). A couple of weeks ago I had noted a sign saying the Libra Room would reopen in November. But that sign is no longer there. It is a great eating and music spot so I hope it comes back.

The Pagoda at 1408 is still closed (2 months) with no sign as to its future.

Great to see that the People’s Co-op Bookstore at 1391 Commercial is back to 6-day-a-week opening again. Monday is now the only day they are closed. They had an uneventful and successful AGM last night. We can all hope their dark days are behind them.

The former Prairie Perogie store at 1704 Charles is still vacant (3 months), as is 1280 Commercial (6 months).

REACH for the sky!  The re-development work at 1144 is going at full-bore now with the roof and everything supporting it gone.


1104 Commercial (the long and late-lamented Urban Empire is still vacant after an extraordinary 30 months. Can there be any reasonable economic explanation for this?

The sustainable and ethically-sourced clothing store, Rabbit & Empee, at 1044 is closing on the 1st November,


Across the street, the storefront at 1035 is still vacant (17 months). I am assured that Choices is working on extending into the space but for right now little seems to be happening.

Just a few days ago, I noticed that the upstairs office space above Penelope’s at 1011 Commercial was for rent at $1,250/month. As I passed by today, the sign was gone and someone seemed to be cleaning up the space.


Finally, in the 900 block, 902 is still vacant (17 months). The Nonna’s sandwich shop at 952 is closed (1 month) but there is a sign saying “Under Construction. Opening ASAP”. I assume that Nonna’s is renovating, but we’ll just have to wait and see.



Previous Changes On The Drive editions

4 Responses to Changes On The Drive #62

  1. HJS says:

    Nice meeting you in the park on Saturday afternoon, this update was timely as I was going to ask you about the Libra Room but it slipped my mind. As to Choices, I asked when I was in there today and they said it would be Christmas time when the renovations are done. Have you had any updates on the renovations at Robin’s Pharmacy? They are supposed to be taking over the space that was occupied by the Money Mart.

  2. jakking says:

    Thanks for your comment! I understand that Robin’s has been having issues with the City. I heard they want the expansion to grow their methadone clinic (unconfirmed) and that may be part of the problem. In the past, residents have objected to more methadone availability on the Drive.

  3. Drive flaneur says:

    Next to Nonna’s is Bosa Foods (temporary) store.
    The first Bosa foods on Victoria drive is now buliding its second story,
    So maybe they will move back to the traditional (grape stomping and all) Victoria Drive store

    • jakking says:

      That was always the plan. However, I am told they are doing so well with the store on Commercial that perhaps they will stay there too. Many of us hope so!

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