Image: Pier In Foggy Red

November 1, 2017

Changes on The Drive #75

November 1, 2017

I did the walk yesterday which, I have to declare for my own taste, was the best weather day of the entire year so far: bright blue skies, sun enough for sunglasses, cool walking temperature — just fabulous.

The two new storefronts at the very south end of the west side before the Cut (2243 and 2245 Commercial) are still vacant. However, one of them, probably 2285, will soon become, according to a sign, “a Greek donair store”.

At 2277, the Sweet Greek restaurant — which seems to have enjoyed good success since it opened this summer — is closing briefly from today for renovations.

Construction at the new building on the east side (2080-2088) seems to be nearing completion. I have not yet included the four new storefronts in the “vacancy” list but all indications are they will be ready for occupancy this year.


The former Waves  coffee shop at 1858 is becoming Spade, a beer and snacks place by the owner of Prado.

As of this month, it is still under renovation.

Across the street, at 1819 Commercial, the former Thai restaurant has now morphed into the Tikka House, an Indian place — a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.


At 1735 Commercial, we seem to have gained a new cannabis dispensary. This one is called KushKlub and I could not tell if it is open yet. The space had been vacant for six months.


The oft-mentioned Bamboo Tea Company store at 1740 still have the “Opening Soon” sign out. However it looks complete and there was a lady in there as I walked by so I looked in. They will open, she says, next week or the week after.  I wonder if they are awaiting a tea delivery?

A long time ago, when the Cassia Cupcakes store closed at 1796 Commercial, they said they would be reopening around the corner at 1706 E. 1st. I am sure they didn’t expect it to take so long, but they are finally up and running as the Cassia Bake Shop and Cafe.  I wish them well!


The Candy Aisle at 1544 seems to have failed, finally.  A couple of months ago I noted a For Lease sign on the window; now that, and all the candy, is no more.

There seems to be work going on at the former Roma at 1500 Commercial, but it is still definitely closed right now.

Long time resident of the Drive, Turks at 1276 got a small review in VanMag this month. I wrote my own brief review earlier this summer.  Stormcrow at 1303 also got some press.

Another long-time business (28 years), Tio Pepe’s at 1134 has closed. It is soon to be a Filipino place called Kulinarya, opening after renovations, with a very interesting menu.

Choices painted their  CD wall white with black window trim, installed a new entrance, and had their official opening. It would be so much better if they could fix the barrenness of their block.


REACH is still not quite open. It looks as if the finishing touches are being put in place, but they are still not operational. The history of this build, the backstory concerning the type of medical delivery they will offer in the future, and the comings and goings of Board members as a result, will make a great book.


After more than two years of vacancy, the space at 902 Commercial has been renovated and taken over by a store called Your Open Closet.  They offer “body positive undergarments for all genders”.  Sounds like a great business for the Drive!


Vacant or closed on the Drive this month:  2285 (5 months), 2283 (5 months), 1858 (8 months), 1801 (10 months), 1740 (13 months), former Strawberry Bakery in Il Mercato (34 months), 1544 (1 month), 1500 (11 months), 1303 (12 months), 1268 (2 months), 1134 (1 month), 1108 (41 months), 956 (1 month).

Previous Changes On the Drive editions.


November 1, 2017

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