Comment 33452

By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2009 at 12:34:04

ror, i think i can understand where you're coming from. but i do also think that we live in a city that's very accessible, even if you're not living directly in the downtown core. There's plenty of neighbourhoods that are still accessible right outside the boundary of downtown, close to groceries and other things, and very affordable. I live in one and border three others that are all quite affordable. It's a seven-minute walk to get groceries, and i usually walk to work.

And if you compare me and someone on welfare disability, they'd have more money left over after their rent each month. (Which kind of irritates me, because I work pretty hard). But that's the reality of part-time work, student loan repayment and a clergy stipend.

Sure, I'm quite well-educated and if I'm reading a book in Gore park, my presence won't scare anybody out of there (well, most days... ;))

But I am quite cognizant that I provide a very limited economic contribution, despite any other contributions I may make. And that cannot be the norm if our downtown is to be successful.

Because if all you have is people like me, are we EVER going to fill in all those empty retail spaces? Nope. Are restaurants going to survive? Nope. Are we going to book hotel rooms and sell luxurious condos - or even entry-level single professional condos? Nope. And that is part of a healthy city too, and one that we're really lacking right now.

Let's think about who I benefit. No Frills, certainly. Occasionally the farmer's market. One or two restaurant purchases, maybe a dozen coffees and a few lunches a month, a couple other items like clothing or tools/supplies/gardening items from Canadian Tire.

Unfortunately, no one can take that economically miniscule purchasing power and whip it into a recipe for downtown revitalization and successful retail! You can run a McDonald's or Giant Tiger or a Dollarama till the cows come home, but you can't sustain the Keg.

There's a reason several cafes have closed in the IV, that clothing stores aren't all over Jackson Square, and that payday loan places litter King Street. You can't make your business work where the money isn't, and predatory businesses will flock to the vulnerable and desperate.

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