UrbanFervour

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Yep, that's my gym. Thankfully they were able to relocate in the core, still tough to see all the retail on Yonge being obliterated. While the Aroma across the street is fine it feels like we are losing something.

The fine grain retail is what makes Yonge Street an interesting place to be. All those little mom & pop businesses will probably not be able to afford rent on the new Yonge street. The new retail will be large format: banks branches, coffee chains, drug store chains, maybe a clothing chain or two- a little open plaza at Halo, vehicle turn-arounds at Clover and tree house... It just feels like it's going to become like Bay Street: not a good thing in my opinion.

I get that Real Estate values are too high for many of these properties on Yonge to remain undeveloped, but I think the city should have enacted stricter regulation about the scale of the replacement buildings that will front onto Yonge - their materiality and signage should matter... Even if Yonge gentrifies and the chain stores move in, Yonge St. has a history, character, scale and a sense of place that could/should have been enhanced & built up with strategic sensitive density projects like 5 St Joseph. Instead Yonge is on its way to becoming just another generic street because the scale of street-level design and retail (see teahouse, clover, YC, Halo) 475 Yonge looks like it might be OK...
 

stjames2queenwest

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I generally agree that it is a shame that mom and pop independent shops are being pushed away from yonge with redevelopment, and I am in fact concerned about what will take its place.

However I walk up and down yonge from just south of bloor, down to richmond every single day... and I really just dont feel like there is much to lose. The restaurants YES, and perhaps the odd retail store. But the successful restaurants and retailers could definitely return. Many of the shops that are closing up are not anything I will miss. Skeezy knock off clothing shops, muscle builder vitamin shops, fake ID manufacturers, porn shops, dirty falafels.
I dunno. I'm not saying those places don't have their place. But I think it's a bit early still to know if this is bad.
So many of those shops have been floundering for years. It would be different if they were thriving.

Also I think it's worth noting that there are STILL lots of knock off shops, perfume retailers, stale falafels, porn shops and fake ID makers that have NOT been shut down.
 

brianmac

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I mean, that's what cities and urban planning exist for. To its credit, it's what the distillery district did so well. Perhaps much like working with the developers to include art or public space, there can be some designation as retail zones, perhaps even subsidize or encourage diverse retail/independent outlets. Clearly 5 St Joseph is a model, even if a bank and a chain moved in. No question having Yonge turn more into a Soho isn't the worst thing to happen as retailers would/should shift to other places in the city. Still, seeing it from the inside, the wrenching impact on a business that had been there for years, these changes don't come for free. Clover may have a majestic lobby, yet, I just can't see it fitting in or encouraging anything more then grey space.
 

Benito

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Wow that didn't take long. Now the south end of the lot has to be razed.
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FrozenFury

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Ahh, I thought the "Buy & Sell" woulda been something painted on in maybe the 90s or 2000s... it's cool how it remained un-painted-over all these decades! And I was wondering what those curvy brown lines were...

Oh, the quirky little things that get uncovered by demolition... <3
 

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