Downtown Bureau

Downtown Update

Jason's regular round-up of what's up downtown.

By Jason Leach
Published April 09, 2006

The Westside Concert Theatre just opened its doors on Thursday, April 6, in the old CHCH studio, 434 King St. W. The opening garnered rave reviews. We can't wait to see what they have in store. Let's hope a vibrant, new business like this will encourage City Hall to do some serious traffic calming on King St. W. This was once a great commercial district in the King/Locke area but has been reduced to an expressway in recent decades.

The folks at Yves Rocher are beaming about their first few weeks at Jackson Square. They are very pleased with business so far. Another new tenant is Accent Your World, relocating into the mall from James St. South.

Speaking of Jackson Square, I just spoke with mall manager Vivian Johnson. She will soon announce a new tenant for the old Club Monaco site at the corner of King and James. She can't release any details while negotiations are still underway, but it sounds promising. Rumours abound that clothing chain H&M might be moving in, but we'll have to wait and see.

Some good news (finally) is coming out of the Good Shepherd development in Strathcona Neighbourhood. They are partnering with Options for Homes, an exciting grassroots co-operative housing developer, to build the housing component of the project on King St. W. Options for Homes builds units as a non-profit but sells the units privately, so residents can buy and own homes more affordably. Options also holds a small second mortgage on each home to generate capital for more building projects.

This will be their first project in the Hammer and by all accounts they want to make a mark with a top notch project. Some in the neighbourhood were concerned about the large number of rental units proposed by Good Shepherd. We look forward to seeing this project develop. Construction is expected to start on the first phase of the women's shelter in May.

JP Purveyers has opened a second location on Locke St. S. They are a Chinese-style antique dealer from Toronto and have regularly been regarded as one of the best shops in T.O. They should fit in nicely along Locke South.

PR Downtown Gallery had their official opening last week and it was a great success. They have been well received in their new neighbourhood after leaving Locke South – interestingly enough, the spot now occupied by jp purveyors.

New Construction

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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