Comment 74777

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted February 27, 2012 at 13:37:27

It is about Walmart but as I rambled on about in this post on The Hamiltonian, if their presence is inevitable, consideration for the surroundings would be nice - aka a Walmart on Ottawa Street.

I don't understand - completely anyway, why big box has to be all inward facing? I guess size of retail space has something to do with it as if you have entrances on both sides, there is no place for storage perhaps?

Look at the entire Centre on Barton complex. You add Barton Street-facing entrances along there and suddenly you are adding to the rise of Barton Street being a curb-side shopping experience again. Then that could rap around to Kenilworth and encourage it's revival. Instead, their rear-ends face us as we walk by. Coral would have made for a nice Barton Street-facing patio.

Same thing with this proposed Walmart. If built against Ottawa Street with a frontage not unlike their original Walton's stores, you add to the history and feel of the existing streetscape instead of threatening to be the reason for it's demise.

You can also choose to not directly compete but I am sure that's as dumb a concept in the real world as it sounded typing it out but perhaps these are the only terms of which we can agree to these evil (why sugar coate it), empires moving into our neighbuorhoods. You want to sell 10 lbs of mayo for cheap, be my guest, but why sell textile if we have an entire street offering the same thing.

Mega stores add nothing to our communities. We'd be better off working together to create start-ups along the Ottawa and Barton Streets of our cities. What don't we have now? Fuses, lightbulbs, toilet paper, etc. Why not small shops specializing in necessities. Furnace filters. You could surely fill a store with just these items above.

I heard someone say Ottawa Street struggles because it gets lots of foot traffic but nobody's spending. I am sure coffee shops and eatery's do okay because everyone has to eat in their walking/shopping travels. But what about what we need. If I can grab my light bulbs and furnace filters and toiletries while going for my walk, and not from the big box alternative Canadian Tire, Shoppers, Walmart, etc., how does that eliminate the need for the big guys?

I live where I do because I love the proximity to Ottawa Street-style shopping but I still need to wander acres of already cracked blacktop to head to Canadian Tire or Zellers or Shopper's for many things. I don't want to have to enter that maze.

It's one thing to not want these box shops like I don't want Walmart, but we have to do something about it ourselves. When thinking of opening a business and with a street like Ottawa Street in mind to open that business, shouldn't we be looking at what we need to help fight big box and to encourage the financial stability and growth of our favourite qualities of our city?

Do our BIA's put the call out to businesses asking for 'toiletry' or 'light bulb' stores? It wouldn't be my first desire as an artist and creative person myself but if you look at James Street North, everyone is a gallery on the side so perhaps there are ways to bring in some of our passions to something as seemingly mundane as a store that just sells light bulbs?

We all know the selections at speciality shops are always better than the Canadian Tires or Lowes of the world. I was just looking for a fuse the other day and I couldn't find one. There must be a speciality shop for that and it would be a nice addition to Ottawa Street.

It doesn't matter how we dress them up. They are still who they are at their roots. But if we have to accept them into our communities for now, we should be standing up for our neighbourhoods and asking them to conform to the design and feel of the area, and to be an additive part of the business community - not a subtractive enemy of Big Box gate.

Addtion: Actually, going back to the Walmat at The Centre for one moment, I bet the people who live in those apartments on the lower south side of the building are enjoying not having a building in front of them. Would make for some nice park space.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-02-27 13:41:16

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