Our MP, Mike Sullivan recently referred in Parliament to the payday loan companies that seem to predominate here in Weston. We do seem to have more than our fair share. Weston also has a few empty storefronts and large properties that seemingly nobody wants to lease. The new Weston station will not be in full operation until 2015 and experts have advised that the station will provide a boost but will not be the complete answer.
The town of Newcastle in Australia (think Hamilton with a much better climate) has suffered in recent years with the decline of its major industries. A movement there by the name of Renew Newcastle has dramatically improved that city by opening up empty properties to non-paying tenants. Some of the tenants end up becoming successful businesses, signing leases and bringing shoppers to the community. Renew has a video that illustrates its work here.
As luck would have it, Renew Newcastle director Marcus Westbury, is in Toronto and will be speaking on Wednesday, March 7 at the Naval Club of Canada, at 1910 Gerrard St. E., just west of Woodbine Avenue. The presentation starts at 7:00 pm.