Mount Dennis was in the news this week, with a flattering portrait by David Nickle.
Robert Caplan is optimistic about the future of Mount Dennis — and has been for a long time now, even as he admits that right now, the sparse business district at Weston Rd. and Eglinton Ave. W. is not much to look at.
That may soon change. In 2021, the Mount Dennis station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is slated to open and the owners of the rundown storefronts along Weston will almost certainly make some modifications.
But for now?
“The whole street is waiting for the development to happen — to see what’s going to happen,” said Caplan, who owns Caplan Appliances and is chair of the Mount Dennis Business Improvement Area (BIA).
Only a month ago, The Star published an article that said Mount Dennis is the “most affordable area of the city”.
One of the reasons the BIA is embarking on a master streetscape plan is to get ahead of, and to some extent, be able to control what happens along Main Street.”
Developers have begun showing interest in the neighbourhood, purchasing two properties within the BIA’s boundaries – the former Coffee Time at Ray Avenue and Weston Road, and the north east corner of Hollis Street and Weston Road, which is currently an Asian restaurant, according to Alderson.
Here at WestonWeb, we often think we know better than anyone else. After all it’s easy to second guess from the sidelines. Sometimes though an idea seems so right for an area that it should be given a closer look.
Pop-up shops are an idea that originated in Australia and the idea is that empty stores are cleaned up by volunteers and then opened by businesses for a short period of time. Landlords charge little or no rent but benefit because successful pop-up businesses sometimes end up as paying tenants. The whole street benefits because more spill over sales traffic is generated. Even Kanye West uses them!
There is quite a wealth of experience out there in the successful implementation of pop-up shops and it is likely an endeavour best undertaken by Mount Dennis BIA or Weston’s BIA. We wrote about the idea in 2012 but sadly, nothing happened.