A look at the past, and some thoughts for the future

Toronto Star published an article today called What’s the next vision for Shopper’s World Danforth? The article takes a peak at our ‘hood’s history, specifically how our neighbourhood has changed along with the property that is currently Target.  That particular building was once a Ford auto plant which opened in 1923 (and next time you go by it, take a look at the angled roof line, which was a common feature for early 20th century industrial buildings) – and the mall Shoppers World itself was an an addition to the building, and opened in the early 1960’s after the factory had closed.

But the article also muses about the relationship between that location and the historical changes in our neighbourhood, as well as our combined future.  Seems MP Matthew Kellway has gathered a community group to address the needs of the community and how the soon-to-be vacant space might be used to support it best.  According to the article, a number of ideas are being tossed around such as an urban agriculture project, where food could be grown, renewable energy could be generated and a public market space could be opened.

What vision do you have for our neighbourhood, and that space specifically? I’d be interested to have street access opened up to the building (it currently isn’t), so people could enter the building right on Danforth, which would encourage a more vibrant streetscape and walkable community.  Feel free to comment here with your thoughts, or get in touch with our MP directly (through the link above).

This entry was posted in beautification, Business Revitalization, community, Danforth, Danforth Village, history, infrastructure, National and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A look at the past, and some thoughts for the future

  1. I read the article in the paper and thought it was great. Knowing our local history really brings my neighbourhood to life for me. I shuddered however at the notion of using the space to create a community garden to deal with “food insecurity.” Nothing against gardens and nothing against people having access to affordable, quality food. It just seems to me that the neighbourhood is soon to be missing what Target (to a lesser degree) and Zeller’s provided: a place to buy boring, everyday sundries that all families need: clothes for the kids, underwear when it’s time, toys at Christmas, sheets for the bed, all at a modest price. It’s not sexy or trendy and large corporations don’t seem to be able to offer this the way they used to but this neighbourhood will really be missing that service. We’ll soon be seeing a lot more buses to shuttle everybody up to big boxland on Eglinton Ave.

  2. Sue says:

    I love the idea of something interesting being done with this space, a public marketplace would be wonderful, as would a renewable source of energy or a place where food could be grown. It was always a sore spot with me that there was no entrance off of Danforth – that’s probably the biggest reason I didn’t shop there.

  3. Susan says:

    I agree with both of the earlier posters. It was nice to have a shop where one could buy affordable (and sometimes trendy) every day things within walking distance of home. Target didn’t make much of an effort to be a good citizen in the community. Their shopping carts were littered around the neighborhood which wasn’t an expensive fix. And for a large corporation, it would have been nice to have invested some money into a local green space or school or breakfast program. Yes I understand they were bleeding money. But a small sum from a large corporation would go a very far way for our neighborhood programs. Since it seems like part of the criticism was service related, it could have been part of a win-win formula for everyone.

    I suspect a walmart will end up in that space. Likely a more difficult organization for a community to work with. But if this is the case, we should press for some resources to go into the community. Especially since these large box retailers take away from the potential of small business retailers to succeed. The stretch along this part of the Danforth has seen some very nice revitalization due to the BIA in the last year. The added lights and the start of planting trees/plants will make the area more appealing. The icicle lights this winter season are a bit unappealing to me but at least it is better than nothing. Maybe they will grow on me.

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