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Old Strathcona / Whyte Avenue

There is a genesis to popular streets/districts and there have been scholarly articles written relating to that genesis. One such article studied the once popular 3rd street Promenade in Santa Monica, California (I can't put my hands on it just now). The third street Promenade was initiated with the closing of vehicular traffic from Wilshire Boulevard South to the Santa Monica Mall creating a 3-block long pedestrian arcade that was intended to support the local one-of-a-kind shops that populated the retail make-up of the street. With extreme popularity came a desire for the National Chains to join in on that popularity and with that came rental increases for available space. After several years of this one-of-a-kind shops to National Chainstore metamorphosis, the 3rd street Promenade lost most of its original charm and it became "just another strip mall" -- it deteriorated to the point of becoming a hang-out for druggies and homeless souls (causing even further deterioration -- to the point that the National chains as well began to shun the place). There was then a third metamorphosis that worked to reclaim the original charm of the place -- Santa Monica City stepped in. First they passed a bylaw that recognized that most of the mom-and-pop shops in their innate specialty were stores of less than 1,000 sq.ft.; they then instituted a parking requirement that was graduated upwards -- no parking required for stores of less than 1,000 square feet (greatly benefitting mom-and-pop stores but leaving national chains wanting); parking required over 1,000 sq.ft. was set at one stall per each 200 sq.ft.of retail space (including the first 1,000 sq.ft.) which made it extremely difficult for chainstores to comply. That worked to restructure the Promenade. Further to that Santa Monica set up a system of busking stations for street performers that organized the street into licensed enclaves further helping to remove undesirables from the scene. The City then built parking structures a block off either side of the Promenade and instituted a policy of providing free parking to those who had their parking validated by mom-and-pop establishments. Old Strathcona has been struggling with the same outcomes as was experienced with 3rd Street -- the hard part is going to be getting the City to listen to the experiences and fixes of other places.
 
Some people think some big international chain is the height of things, some people prefer to support independent retailers. I feel Whyte Ave was designed to be more the latter not the former. I do agree more density will help Whyte Ave be more vibrant and building on an empty lot first rather than tearing down what for some is affordable housing is the smarter way to go about it. There are some chains that cater to a broad market that could fit in here, but like Lululemon they seem to generally prefer to focus on and expand their mall stores here. I don't think that will change soon and I don't think they are really needed on this particular street.

Vancouver has great density, largely because of severe physical constraints and a location that has easy international access and appeal to well of ex pats. But it is also becoming severely unaffordable to live for the average person and they are leaving for places like here. In addition to the shiny street front often expensive stores on places like Robson St, there are some not really so good things that come with the model there.

For me at least, this isn't about the morals of independents vs chains. While I understand the criticism, I do think the hatred of chains is sometimes a bit of a trite argument. Whyte Ave is mature and busy enough that it can support chains while still giving space for independents. I don't think Whyte is at any real risk of turning into St Catherine or Bloor or Robson. But it's been able to support chains and independents for decades. Considering the amount of vacant spaces on the strip and the buildings they're often in (new builds like Southpark asking a lot) I'd rather have Aritzia and an Apple Store than empty CRUs. It doesn't have to be one or the other, too. Chains can help draw people to the strip, get them to linger, and maybe check out the independents. And for people in the area, the chains can also just provide normal services that suburbanites take for granted. Depending on the chain, it's often cheaper than boutiques too. There's a fine line, but I think Whyte can balance Mars & Venus and Urban Outfitters like it previously balanced Wee Book Inn, Greenwood's, and Chapters. Chains making Whyte more desirable from a $ point of view can also help other main streets taking in fleeing independents.
 
Chains (limited) somewhat came and went.

I walked a few blocks en route to The Next Act the other afternoon/evening.

It was reasonably busy, lighting quite nice and a couple of new spots, but yes, multiple holes and the erosion of true retail continues.

The 'feel' was good though, with it making me miss heading there for drinks, dinners and Sat morning markets with good coffee.

I noticed that C'est Sera closed sometime ago. That used to be a staple for my better half and was a destination for many from outside of the area from what I recall in chatting with the folks there. ***they moved to Sherwood Park****
 
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For me at least, this isn't about the morals of independents vs chains. While I understand the criticism, I do think the hatred of chains is sometimes a bit of a trite argument. Whyte Ave is mature and busy enough that it can support chains while still giving space for independents. I don't think Whyte is at any real risk of turning into St Catherine or Bloor or Robson. But it's been able to support chains and independents for decades. Considering the amount of vacant spaces on the strip and the buildings they're often in (new builds like Southpark asking a lot) I'd rather have Aritzia and an Apple Store than empty CRUs. It doesn't have to be one or the other, too. Chains can help draw people to the strip, get them to linger, and maybe check out the independents. And for people in the area, the chains can also just provide normal services that suburbanites take for granted. Depending on the chain, it's often cheaper than boutiques too. There's a fine line, but I think Whyte can balance Mars & Venus and Urban Outfitters like it previously balanced Wee Book Inn, Greenwood's, and Chapters. Chains making Whyte more desirable from a $ point of view can also help other main streets taking in fleeing independents.
It is not just a moral argument although I feel Robson Street is a cautionary tale when you take something designed for one thing and turn it into something else. The local businesses are more part of the Whyte Ave area and have more of a stake in it. I also feel it is important we have places where unique local businesses can exist and be supported, because malls and power centres which cater more to the chains are not great spaces for them.

On that note, another important part of my point is just realistic observation. Interestingly Wee Book Inn is still there, Chapters and some other chains are not. If it had been the right place for them, they would still be around, but they are not. Maybe Aritzia and Apple will fill the empty spaces, but I really doubt it. This is not their model here, they do best in the major malls, of which there are several big ones here.
 
Curious to see where this ends up and an incredibly complex issue/policy direction/social choice, but on the face of it I am not supportive of that location given the amount of residential, street front small businesses and potential impact to that community/neighourhood.

But where do you located these, if at all and if not, how do you support those in need?

A true rock and a hard place.


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SDAB Appeal Hearing for the proposed Boyle Street Community Services - Overdose Prevention Site located at 10119 - 81 Avenue NW;

Project 487309166-002
Hearing Information
Date(s): January 29, 30 and 31, 2024
Time: 8:30 am

The hearing will start on January 29, 2024 at 8:30 am and will reconvene at 8:30 am on January 30 and January 31, if required.

Register to Attend
If you plan on attending the hearing either in-person or via video conference, register by completing this form no later than 12:00 p.m. Monday, January 22, 2024.

In-person Hearing Location
The hearing is scheduled to be held at City Hall, River Valley Room, located at 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the hearing to ensure you have adequate time to check-in.
 
Curious to see where this ends up and an incredibly complex issue/policy direction/social choice, but on the face of it I am not supportive of that location given the amount of residential, street front small businesses and potential impact to that community/neighourhood.

But where do you located these, if at all and if not, how do you support those in need?

A true rock and a hard place.


----

SDAB Appeal Hearing for the proposed Boyle Street Community Services - Overdose Prevention Site located at 10119 - 81 Avenue NW;

Project 487309166-002
Hearing Information
Date(s): January 29, 30 and 31, 2024
Time: 8:30 am

The hearing will start on January 29, 2024 at 8:30 am and will reconvene at 8:30 am on January 30 and January 31, if required.

Register to Attend
If you plan on attending the hearing either in-person or via video conference, register by completing this form no later than 12:00 p.m. Monday, January 22, 2024.

In-person Hearing Location
The hearing is scheduled to be held at City Hall, River Valley Room, located at 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the hearing to ensure you have adequate time to check-in.
Basically you don’t want the poors cramping the vibe of our most successful urban neighbourhood?
 
Curious to see where this ends up and an incredibly complex issue/policy direction/social choice, but on the face of it I am not supportive of that location given the amount of residential, street front small businesses and potential impact to that community/neighourhood.

But where do you located these, if at all and if not, how do you support those in need?

A true rock and a hard place.


----

SDAB Appeal Hearing for the proposed Boyle Street Community Services - Overdose Prevention Site located at 10119 - 81 Avenue NW;

Project 487309166-002
Hearing Information
Date(s): January 29, 30 and 31, 2024
Time: 8:30 am

The hearing will start on January 29, 2024 at 8:30 am and will reconvene at 8:30 am on January 30 and January 31, if required.

Register to Attend
If you plan on attending the hearing either in-person or via video conference, register by completing this form no later than 12:00 p.m. Monday, January 22, 2024.

In-person Hearing Location
The hearing is scheduled to be held at City Hall, River Valley Room, located at 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the hearing to ensure you have adequate time to check-in.
My two suggestions for locating services such as this would be Riverbend and Glenora, because until the most powerful and comfortable people are made to face the problems like the rest of us, things will not change.
 
Are you saying that all poor people are drug addicts?

Are you suggesting that people who use drugs are problematic when they are given proper supports to succeed in society? That's what sites like this are aiming to do. If you want to stop seeing people in psychosis, acting erratic, etc, we need OPS, and not just all on one area. We don't need to ghettoize Boyle-McCauley.
 
Are you suggesting that people who use drugs are problematic when they are given proper supports to succeed in society? That's what sites like this are aiming to do. If you want to stop seeing people in psychosis, acting erratic, etc, we need OPS, and not just all on one area. We don't need to ghettoize Boyle-McCauley.
Suffice it to say there's a lot of debate about whether supervised consumption or safe supply works. It's something that needs a lot more objective research and comparison with other models like the models used in the Nordic countries. Most research right now is geared to demonstrating that it works which isn't super helpful from a public policy perspective.
 
Suffice it to say there's a lot of debate about whether supervised consumption or safe supply works. It's something that needs a lot more objective research and comparison with other models like the models used in the Nordic countries. Most research right now is geared to demonstrating that it works which isn't super helpful from a public policy perspective.

Why is it not helpful that research shows it works? It sounds like you have a bias against them.
 
FFS. Yet another character building going or gone.

It was for sale and whenever I see a few things align, I wonder.

I thought that it was perfect for a short-term rental spot with a cool diner.
 

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