Things got a little heated at lunchtime today over at Bank and Somerset.
These two businessmen, who own nearby stores, were protesting the City’s sluggishness in getting the intersection re-opened for business. Christmas is coming: it’s the most critical time of year for retailers.
One of them owns Wilde’s, the gay sex shop, and the other one owns the new Vital Health store next door. (There’s something peculiar about that Vital Health website, by the way. It needs an intervention.)
I stopped for photos and a little chat. Before long, there was a knot of passers-by involved in the discussion. A man (not pictured) argued in defense of the old heritage building, saying it was worth saving if possible, and it deserved the time it might take to find out. The two businessmen said it wasn’t possible because of safety and foundation issues, and the deadline extensions were hurting local merchants for nothing.
The other man also argued in defense of the owner of the building, who, he said, is doing everything in his power to preserve a heritage building because he loves it. The two businessmen said they had no argument with the owner, no ill will against him. They just want the City to act in a timely manner and do what has to be done. The debate continued about whether the building warranted continuing efforts for its preservation, and at whose expense and inconvenience.
Unfortunately that’s about all I can report, because there were too many people interjecting questions and trying to answer and interrupting each other. There did not appear to be much consensus among those present, although there was much head-nodding and general agreement when someone said the City should be more forthcoming with information.
By the time I took this picture, the health store guy and that woman were discussing osteoporosis remedies.
On the bright side, I’m pleased to report that the City has picked up the garbage at the intersection.
And here’s an interesting little tidbit. As I was walking to work through the intersection this morning, I overheard a nearby couple mention the possibility that the property might become an Arts venue. As far as I know, the only place this suggestion has been raised is in the comments on this blog. It seems a bit far-fetched that they would have heard it here, but I suppose it’s possible. Does anyone know of any other discussions taking place about possible future uses for the property at Bank and Somerset?