Sunday, March 20, 2005

Just what do they plan on doing with all these empty storefronts?

Never at a loss to find ways to drive businesses out of downtown, the City of London has directed the fire inspectors to clamp down on violators.

Some businesses are feeling the sting of increased fire inspections, which are forcing at least one Dundas Street cafe to close. At 2 p.m. tomorrow, the Ugly Mug Cafe will close its doors because, the owner said, he does not have the $15,000 needed for a hooded vent.
. . .
Dennett [owner of the Ugly Mug] said he's not against fire inspections, but questions why the department started on Dundas instead of an area with upper scale businesses.

His cafe uses a butane burner and two electric skillets to cook menu features such as pancakes and bacon and eggs.

Dennett said the appliances are ones found in any household kitchen.
. . .
Since November, firefighters have been "up and down Dundas Street from Ridout to Waterloo and so far no one has been in compliance (with fire codes)," said fire department spokesperson Rick Jefferson.
Sounds like there should be some cheap real estate on the market soon. And the reasoning behind this sudden crack down?
The city's fire inspectors are cracking down on fire code violations because an Ontario Fire Marshal's report late last year said the city's inspection practices were inadequate and too soft on violators.
Yeah, that's what they say.
At least two other downtown businesses have been told they'll need to add fire safety features that could cost thousands.

Marvin Post of Attic Books said the business has to do about $5,000 worth of work, including installing an interconnected fire alarm system of 12 smoke detectors and 210 metres of cable.
. . .
At To Wheels, a Dundas Street staple for 19 years, building owner Andy Laidlaw said the cost of some fire inspections may make business not economically viable for some.

"Any ordinary business down here can't afford it. It's not like we're Wal-Mart," he said.

"The timing of the whole thing seems to be out of place. We need all the help we can get in making downtown a viable shopping area."

Get out of the way all you coffee drinkin', book reading, bike ridin' bohemians - Anne Marie wants you to know that your businesses don't fit in to the Master Plan! There are just too many grandiose 'creative cities' ideas which need implementing, and such businesses stand in the way on prime real estate. If you need a coffee go to Starbucks. If you need a book go to Chapters (besides, books have been known to cause people to think - and, oh my God, Attic books sells used books! Definately not the sort of business London wants to attract next to the $100 million JLC and Central Library). Hell, you won't want a bike anymore 'cause you'll have to ride all the way to Hyde Park to get to Wal-Mart to buy accessories for it (remember, they went to the trouble of giving those guys a break in service fees to attract them just for you - so hop into your SUV and drive there!). And if you can't afford these alternatives get the hell out town 'cause city council don't want you around.
Post also took issue with one fire inspector who visited the business several times, saying he was rude. "They have a job to do, but they could've done it with a lot more people skills," he said.
That way you know for sure he's been sent by city hall.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

london just lost one of it's last pieces of culture. the revitilization has begun...