Businesses find it hard to survive in Midtown
High rents, aggressive parking enforcement, few shoppers
(Written for Town Crier April 27/09)
I wrote this story a year ago, but tonight, it was up for the Best Business & Finance Story category at the Ontario Community Newspaper Association awards ceremony. I didn’t win. I came third out of the 67 or 68 entries in that category. But it was a fun night with some Town Crier colleagues and a chance to catch up with my two favourite Humber College journalism professors Terri Arnott and Carey French.
Now here’s the story I wrote…
By Kris Scheuer
By the time you read this Clifford Wong will have closed up his Yonge St. clothing shop Basique Attitude.
He’s not alone. A visit on Yonge between Eglinton and Lawrence Aves. on April 22 reveals about dozen vacant shops along this busy North Toronto strip.
“I’ve been here 16 months. It’s hard to survive,” says Wong just days before his shop was to close for good on April 25. “I love this area, but it’s very difficult to survive.”
He’s had three stores in Richmond Hill for 15 years, but says it costs $7,000 monthly for commercial rent and property taxes in Toronto for his store at 2581 Yonge St. He also mentions street parking enforcement that acts as a deterrent for shoppers.
“People are scared to park here,” he says.
The Uptown Yonge Business Improvement Area’s members have noticed the same problems.