News   Jul 17, 2024
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Toronto non-mall retail (Odds & Ends)

  • Thread starter marksimpson7843
  • Start date

I love these types of places downtown. It's different, adds some much needed colour and uniqueness to the street. We have enough bland corporate suburban retail around the downtown. This is a welcome change.
 


A corner store and cafe near Ossington Avenue and Harbord Street is receiving tons of social media support after news that someone sent an anonymous complaint about the shop to the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards division. According to an employee of the store, the complaint against the owners of ‘Finch Store’ at 42 Dewson St., just south of Ossington Station, involves the store using an espresso coffee machine and selling coffee-to-go.

“The store has license to serve coffee to go but apparently it is not permitted by the city zoning plan – the mistake was made many years ago. Now that the owners bought a coffee machine (approved by license dep.) they found out, through an anonymous complaint, that it’s a problem,” the employee explained in an X post.

The owners have since placed a sign inside their establishment, requesting that customers sign a petition to help support them in their upcoming hearing with the Licensing Tribunal about this issue.

“Help us save Finch Store, sign the petition. We are a law-abiding small family business serving the local community with honesty and integrity,” a sign posted to the shop’s window over the weekend reads.

A local resident noticed the sign and shared it on X.

“Stumbled across this cute corner store/cafe at 42 Dewson St. There is a sign in the window for a petition because complaints from a neighbour have put the store at risk. If you are walking south to Do West Fest, consider popping in an[d] signing it,” Dan Seljak wrote in an X post.

Seljak went as far as setting up a change.org petition for the owners of the Finch Store.

“Despite a number of businesses operating at this address over the years, an anonymous complaint based on technicalities (the provision of cups and the operation of an espresso machine) has put the store at risk,” the petition states, adding that the City of Toronto is aware that local residents value these types of stores, as they are currently running consultations on how to allow them more broadly.

“Despite independent retailers succeeding against large online corporations and even in wards where population levels have dropped (like this one!), individuals can put these stores out of business or ensure they never open in the first place by leveraging out-of-date by-laws that do not reflect contemporary Toronto.”

As of publication, the petition has more than 600 signatures—and many are expressing their support across social media.

“I remember when they opened and they had to have a petition to get coffee allowed in the first place. A complaining neighbour doesn’t even surprise me, when I lived there it wasn’t the most welcoming.”

Some find it ironic as the City is currently investigating ways to support the preservation and growth of small businesses, local grocers, coffee shops, etc., in and around residential neighbourhoods.
 
FFS - does planning really need to get into the minutiae of a storefront selling coffee?

AoD

No.

The issue here, officiousness and anonymous complaints aside is overly prescriptive definitions.

I do get that, for instance, a restaurant, serving food is subject to a different level of scrutiny from Toronto Public Health than a corner store......

One does have to have some definitions for things.

But here we have an ancillary use and one that is very low-risk from any planning or public health perspective. Aside from putting this complaint where it belongs (the blue box), almost every definition we use for zoning or public health needs tweaking to ensure its not inanely prescriptive.

Toronto does have a problem w/that, not unique to planning; see alcohol in parks, instead of just saying yes, across the board, with limited controls (existing laws concerning public intoxication/causing a disturbance) and if you wanted, maybe some restriction on drinking near kids playgrounds or such; though I'm not convinced that is really necessary.

Instead, we get specific zones where drinking will be permitted subject to a list of entirely unneeded rules that generally won't be enforced.

Same cultural problem.
 
No.

The issue here, officiousness and anonymous complaints aside is overly prescriptive definitions.

I do get that, for instance, a restaurant, serving food is subject to a different level of scrutiny from Toronto Public Health than a corner store......

One does have to have some definitions for things.

But here we have an ancillary use and one that is very low-risk from any planning or public health perspective. Aside from putting this complaint where it belongs (the blue box), almost every definition we use for zoning or public health needs tweaking to ensure its not inanely prescriptive.

Toronto does have a problem w/that, not unique to planning; see alcohol in parks, instead of just saying yes, across the board, with limited controls (existing laws concerning public intoxication/causing a disturbance) and if you wanted, maybe some restriction on drinking near kids playgrounds or such; though I'm not convinced that is really necessary.

Instead, we get specific zones where drinking will be permitted subject to a list of entirely unneeded rules that generally won't be enforced.

Same cultural problem.

We love making rules, generating processes that no one will follow while not giving a damn about actual outcome; and in this instance they actually have a license to serve coffee; but somehow ran afoul of planning due to zoning, which created an opening for a complaint (with unknown impetus - maybe from local competitors) It's insane that sheer amount of time we spend on nonsense like these.

AoD
 
We love making rules, generating processes that no one will follow while not giving a damn about actual outcome; and in this instance they actually have a license to serve coffee; but somehow ran afoul of planning due to zoning, which created an opening for a complaint (with unknown impetus - maybe from local competitors) It's insane that sheer amount of time we spend on nonsense like these.

AoD

I always joke that a lot of money could be saved if things were simplified at City Hall.

Think about how much money is spent on reports about the viability of reports studying reports about reports.

You may think I am crazy but I feel like there is a bunch are needless amounts of money spent on reports and bureaucracy which is not needed.
 
New Japanese barber coming to town.

20240622_121555.jpg
 
There are a number of Japanese hairstylists along the Bay corridor - I wonder what's special about it (an interesting niche considering the relatively small size of the Japanese community in Toronto - though I am sure the clientele isn't restricted to the community)

AoD
 
Do they cut hair differently? 🤣

The express barbershops (Japanese) do not do shampooing, dyeing, or styling. Its old school, cut, pay, get out.

Typically, they commit to you're in/out of the chair in 10 minutes.
 
There are a number of Japanese hairstylists along the Bay corridor - I wonder what's special about it (an interesting niche considering the relatively small size of the Japanese community in Toronto - though I am sure the clientele isn't restricted to the community)

AoD

Personally I've always wanted a North Korean haircut.
 

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