A Home Depot on Queen West?
You can hear the hipsters crying. Queen West, long the definition of cool in the City of Toronto, is one step closer to selling out. If H&M, Roots and the Gap haven't already killed what street cred the region had, it looks like the arrival of a Home Depot will put the final nail into the trendy area's coffin.
A new seven-story condominium/retail complex is planned for the corner of Queen and Portland Street, near Bathurst. The structure will be built on what is currently a parking lot.
The building must conform to certain rules and must ensure that it blends into the look of the neighbourhood, since Queen West is a heritage conservation district.
So will a Home Depot send artists, musicians, and anti-conformity cynics running further west, trying to escape the over-commercialization of their previous bohemian paradise? Or will it provide convenient access to home improvement and construction supplies at reasonable prices? Or will it do both?
Will the big box store destroy atmosphere of the area, homogenizing it into a downtown version of every suburb in the country or will it actually take steps to conform itself into the look, feel and culture of Queen West?
Apparently the store will be operating more on a small storefront look, rather than the traditional big box appearance that people have come to associate with Home Depot. It looks like the store will be geared towards condo dwellers as well, similar to the proposed plans for the Leon's location at the Roundhouse.
If everything goes as planned, construction on the development could begin this summer. However, the plan is still subject to final approval. It is currently unknown what other retailers would be moving in to the complex along with Home Depot.
So will Home Depot end up destroying the area around the new development and, if so, why?
Because we can do it. They can help.
Home Depot logo from HomeDepot.ca
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