Plant store transforms into garden centre so it can reopen in Toronto
Plants have taken on a new significance while we all remain stuck inside, and one Toronto plant store has been able to reopen to the public during these difficult times by transforming into a garden centre.
The store, like other retailers excluded from the province's essential list of businesses allowed to operate, remained closed since March.
But owner Michael Leach says he came up with a plan to allow his business to make sales while operating within the framework of government restrictions.
"I was driving home [one day]... and I noticed that the former Ossington Tire that's been an event space for the last couple of years [was] for rent."
So he reached out and the landlord, who has owned the auto-shop-turned event space for 46 years, agreed to rent it to Leach.
The transformation of the old autoshop into a garden centre is ongoing, said Leach. The big space is filled with plants and will feature an open-air format thanks to the large garage doors.
The move comes the same week the Ontario government permitted garden centres to reopen for the busy spring season.
Dear plant family - it has been our pleasure to be able to extend a store wide discount to you for the past 3 weeks. Now it’s time to spread the love further! This week we will be donating 10% of our sales to CAMH for Mental Health Week. We’re all in this together, and mental health is something that we care deeply about, especially during these difficult times. We will continue with our charitable donations each week, spreading the positive vibes to those in need from Dynasty and our incredible customers. Thank you all for your support! We love you, take care and #STAYPLANTED
"The nice thing about all of this whole, crazy scenario [is that] now that we have the room, we can also potentially re-hire our staff to work in a safe fashion because there's enough room in here for us to socially distance still while we're working."
He said that the Dynasty offshoot is planning to expand on its existing tropical focus and partner with several community-based urban gardening businesses to offer vegetables, potting soil and supplies. It also plans to donate a portion of sales to local charities.
"People are at home, everyone knows that plants help with oxygen in the air... and [plants are] something that enrich people's lives," he said.
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