Lots of news on the retail front in London. My favourite go-to mall is being reborn as a mixed-use building, mostly because of the reasons it’s my favourite. It’s almost always nearly empty.
Westmount Shopping Centre on Wonderland near Commissioners is undergoing a revolution to respond to its lack of customers. That’s what attracts me to it, actually. I love to go there, get in and get out with a few groceries and a little wander around. I’m more of a browser than a shopper lately mostly because I have everything I need. Westmount is the closest of its ilk to our home so it’s convenient but it’s going to experience some demolition and some construction to make it more attractive to office tenants and family restaurants.
Meanwhile, further south at Southdale there’s a massive boom going on. It’s one of those cookie-cutter retail areas you see everywhere, from Ancaster, Ontario to Red Deer, Alberta. There’s a Staples and a Home Depot and a Canadian Tire and a Michaels among the many big-box shops. The Bouclair on Wellington is preparing to move there too. Again, the reason I like to browse in that Bouclair is because its current location, across from White Oaks, is a nice and quiet little plaza. Not so good for business but good for me to stroll awhile without other shoppers breathing down my neck.
Shopping used to be a sport. Now it’s a leisure activity. I get as big a kick out of buying a crummy ol’ peeling and rather gross chair at an antique shop, as I did this week, as I do out of buying anything new. A fresh lick of paint and a new upholstery job later and that disgusting little sitter is now an adorable one-of-a-kind item, if I do say so myself. It’s also a rather green way of going about it. Appropriate for Earth Day. And the prospect of even more traffic and less parking in an area I frequent isn’t exactly making me jump for joy.