Lots of cities have problems with their downtown area. Empty storefronts, gatherings of bored young people with drugs or destruction on their minds, shoppers lured to the big box stores on the outskirts. London hasn’t fared as badly as many others have but the city has just made a positive move toward doing something about it with The Met.
Energetic young promoters, under the banner of 379 Collective, have taken a former downtown department store and turned it into a thriving marketplace. I don’t remember The Metropolitan but it was located on Dundas Street years ago and longtime Londoners are familiar with its legacy. The building is big, beautiful and in a prime location. 379 convinced its owner that it was ripe to become a hub for artists and artisans. Every weekend the doors open for the curious to wander among, and chat with, people who are making cool stuff; everything from paintings to clothing to handmade soap to jewellery to locally roasted coffee to collectibles to you name it. They usually have someone playing guitar or singing and it has the cool vibe of a city market like those we’ve visited in Toronto, Paris or London, England. What a great idea!
When I get my painting mojo back on track it’s very likely that I’ll give a whirl to a weekend as a vendor at The Met. Why not? The atmosphere is welcoming and it’s becoming a must-see destination for tourists. Congratulations to 379 Collective for revitalizing a forgotten storefront and bringing an exciting shopping and browsing destination to the core. www.metropolitanmarket.ca