Meet some of the Cabbagetown business owners affected by the Gerrard & Parliament TTC work:
On May 14th Cabbagetown awoke to TTC track work at Gerrard and Parliament. Drivers, bikers, walkers, residents, shoppers and business owners are all affected in their own way. For many it meant adjusting their commute, but for business owners the impact of construction directly hits their livelihood.
We are all Torontonians trying to juggle a million things a day and any obstacle can throw us off our daily routine. It is easy to understand why people hear the word construction and automatically avoid an area. The problem is, if during construction you avoid supporting the area you normally rely on, parts of it might not be there when it is all over. Many of our shops, restaurants and service providers in Cabbagetown are independently owned by hardworking Torontonians. All we are asking at this time is that Toronto comes out and supports by shopping local in Cabbagetown.
MWM Fish Co. – Mark Moore
Having worked with some of Toronto’s top oyster restaurants and shuckers, Mark Moore had been dreaming of opening his own oyster and fish store and had been watching Cabbagetown closely waiting for the perfect spot to become available. The young father worked hard to pull his finances together, come up with a business plan, find a contractor and navigate the many permits required to open a business. M.W.M Fish Co. opened late 2017 and Mark has been able to employ a small staff in his new shop and has begun offering oyster tasting experiences as part of his catering offerings. Starting a new business is a gigantic undertaking and typically takes 3 years minimum to get to a point where it might start to turn a profit. Construction is just another obstacle this new business owner now faces.
The Tilted Dog Pub & Kitchen – Tiffany Smith
Formerly the area’s renowned The Local Gest, The Tilted Dog Pub & Kitchen opened just days before construction. Owners Tiffany and Sean had been part of the group running The Local Gest and were excited to open the new restaurant on their own with a revamped menu just in time for summer. The two, like most independent business owners, are hands on with all aspects of the business. Locals may recall walking by during the restaurant’s brief closure (to execute then change over) to find Tiffany herself on her hands and knees resealing the asphalt out front. The Tilted Dog Pub & Kitchen is her baby.
The House On Parliament – Tania Waldock
A well established destination in Cabbagetown, The House On Parliament is known well by locals and those across the city, although some do get it mixed up for a slightly different house as co-owner Tania Waldock has received mail for Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Don’t worry, it was forwarded on.) A seasoned business owner and volunteer board member of the Cabbagetown BIA, Tania knows how hard construction can be on a small business as she has seen it before. Having Toronto come out and support helps make construction a little easier for business owners such as Tania and the dedicated staff she treats like family
The author is Executive Director of the not-for-profit Cabbagetown Business Improvement Area (BIA)