Later on today, between 4 and 7 PM there will be a fundraiser for the Cabbagetown Youth Centre to open the new Starbucks at the corner of Aberdeen Avenue and Parliament Street . The Youth Centre is a great cause that the Community has supported for years and needs some help to replace their existing roof and assist in their programs.
Today’s event in also in aid of the opening of the Starbucks. Let me preface this by telling you that for years, when media has interviewed me about where the next up-and-coming area might be found, it was easy for me to say,”Look where Starbucks is opening and you will have the latest hot spot!”
I would not refer to Cabbagetown as up-and-coming…but came. For years we have led the City in renovation and restoration of existing housing stock and sometimes thoughtful development of infill. We have a very strong Cabbagetown Preservation Association which has acted well in protecting our streetscapes east of Parliament Street. We also have a BIA which has tried its best to entice stronger commercial influence, not an easy feat when Dollar Stores are less costly to refurbish and open.
I have mixed feelings about Starbucks on Parliament Street. We are already overflowing with Coffee shops but the existence of a Starbucks may say a lot to potential Lessees hoping to venture onto the Parliament Street Strip. Let’s hope so.
Here’s my question:
Does a Starbucks on the Cabbagetown retail strip mean that Cabbagetown has finally “made it”? Does it increase the neighbourhood cachet??
I would love to see your thoughts in the comments below:
***However, a quick note about the new building that houses Starbucks: I would have assumed that the nice covered area at the rear of the building was for parking but in the last few weeks a massive double HVAC System has appeared in the location and it beyond me how parking for the units above can be accommodated. In walking around this morning, I also spoke to one of the neighbors who complained about the noise that these units are making…and that is before the building is occupied above the ground floor.***