For those of you who were aghast at the closure of my neighbourhood grocery store, I’m overdue in updating the situation. Happily, the store re-opened in a new equally convenient location. Every time I shop there, I’m still giddily grateful to them for staying in the neighbourhood. A local grocery store is an absolutely essential ingredient to a good urban life.
The old storefront is still empty although the ‘for lease’ sign was recently taken down. Rumour has it that the corner pharmacy, which I didn’t think would survive Shopper’s Drug Mart’s arrival in the ‘hood, is actually moving in to the bigger space. But it’s not a small-guy survival story. I’m told that the pharmacy is being encouraged to scale up so that it will vacate its corner lot for … wait for it … Starbucks.
So, it’s still a gentrification story. The mark of gentrification must be Starbucks. I hate to see the chain-stores wash over my neighbourhood but I can’t pretend to be too appalled. When you’ve settled in a neighbourhood by way of bidding wars and renovations, you can’t feign shock when the coffee shops, hourly car rentals and doggie bakeries follow you down main street.