Posts tagged ‘New Development’

Rediscovering Dickson Street

These days there are few if any stores available on Dickson Street, as more businesses flock to the Galt core.

Ben Schmalz and Emily Pederson are the latest entrepreneurs to establish themselves on Dickson, opening One Rebellion just last week. It’s an upscale clothing store catering to people over the age of 30.

“We’ve had so much traffic this week and people are so happy to see the store because there is nothing else quite like it down here,” said manager Pederson.

“We grew up in Galt, and I was looking to expand the business,” said Schmalz, who also operates a store in Dundas. “I took a look around and I was impressed with the revitalization that’s taking place in downtown. I loved the architecture and the ambiance. It was the perfect fit for us.”

Merryn Edgar, Patricia Cooley and Jennifer Gralec all opened their businesses the same day two years ago and became known as the “Dickson chicks”, following a television story on their enterprises.

Edgar runs Gallery M, an art shop that features works of many local artists.

“We’ve been doing really well since we opened and today I just sold two paintings, so it’s a big day for us,” she said.

In each area of the shop, Edgar has worked to bring together pieces of art that complement each other. In a similar way, she said each of the new businesses on Dickson Street does the same thing.

“There is a good mix of businesses down here. We do a lot of cross promoting and a lot of scratching each others’ backs when we can,” she said.

When Jennifer Gralec returned to work after having children, she decided that if she had to be away from her girls it would be to do something she loved. Baking is her passion and Tiny Cakes, her baking boutique, is a labour of love.

Since opening in December 2010, Tiny Cakes has become a regular stop for many people working on Dickson Street.

Gralec, like many of the other new businesses on Dickson Street, has used social media to get the word out on their businesses.

“I religiously post on Facebook, so people know what’s going on.”

Re New owner Patricia Cooley knew she had the right place when she walked into the office.

“This is a great space and with that big front window, it just called to me,” she said.

Re New is a medical laser and skin care aesthetics business, operating on the second floor of 65 Dickson St., across from city hall.

When Edit Kasza decided to move from St. Catharines and open her new business, she looked no further than Cambridge.

“I came for a visit and I absolutely love it here, especially Galt. I love all the architecture. It’s like a tiny, tiny version of Budapest.”

Kasza opened Edit Design Inc. in November and says the outdoor/indoor kitchen studio is slowly getting going.

“It’s taken time, but people are discovering I’m here,” she said. “You really have to see my studio to understand what I do.”

Eighty per cent of her business comes from outside of Cambridge, so her studio is becoming a destination for clients.

Baldeep Duggal can say the same thing of Phildon Pens.

“We’re one of a handful of pen shops in the country. We have local clients, but we are a destination for people who love pens and paper.”

Phildon Pens has been on Dickson Street for four years and Duggal sees a difference with the new businesses arriving.

“They are all small business owners who all  have good business plans. They all try to offer unique products and good services. When you have small businesses there is a certain sense of pride that you don’t see in big box stores.”

Decorators Kim Turner and Michelle Jones, who met at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts, opened The Relique Studio on Dickson Street. After teaming up to refinish a dining room suite, the pair went for coffee at Tiny Cakes and their concept of opening a shop evolved.

“As we were talking we were watching people come into the shop and realized these people could all be our customers. That’s when we started looking for a shop,” Jones said.

The shop opened eight months ago and there is no lack of business.

Bill Schwarz has been practicing law and painting in the Galt core since 1969.

“We used to have our law office on Dickson Street and things are really changing. I think the work that David (Gibson) is doing on Main Street has brought a lot of attention to the downtown.

“I think we’ve seen more change in the last 18 months than we’ve seen in the last 40 years. It’s really great to see.”

Source: The Cambridge Times


September 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment

New Development in London’s Downtown

Before a shovel was even in the ground, London’s first downtown commercial development in more than 15 years has already leased much of its space.

City and business leaders Tuesday officially took the wraps off the $10 million, 30,000-square-foot commercial plaza which will go up in the parking lot at Richmond and Carling streets, next to Moxie’s, that will be home to an expanded Shoppers Drug Mart, and an insurance broker moving to the core.

Rocco Tullio, president of Rock Developments in Windsor, is building the new office building and also bought the former Canadian Tire store in Masonville, redeveloping 75,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, a $13 million investment.

The most important thing is the tenants want to be there. Shoppers was a driving force saying they want a new home downtown. The drug store will close its store on Dundas St., just west of Richmond.

“The downtown is the heart, soul and spirit of a city. Getting more residential and commercial development is crucial to the well being of the core,” said Mayor Joe Fontana.

Construction will begin in mid January and be completed by August, with tenants moving in in September.

Source: London Free Press

January 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

New Buildings Would Replace the Former Hudson’s Building on Dundas Street in London

The latest housing and commercial project slated for Old East London is “a home run” for revitalization of the area, says its ward councillor. Along with other new housing projects on Dundas and Lyle streets, the redevelopment of the old Hudson’s store, a longtime commercial landmark, is just what the area needs, Steve Orser said. “What we are seeing is the actual revitalization of east London.”

The project at 637 Dundas St. E., consists of two buildings. Plans call for a three-storey building on Dundas and a nine-storey building behind it that will front on Marshall St. The Dundas St. building will have street-level shops. Overall, there will be 72 residential units, including some affordable units geared to seniors.

The plan by a numbered Ontario company goes to planning committee at city hall Monday where it is expected to win approval. The plan would then go to full council for approval. The large three-storey building on the site housed the Hudson’s store for decades. It closed in 1984 and was revamped and relaunched as Centretown Mall. For years it has been vacant.

Coun. Joni Baechler, chairperson of the planning committee, said the important aspect of the latest project is it shows “investors have a sense of confidence in the Old East Village area” east of Adelaide St. along Dundas St. She said some “minor tweaking” of the plan was needed and she expects a zoning change to make way for the development will sail through planning committee.

City hall has made a concerted effort to revive the area that has seen hard times in recent decades and a misguided move that saw Dundas realigned into an S curve to lure visitors. That costly move was undone years later to improve traffic flow and parking.

Ground has been broken for a 100-unit condominium project and for a 600-unit apartment building in the same area in recent months.

As in downtown, incentives relating to parking and development charges have been used by the city in a bid to bring residents to the area. In turn, city hall and local organizations hope the newcomers will bring back the area’s one-vibrant commercial vitality.


Now playing: Refused – Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine
via FoxyTunes

March 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

A Multi-Residential Condominium Development Gets Green-Lighted in Cambridge

A multi-residential condominium development proposed for the corner of Myers and Cheese Factory roads was approved by council at Monday’s general committee meeting.

The project, if given final approval next week, would include 40 residential units, made up of eight row houses along Nathan Court and four eight-unit, four-storey apartment buildings.

City planning commissioner Janet Babcock said city staff would work with Waterloo Region officials to redesign a noise barrier that may be required for the Hallman Construction project. Babcock said she is concerned that the noise wall would fence off the development from the rest of the community. She also wants to ensure easy access to Myers Road from the development for pedestrians, who would otherwise end up walking around the block to get to Myers Road.


March 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm Leave a comment

A Call to Design: Dunbar Collective

Dunbar Collective: Site Location

Dunbar Collective: Site Location

I want to ask you the readers if you have a design solution for this location?

I want to create a green technology showcase property for City of Cambridge and hopefully this can be a catalyst project for the rest of Hespeler Road. Maybe this project could be included in the Mayor’s new “green” agenda?!

This project will create some much needed infill and intensification development as well as showcase new technologies through building design, energy systems and sustainability.

Perhaps work towards a LEED certified building(s)?

Site Details

Size: Unknown (I do not have the proper tools at home to calculate it!)

Current Zoning: Commercial, I’m assuming “automotive related”

Potential Zoning: Live/Work units

Transit: iXpress and GRT transit stops already in place at Cambridge Centre Mall, located relatively close to the 401

Other Details:

  • More than likely a low-level brownfield site
  • Gas station used to be located on corner of Dunbar Road and Hespeler Road
  • Several automotive related services were located on properties south of Dunbar, but before the recently closed Galt Chrysler Car Dealership
  • “Junky” flea market located at corner of Can-Amera Parkway and Hespeler Road
  • YMCA is across the street
  • Dumfries Conservation Area located across the street, approximate size of 75 hectares
  • New residential towers built at Dunbar and Conestoga Boulevard
  • Regional Shopping Centre (Cambridge Centre Mall) located across the street

I’m going to work on drafting some concepts, but I would also love to see your work too!

October 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm 3 comments

THE “Greenest” Building at University of Western Ontario

The $22 million Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion is set to open its environmentally friendly doors on UWO’s campus.

October 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

Another Subdivision for Hespeler? PLEASE, “SAY IT AIN’T SO!”

   Approximate location of proposed subdivision

Approximate location of proposed subdivision

Representatives of Hunt Club Valley Inc. were back before the general committee with a proposed subdivision plan that would transform the east part of the Hespeler area –between Speedsville Road and Beaverdale Road, south from Briardean Road to the Speed River –into a sprawling 1,982 home subdivision… Joy!

While the concept plan itself is not terrible, the fact that area is expanding is what gets me angered. The Region has a Growth Plan in place, which should be followed and recognized. The plan requires a minimum of 40% of all new residential units must be built within the Built Boundary.” (Warning: pdf format) It will be interesting to see how sewage and water would be implemented in the area considering that the Hespeler and Preston sewage treatment plants are working at near capacity and much of the remaining capacity has already been allotted.

Concept proposal of the subdivision plan

Concept proposal of the subdivision plan.

Last December, council voted to close the file on an earlier application by Hunt Club Valley Inc., because a number of outstanding studies hadn’t been completed. They said they would have those studies completed by January 2009, but the company finally made it to the general committee for Monday September 28’s night meeting. They were trying to push for amendments to the city’s official plan and zoning bylaw.

Almost 20 years ago, Hunt Club Valley Inc. launched the first two phases the Idyllwild Estates off Beaverdale Road, an upscale development with large homes on quarter-acre lots that weren’t connected to the city’s water or sewer services. About 10 years ago ,as the second phase of Idyllwild Estates was being sold out, plans were revised. Hunt Club Valley proposed to change the nature of future development with an urban residential development, which included a broad mix of housing all hooked into municipal services. Those plans were put on hold as various subwatershed and community studies were completed. Now those plans are being modified and reintroduced.

Hunt Club’s planner, Walter Hugo, said his clients are prepared to host a meeting. Hugo said a number of key studies have already been completed. He also stated that if the application is denied, the matter would go to the OMB. A date for the neighbourhood meeting has yet to be set. Meanwhile, a plan is being reviewed by city staff and outside agencies, prior to a recommendation being made to council.


October 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

We are an urban design blog featuring news stories and ideas from London, Waterloo Region, and surrounding areas.


blog information

  • 70,554 hits