What About A Grocery Store?

What’s the problem?

Downtown has no grocery store within walking distance of a lot of the area’s housing. It’s tough to encourage people to live in an area where the most basic need, food, is only available from a specialised, expensive market (though I do love the Covent Garden Market, I can’t afford to shop there on a regular basis) or by walking or bussing a slightly inconvenient distance. Oh, and there are too many damned Farhi signs. Why can’t they be murals? Murals are nice. Farhi signs are ugly.

What kind of solution can we imagine?

A Grocery Store on Dundas Street

Well, downtown has like 40 smoke shops and over 100 places to buy lottery tickets. Why not turn one of those places into a more useful and wholesome grocery store? Hurray! Oh, and the Farhi sign could be a mural about produce or something.

What can you do to make this happen?

That’s a tricky question. Lobby for it? Contact your councilor and see what she can do (and then mention they should work to get rid of Farhi’s signs, or at least make him subsidez)? What about contacting businesses or existing grocery store chains to see if they’d consider helping out? Holding a community fundraiser? It’s not an easy question! But it’s something to think about.

What do YOU think can be done to make this happen?


What About The Arts?

What’s the problem?

There are a lot of abandoned spaces in dowtown London. In fact, a recent study claimed that 31% of downtown space in buildings remains unoccupied. And London has a thriving arts scene, but a limited amount of venues to display the wonderful work that’s being done.

What kind of solution can we imagineAn Arts Centre in Citi Plaza?

Here’s a drawing of an abandoned area in Citi Plaza transformed into a public Arts centre that encourages local dance, theatre, music and visual arts. In an ideal world, an arts centre would revitalize Citi Plaza in a way its re-naming and re-design couldn’t do.

What might make this solution possible?

Well, consider what some Emerging Leaders Idea Salon contributors called “spontaneous space usage”. Supposedly downtown’s unoccupied spaces are only unoccupied temporarily, so why not put in temporary art exhibits, or transform an area into a temporary DIY theatre/dance/music space. This has been done before—in the former “Music World”, a group of students put together a temporary art exhibit about memory using old CD racks to display items in. It was awesome! If the owners of these spaces are shown what COULD be happening in these empty rooms, they’ll be more open to trying to give arts initiatives a permanent home on their property.

What do YOU think can be done to make this happen?

100 Things

Check this!

It’s another crowdsourced postering project about what our city could be, created by Kevin van Lierop and contributors. 100 diverse and interesting ideas, all definitely worth thinking about, so check it out!

Our Street and Park(ing) Day!

“If you want something done, you’re going to have to do it yourself” is a terrible, terrible slogan…unless by “yourself” you mean “with a group of like-minded people who care about getting things done”.  That’s exactly what two groups in London have done. If city council isn’t making London the city we imagine it can be, well, we, the residents, have the power to make it happen.

That’s the philosophy behind Our Street and Park(ing) Day. DIY strategies to show this city what’s possible, what’s achievable, if we just get together and take action.