Friday, June 7, 2013

Slow Down! Queen Street West Restaurant Study

This morning Gord Perks was on CBC talking about the Queen Street West (between Roncesvalles Avenue and Dufferin Street) - Restaurant Study. In Parkdale last year, the city put a moratorium on restaurant and bar licenses until they had a chance to study the impact this densification had on the current community.

Now, the recommendations will be presented by the Toronto and East York Community Council on June 18, 2013, a little over a week away. It will only take a few minutes to read the recommendations but basically boils down to restricting the density to a level of 25% as stated by Gord Perks. Full backgrounder is available here

For the last week, I have been trying to blog each day. The easiest type of blog has been one where I produce a short personal story along with some tidbit of information. Most of these type are easy because it is easy to see where they fit into how I feel and think about food. Something like this takes a lot more time for me to develop my opinions.

Food blogging should require an amount of introspection that leads to a well thought argument. At best, I could say that it always seems that the complaints that come from a neighbourhood that is becoming gentrified is often from people who have not lived there long. Most often is takes the form of someone who moves into an area where there is - let's say - an abbatoir and then complain about the noise and the smells. 

Another knee jerk response would be around the lines that this is the natural progression of a neighbourhood. If the area cannot support these restaurants then they will close. There is a counter argument that is similar to an anti-Walmart argument that states the addition of the restaurant will drive out other required services that make an area tick such as hair salons, convenience stores and super markets. 

I guess one approach to writing a blog post would be just to report what is going on and what is available but somehow that seems like not a good enough reason. Another approach would be to take a side or opinion and show the story in that way. I could state that I am against bad restaurant and concentrated restaurant areas and this is why...but we already have too much of that happening in comment sections already around this city.

In reality, many blogs are trying to drive traffic in order sell advertising and make a living. This is my hobby and I want to take a think. It will probably take a while to process the impact. Living close to little India, I can see the effect of restaurants and neighbourhood services closing down. I can also see the effect of restaurants re-invigorating an area. Take a look where Burger's Priest, Queen Margherita Pizza, and Sausage Partners (now Oliffe) opened along the Beach.

So, for down, I am going to slow down and digest this meal. I'll relax and take in the scene with some coffee and an apres-dinner drink. 

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