The Handyman Shop sold

jra-post-july-14th-the-handyman-shop-3077-dundas

The Handyman Shop is sold!

This great looking building located on the corner of Dundas and Quebec is a favourite for many people in the Junction.  Finally after a long development fight and sale hopefully we’ll see it restored, conscientiously renovated and reopened.

No word yet on the developer’s plans but the OMB approved a handful of minor variances to the property in late 2006.

Excerpt from the OBM document: http://www.omb.gov.on.ca/e-decisions/pl060706_%233395.pdf

The applicants propose to renovate the existing building to include two commercial uses and two parking spaces on the ground floor and four two-storey apartments on the second and third floors, with third floor recessed balconies along Quebec

If this plan is still the plan I think the addition of a second retail outlet will fit nicely with Wise Daughters Craft Market and Crema.  The apartments will add a third floor which will presumably look similar to the Medland Lofts.

48 Comments

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  1. Irina says:

    Oh Thank God, finally!!!!! I know, I have mentioned this a zillion times, but we need an art supplies/services store!

    • Fred says:

      One person needs an art supply shop, unless your supplies exceed $8000 they’ll go bankrupt and we’re in the same situation.
      What the area needs is a decent hardware store so we don’t have to drive to the big box stores, the traffic up that way sucks and in going to get worse once the condos open.

      • Junction Resident says:

        Fred, do you really think a small hardware store could survive so close to the Rona, Home Depot, and Crappy Tire in the Stockyards? If you had the money to open a store in the Junction, would you be willing to take that risk?

        • Fred says:

          As I’ve been informed there is already a surviving hardware store in the area, so yes I do think one can survive, but probably no two. Would I risk my own money, no but I wouldn’t risk my own money on a small business in this economy anyhow.

          And you think an art store can survive?

          • Junction Resident says:

            I think you’re confused, Fred. I didn’t mention an art store.

          • Fred says:

            The thread started with an art store wish

          • n says:

            Guffin’s Hardware is at the corner of Runnymede and Dundas. The gentlemen that work in this store are knowledgable and friendly. Unless you need big supplies (like lumber or bbq’s or something) there’s no need to drive up to the stockyards.

            An art store would be a lovely addition. There seems to be quite a few artistic types in our neighbourhood. I’m sure it could survive.

  2. Theirry says:

    I would prefer to see a nice, sustainable corp. like Tim Horton’s purchase the building. The downside of smaller businesses is the high turnover rate, and with a company like Tim Ho’s anchoring the Quebec/Dundas corner, more high profile companies would take to the area…. which would be a fantastic boon for our community.

    • Fred says:

      Really? A Tim Horton’s? Are you new to the area? That’s the last thing the area needs, all the private coffee shops would close up shop because the lemmings only know one thing.

    • kevin says:

      sorry, but that would be a travesty.

  3. JV says:

    Hey Fred

    There is a hardware store towards Runnymede on Dundas.

    • Fred says:

      Hey JV

      There is also a Tim Horton’s just west of there and the traffic around there is horrible.

  4. Irina says:

    Junction is already caffeinated enough, Tim Hortons will kill many small businesses and conjest the area with traffic, their coffee is revolting anyway (weird metallic aftertaste).

  5. Daniela says:

    Restaurants are bringing more foot traffic to the area, and the one thing missing in the Junction is a sushi place.

    • Junction Resident says:

      Why do you have a nice little picture of a sunset next to your name? Or, how can I do that may be a better question…

  6. Janine says:

    I’ve always fancied an artisanal cheese shop in the neighbourhood. Like when the Cheese Boutique used to be right in Bloor West Village. Just my fancy. As long as whatever goes in retains that storefront as It a great corner shop with the curve — if someone squares it off, it’ll ruin it.

  7. Denise says:

    It would be a sad day in the Junction if a Tim Horton’s opened up. I vote(like our opinions really count! =)) for either a Japanese restaurant or a funky brunch place like Mitzi’s on Sorauren. Please no more ground level offices, we need to add to our retail landscape.

    • Janine says:

      I, too, would love a Japanese restaurant or a funky brunch place. BTW, Mitzi’s just opened up a new corner cafe location on College Street.

    • Daniela says:

      funny you say that Denise, about a year ago the rumour was that Mitzi’s was interested in that corner… I would love that!

  8. Irina says:

    Great ideas Denise!

  9. Denise says:

    Thanks Janine for the info for the new Mitzi’s location. Apparently, Mitzi’s looked at the hardware store a couple of years ago , but there were issues with the structure.

  10. Theirry says:

    Fred, walk to the stockyards. Are you kidding me? Another hardware store because you won’t make the half km trek? Also no, i’m not new, i’ve lived here for years, I just don’t buy into the sheep herd mentality of the artist based BIA and Junction Residents Assoc.

    Its so easy to create a little bit of controversy on this site, all you have to do is not mesh with the prevailing ideals of the group, and poke fun by suggesting a corp. move into the neighbourhood. Its like this area is Kennsington 2.0… progress is evil and all that. Classic.

    • Fred says:

      Theirry, Have you ever tried to walk back from the stockyards with renovation supplies? And I’m not talking about a paint brush, I’m talking about wood, cement heavy things you know reno stuff.

      My reference to lemmings was about Tim Horton’s patrons not the artist BIA and Junction Assoc.

      To suggest that my disagreeing with the prevailing ideas of the group is absurd, I would think that it takes more than 1 person to be on board with an idea to be considered prevailing. If you read the comments you will notice the the prevailing opinion is against the Tim’s. Does disagreeing with 1 suggestion about a Tim Horton’s make me anti corporate?

  11. Theirry says:

    No, I’m not daft so I would call a cab if I had a large enough haul to make the walk back (to wherever you live) difficult. This isn’t brain surgery Fred. If you have enough cash to buy said building supplies (which btw a small hardware store more then likely would not carry), you have enough cash to throw the cabbie a 10$ to get you and your supplies home safely.

    • Fred says:

      I own a car why would I want to spend $ on a cab? And before you start I TTC in the winter and ride my bike all summer everywhere. My wife works in Mississauga that’s why I have a car. I’d like to be there when you tell the cabbie that you have 500 lbs of construction material that you’d like to put in his cab. Or are you one of those “I’m better than you because I don’t own a care types?”

      • Theirry says:

        Not at all. I one of those “I use logic in my arguments” types, so when I see someone complaining about having to get to the Stockyards while living in the Junction, I chuckle to myself that you are either lazy, or trying to find a reason to justify your argument for a Hardware store to be put in. Are you the same person that shows up 2 mins. late when a store closes and bangs on the door?

        Since I never asked you what you were buying (and, surprise, am not the Kreskin of High Park) , and now know its 500 pds of cement (building a pool?), then no, a cab would not work in your specific situation. I was referring to lumber, or garden supplies, nuts, bolts, or something more manageable. If you thought I was talking about buying a whole house’s worth of reno. materials and hailing a cab to transport them, then I’m literally going to be sitting here dumbfounded for the next week.

        • Fred says:

          Logic in your argument? So let me see if I understand, I said that the traffic up to the stockyards sucks, so you said I should walk, I countered with you can’t walk with reno materials, your solution was to take a cab, (how this solves the traffic problems escapes me. Cab? Car? Same thing isn’t it?) You follow with “I wasn’t talking about cement”. Who said cement? You were referring to lumber and garden materials, news flash, lumber is a construction material and if you are buying more than a 2×4 it can weigh more than 500lbs, and if I’m not mistaken gardening supplies can come in 40-50lb bags of which you may require more than 1 bag.

          I’m not trying to justify my argument for a hardware store in the Junction, I’m just wondering why you consider me lazy when I need to purchase heavy reno supplies yet you feel the need for another Tim Horton’s when there are 2 within walking distance from the junction.

          The next time I see someone struggling with a pile of lumber over their shoulder I’ll make sure to stop and introduce myself.

  12. Irina says:

    Who knows, it might be Baby Gap or a dental office, at least it’s one less empty store front 😉

  13. Martin says:

    I heard a rumour the building has a major structural issue (bearing wall was improperly removed) which means it might be a tear down, lets hope its not.

    I my opinion any new tenant that benefits the community through service or employment will do.

  14. A.R. says:

    Look, as long as they respect the neighbourhood, keep their property well maintained and respect the history, I’ll take anything. Even sex shops can be upscale, as any European city can demonstrate.

    • Junction Resident says:

      Upscale? It’s one thing to want the many empty storefronts of the Junction filled with thriving businesses, but it’s another to want “upscale” businesses in them. Mom and pop stores that sell things you actually use, like, say, hardware stores, aren’t upscale.

      Small businesses usually get pushed out of “upscale” and gentrified areas by big chains or stores that sell over-priced luxury goods. Look what happened to Queen West and then College St. Or, closer to home, look at Bloor West Village over the past dozen years. Do you want to live next to that? Or do want to live in a neighbourhood with neighbourhood stores? I want the latter.

      • A.R. says:

        The ideal is a mix of upscale and pragmatic (having both). There’s times I need a hammer, and times I want a nice pair of shoes. I’d definitely like some Bloor West Village type retail in the Junction. It could save me trips downtown or to the mall.

        I think it could work if upscale retail were to take over the prime and attractive Dundas/Keele to Dundas/Pacific zone, surrounded by more neighbourhood type stores. And if the demand is really there, businesses could start occupying the second floor of buildings on Dundas, and actually fill in all those empty lots on Dundas. There’s quite a lot of supply possible, which can make it possible for different types of stores to thrive. But I think that us locals should take a proactive approach to attain a useful balance.

        • Junction Resident says:

          If you want nice shoes, you’ll go to where the nice shoes are, whether that’s the Junction, Bloor West Village, or downtown. It may be a matter of personal preference, but I’d like to live in a community where I can buy all of my basic goods locally and cheaply while supporting local business owners.

          If Starbucks set up shop in the empty Mexican restaurant, what would happen to Cool Hand of a Girl’s coffee sales? If Chapters moved in I would have more selection, but what would happen to the two or three small used bookstores in the Junction? The mythical art store (not the real one that is rumoured to be opening, but the one that is often used as an example here) needs to have both a customers and affordable rent. Your desired upscale shoe stores and chains will cause everyone’s rents to go up. Pretty soon, as you suggest yourself, the smaller or more niche businesses will move to the fringes. That art store won’t be so close anymore and it may seem easier to go to Aboveground where you know it will be cheaper anyway…

      • Fred says:

        What’s wrong with the Bloor West Village Stores? There are plenty of small shops and some chains, a nice mix I would say.

  15. Jimbo says:

    A nice, clean, modern dentist office that bills my insurance directly would be great – do we even have one in our nieghbourhood?

  16. J.P. says:

    Tim Hortons? Really? I vote for The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder. They’ve recently opened a small resto up on St. Clair West and serve up excellent pulled pork sandwiches. Given the name, they would be right at home in the Junction and a great alternative to some of the other eating establishments.

  17. J.P. says:

    Speaking of traffic in the Junction. Congestion caused by the new condo being built and Home Depot, Crappy Tire, etc. pales in comparison to the inevitable spike in traffic that we’ll see when the huge, suburban super mall goes in on the north-west corner of St. Clair & Keele. It will be an absolute nightmare, I think. What were our city planners thinking? It would be great to see more on this development posted on this blog.

  18. Theirry says:

    What about the shoddy patch of “stores” from Keele to Dupont along Dundas w.? Is this the “forgotten part” of the Dundas west strip? When will these derelict buildings be updated into real business that benefit the community? (since we’re on the topic, sort of)

  19. Theirry says:

    Why is it anytime I’ve mentioned the stretch of buildings from Keele & Dupont along Dundas W., everyone clams up and says nothing? Do you all like knowing that there are addicts, dealers, and drunks working this block day in day out, or do you prefer to turn a blind eye and only focus on the Dundas W. west of Keele? Is it that its more convenient for you all to complain about obvious and easily identifiable community issues like pile driving, but leave the real gritty issues not discussed to fester under the surface?

  20. htmlisok says:

    why dont you talk about it?
    what are your ideas?

    dont point fingers at others when you obviously have no ideas yourself.
    or is just doing the endlessly boring contrarian thing
    your M.O..

  21. Theirry says:

    html; “boring contrarian thing” lol, no.

    Everytime i’ve mentioned it people clam up… “OH NOES! Our area isn’t actually as pastoral as we want to believe it is!”

    Howabout:

    – Police patrols in the area around the cross walk on Dundas W. and in the parkettes and alleyways? (not just the occasional cruiser to make some money for the city coffers nailing the crowd that turns east onto Dundas west before 6pm), but after the sun goes down when the deals are being cut, where are the police?
    – Closing down the watering hole on the south east corner of of Dundas and Keele where most of the rummies booze up before heading back to the rooming houses for round 2?
    – Close eye on the convenience store with the seating out-front (also close to the above mentioned crosswalk), beside the auto body shop on the north side of Dundas W? Too many times people have been dosed up or passed out here day in, day out. I’ve personally witnessed 2 hand to hand transactions myself in the last 10 days. (you know, the store about 4 doors down from the newly opened “Gingerbread House Cafe”? Where people are expected to sip cups of joe while their kids play….)

    All just off the top of my head… serious thought would probably elicit much wiser plots and plans to help work on the issues I see as REALLY plaguing this neighbourhood, not just banging or signs that offend me because they’re “too big and bill-boardy”.

    html; Would you like more ideas? Or just a hot cup of STFU?

  22. J.P. says:

    I agree…as someone who lives near this stretch, it definitely needs improving. It’s an unfortunate gateway to the Junction neighbourhood.

    Future plans such as the rumoured car wash on the south side will only make things worse. On the other hand, the new condo that is being built will hopefully inject some life into this stretch. More people might mean new business opportunities.

    Cool Hand Of A Girl and Channel Zero are two of the more interesting storefronts. I’m still trying to figure out Ginger Bread and Studio Red.

    Can we all agree that the four corners of Dundas & Keel has the potential to be one of Toronto’s best intersections. If only there was a way to protect all four buildings. It’s one of the few (only?) intersections that hasn’t been redeveloped.

  23. htmlisok says:

    hey theirry, that was good
    but were you going to keep your ideas to yourself?
    you were moaning about others not offering up constructive input
    no need to bother pointing the finger when you DO have something useful to say
    lets have more of your good input
    and less with the passive aggressive schtick
    it’s a relevant discussion

    and here’s a hot cup of 🙂

  24. Jocelyn says:

    Can someone be so kind as to let me know who to get in touch with the retail space availability? Thank you!

  25. joe says:

    whats the big deal about a tim hortons, they recently have helped to spruce up some long neglected corners in the city, bloor and keele, college and lasndowne and Bloor and gladstone, the stores are busy and have created jobs if local residents didnt like them why are they bust, none of them have a drive thru so its not passing traffic???

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