It was a little over a year ago when, during the Christmas holiday, a building owner on Elmwood removed the facade of his business and replaced it with a store-bought-special (see here). At the time, I thought that the in-your-face stunt would raise at least a couple of eyebrows at City Hall, but apparently that was not the case.
Instead of facing any consequences due to skirting the proper license and permit channels, the shop was cleared for opening without any sort of hang-ups (lead image). The signage was approved, and the business was given the green light to open, despite all of the work that was done while The City was closed for the holidays. Unfortunately, this sets a precedent for others to do the same, and we have seen this exact facade switcheroo since then (one on Grant Street, and it looks as if another one just popped up on Niagara Street).
During the course of the stunt, I spoke to City Hall, and was pretty much told that there would have to be facade changes made if the business was ever to open. All the while, work continued inside the market as if nothing ever happened. Ultimately nothing ever did happen, and now there’s an Acme-style facade on Elmwood showcasing obscured windows filled with deodorants, condoms and tampons.
What really gets me is all of the hoops that legit business people have to go through in order to open a business. Then you have a rogue building owner desecrate a perfectly fine facade that fit into the landscape of the street in order to put in a cheap imitation. What gives?