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Thursday, December 10, 2009

A night at the Roxy

As a hyper-local blogger, I get asked almost daily from readers and friends in the neighbourhood about whether I know anything about what's happening on the SE corner of Greenwood and Danforth. Up until now, I'll admit, I've been lazy about doing any sleuthing on that issue, but last night all the info I could want was handed to me on a platter at city councillor Paula Fletcher's open house.

As most readers already know, the site will house an Esso gas station combined with an On The Run convenience store and a Tim Horton's. It will be open around April or May of this coming year. The great news is that I saw the site plan and elevations which revealed that the site's architectural firm is literally restoring the original Roxy theatre facade to it's original Art Deco glory. Grandiose double doors will be fronting onto the street for pedestrian traffic, with lots of bike parking to boot and a side entrance will accomodate gas station customers.

An Imperial Oil rep was on hand last night to answer my questions and he brought up a really great point: Tim Horton's will only have limited seating which will prevent any "loitering" by shady characters. He also noted that their research has shown criminal activity often moves away from areas where there are well lit gas stations. This is great for us, as that block seems to see a lot more police activity than the next couple of blocks.

The general consensus around the room seemed to be that this development was a good thing. I think that there is still the issue of car traffic increasing in the immediate vicinity, and I wouldn't say that Timmie's brings any cache to the neighbourhood, but it's a step towards revitalization which most will agree Danforth East needs.

And as a final note, the Roxy, which was once called the Allenby, is apparently known as one of the biggest influences of the Toronto punk rock scene - who knew! Here is an illustrated history.

Photo courtesy of BlogTO.


  1. As one of the people who's been asking you for an update... thanks! Does anyone know if the project is taking up that whole block? That seems like a huge space for only a gas station with an On the Run and a Tim's.

  2. ... and I was hoping for a new-and-improved LCBO on the site!!

    Gas stations are terrible for neighbourhood revival. They should be down on car-centric arteries such as Lakeshore. You can "drive to get gas".

    At least the marquee is being saved!