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Re: 'Abject failure': Rent hikes, turnover concern some in Newmarket downtown, March 21, 2023.
My eyes popped reading that headline. If it were about 30 years ago, it might fit. We have lived near Main Street for eight years and seen positive changes continuing that had begun before. We have seen individual businesses moving to larger floor space, like Cardinal Press Espresso Bar and Good Vibes on Main, we have seen new businesses arrive like Wine on Main and the Olive Oil Company.
We have seen established restaurants thriving again after hard dips because of the pandemic. Look at The Olde Village Free House and Hungry Brew Hops. We have seen businesses adapt to survive and adapt because of personal reasons, too. Just look at the Maid’s Cottage. Their butter tarts are now known in Australia.
Main Street is a happening for people of all ages and walks of life. I walk Main Street to Fairy Lake, or just to pop into the Cardinal, the drugstore or Still in Style and so on. And I see what makes Newmarket special. Main Street is inclusive. I see people on seriously hard times engage in conversations with restaurant owners, I see restaurant owners giving a helping hand. These are not occasional happenings, these are daily.
Main Street is a welcoming place to many. And it is a vibrant place. An Aussie friend visiting from Brisbane loved Main Street, loved trying the restaurants and pubs (he is an Aussie), he liked how people just sat and chatted with each other at Soup-Pa, for example. People come just to walk on Main Street and see what it has to offer. And it has a lot to offer.
I hope there are ways to address the increased costs. It puts pressure on all of us to be flexible and adapt. And I really hope we can continue to be welcoming to all, including those who are experiencing really tough times.