Residents of Westboro often call their neighbourhood a village due to what they see as the vibrant, unique culture of a small community.
But, walking around the area, I’ve noticed a disturbing number of sprawling chain stores.
There’s a Starbucks, of course. A LuLulemon, an Extreme Pita, and a Mountain Equipment Co-op.
That’s not to say Westboro is without its charm. It boasts plenty of original offerings, including Retrotown Music, Gotta Paint, and, of course, the aforementioned Tivoli Florsit and the Newport Restaurant.
I guess what disturbs me most isn’t the existence of the stores. They exist everywhere – one Starbucks, or even three, for that matter, can’t take away a community’s personality.
No, what disturbs me is the size of the stores. Not only are they relatively plentiful, but they are massive, and I worry that they might, if left unchecked, take over Westboro.