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March 29, 2010

Shaping Roncesvalles: Join the CashMax information picket.

Filed under: CashMax Protest — NorthRonces @ 4:46 pm

CashMax officially opened its doors on Roncesvalles today. If you would like to contribute to the Roncesvalles community CashMax protest by joining the information picket or if you want to receive information via the official mailing list please send along an email to “CashMax protest”. All help is welcome; come and add your voice to shaping the future of Roncesvalles Avenue.

March 28, 2010

“Say No To CashMax”

Filed under: CashMax Protest — NorthRonces @ 10:18 pm

The following quote reproduces the text of the flyer being handed out at the CashMax Protest:

405 Roncesvalles Ave (R.I.P. Mad Gypsy)

Let’s say no to the entry of CashMax, an American multinational payday loan company, into our Roncesvalles neighbourhood.

In 2008 the Ontario government recognized the predatory nature of the payday loan industry by introducing legislation that somewhat limited payday loan interest rates and required payday loan companies to clearly state the real costs of their services. At the time, MPP for Parkdale-High Park, Cheri DiNovo, stated “payday loan operations in Ontario are unlicensed and unregulated loan sharks that charge criminal interest rates,” and that it was necessary to, “stop predatory lending practices that are detrimental for communities, because they attract some of the most vulnerable individuals to enter into a vicious cycle of debt.”

Payday loans are a tragic occurrence; they profit off of the credit shortcomings of individual consumers and lower income families. While legal, they are an unfortunate symptom of our debt-encouraging society. Payday loans do nothing to improve society; they are, in fact, a detriment to society.

Roncesvalles is currently experiencing the hardship of a prolonged municipal construction project that has negatively affected businesses on the street and our own everyday enjoyment of our once beautiful and thriving community. The arrival of CashMax serves as just another blow to the image of the Roncesvalles community.

Texas-based CashMax does not fit in to our community. We have proven in past that we can come to together and raise our voices for positive, neighbourhood-enhancing change. The saving of the Revue Cinema is one clear example of our common strength. Once again it is time to act and the moment is now to voice your opinion about how we envision our Roncesvalles community today and in the future.

March 27, 2010

North Ronces and the CashMax protest

Filed under: CashMax Protest — NorthRonces @ 12:21 pm

North Roncesvalles is experiencing a renaissance. Over the past few years exciting new retail shops, bars and restaurants have opened up. The street is now a vibrant community marketplace that mixes the old and new. It is our belief that this mixed environment produces the most livable and interesting neighbourhoods.

This quote has been the introductory paragraph for since its inception in the summer of 2005. At the moment, however, its optimistic tone rings a bit hollow. This is, of course, because of the road construction that has been ongoing since the summer of 2009. Although this work is supposed to eventually lead to an improved and “beautified” Roncesvalles, while stuck here in the midst of the seemingly endless noise and dust it is hard to look that far ahead with a smile in our heart.

We all know that numerous businesses have ceased operations over the course of the construction. Old favourites such as Mad Gypsy, Boho-LiverBird, and The Silver Spoon, amongst others, have disappeared from our street and our everyday lives. Some of these closures have not been directly related to the disruption, but that it has been a supporting cause there can be little doubt. We cannot let pessimism and short-sightedness get the best of us, however. After all, a few of these businesses have already been replaced by interesting and community enhancing concerns.

It is’s argument that we must continue to fight for the good of Roncesvalles as the place where we live, shop and hang out. It is for this reason that we have decided to revive The NorthRonces Blog to play a role in observing and communicating the grassroots protest emerging against the opening of the payroll loan business, CashMax, located at 405 Roncesvalles Avenue on the eastside of the block between Howard Park Avenue and Marmaduke.

CashMax is an American-based payroll loan company, owned by EZCorp, opening up across Ontario hoping to take advantage of those underpaid and badly credited individuals and families in our communities. EZCorp also owns EZPawn and EZMoney in the US. Speaking to people on the street, the general consensus is that CashMax is not the type of business that benefits the Roncesvalles neighbourhood overall, and this is especially true at a time when Roncesvalles’s image is already suffering. The appearance of CashMax hurts even more knowing that Mad Gypsy recently closed its doors at the same location.

So stay tuned to The NorthRonces Blog for information and updates about the CashMax protest.

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