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 NorthRonces.com 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 After all, a few of these businesses have already been replaced by interesting and community enhancing concerns.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 NorthRonces.com’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.