West 4th Avenue comings and goings…


Pretty quite in the neighbourhood although walking the streets one can find shops disappearing or moving. Like the Comic Shop many shops are finding more cost effective locations as the retail rent in Kits continues to climb and some redevelopment is creeping in once again.

I was out the other night and besides Reitmans being an empty shell at 4th and Balsam, we now have Combat Athletics that went vacant around October 20th, Not surprisingly there are more businesses leaving the neighbourhood but where it hurts is who they are.

Shockingly we can now add to the above a couple of West 4th cornerstones disappearing from the hill over the next couple of months. Chairlines who after 25 years on 4th (currently at 2031 West 4th) has a notice up they are moving to 60 East 4th.

Next up and sad for me as it’s one of my favourite shops is Hana (currently at 2039 West 4th). This is another cornerstone of 4th who has been on the hill for at least a 1/4 century although with several owners. Current owner Shigeko Nerome says the current location is going to be redeveloped in the new year and rather than wait or move she is going to close the doors.

Another change along West 4th is Canvas Salon moving to the East side of their split space. Their sign has been moved to the East as well. The West side windows have brown paper up so it looks like a new tenant maybe on the way already.

With Christmas on the horizon, the coming business it brings might be a needed boost and comfort level for some of the hill’s businesses who are looking at where their rent is headed in the future.

Last modified: November 2, 2010

11 Responses to " West 4th Avenue comings and goings… "

  1. Jason says:

    Hot Cuisine in Jericho Village has closed as well.
    There is a Papa John’s Pizza going into the newer building at the corner of Alma and 4th. Just what the neighbourhood needed, yet another pizza joint; and a big franchised one to boot. If you like coffee and pizza, then this area is just for you!

  2. Bill Barilko says:

    The ex-Reitman’s space is going to be a new Bank of Montreal due sometime in March ’11.

  3. Neil says:

    The new Chronic Taco had workers inside today. Talk was they were trying for a November opening??? The Broadway one has been well received.

  4. Andrew says:

    Regarding the building that houses Chairlines… another shopkeep told me that the owner of the building intends to re-develop. Hence all of the tenants are vacating sometime within the next 6 months +/- prio to the demo.

  5. Neil says:

    That’s the same as Hana but there are 3 addresses between the 2 shops.

    I wonder if it’s the same landlord? Regardless it looks like 2 addresses are getting redeveloped with it being unknown what is happening at 2037, 2035 and 2033 which are in-between the 2.

    I’m curious how quiet this large development has been kept. It’s going to be a big change and development for the hill. IMO it’s not good for the hill’s character. Going to start looking like W. Broadway between Vine and Yew or further East between Arbutus and

  6. Neil says:

    Building permit sign is up and it says the area of the 4 shops will be –

    mixed residential and retail
    4 floors with ground being used for retail
    16 residential units with 30 parking stalls

    No word on where the chocolate shop or Avalon stationary are going. Are we losing 4 shops now?

  7. Andrew says:

    I was speaking with the Owner of Chocolate Arts about this (it being my favourite chocolate shop). He told me he is looking for a new storefront location where he can have both his retail and his production line in the same location. He figured it would take him about six months to find the right spot.

  8. Karinkits says:

    Kits is simply continuing down the path of the past 7 years-to become yet another oh so boring chain strip. Soon, you will not tell the difference between W. 4th and any other strip. Sad, but perhaps it is time to look to other more interesting areas such as Chinatown and the east end of Gastown. Unfortunate that yet another neighborhood loses any signs of uniqueness and begins to resemble a mall.

  9. Neil says:

    Does anyone know if residents in Kits get a say in what is going on with these mixed buildings along 4th?

  10. Jason says:

    Yet another pizza joint, to go in at the site of the failed C’est Mon cafe, 3335 W. 4th – a take and bake place by the looks of it: rusticopizza dot com. Are any of these pizza and coffee entrepreneurs familiar with the term ‘saturated market’?