Commercial Drive

November 20, 2011
Presenter/ Charles Demers

Money Tree

Essay by Brian McBay

A lot of streets that are too wide end up engaging with its pedestrian traffic only along its length - relying on the crosswalk as a bridge to the other side. However, Commercial Drive is narrow enough to easily cross the street, creating meaningful friction that might be key to its success. Successful, as a means of generating profits - but also having ‘community’ forces that mark out aesthetics and practices. This is what people might mean when they speak about Commercial Drive as a space for ‘alternative’ economies. Where, perhaps capital comes after community? Or at least a conception that Commercial drive is a unique space for community-based businesses, rather than on paper, behind closed doors by a group of enterprising branders. In this way, there is a nervousness around the loss the commercial drive from the networks of left leaning people. How long can it hold out before its taken over by new slick branded shops scrub the streets and pave the way for something more typical?

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