The first of how many?
And so, it begins. No, we don’t mean the new year. We are instead referring to the beginning of what could be an exodus of businesses from the downtown of Uxbridge, namely the businesses that are most directly affected by the installation of The Culvert.
The Divine Sisters Metaphysical Store announced last weekend on Facebook that it was closing its doors here in Uxbridge. Here is an excerpt from the post: “The decision to relocate our store was a very difficult one for us, as we have come to love the town of Uxbridge and all the amazing friends we have made here, but in light of the very strong challenges our business has been facing in the past year due to the highly disruptive culvert construction project, and the very little support so far received from the township and the local BIA, we have been forced to look for a better option to keep our business running, so that we can continue to provide our services to all of our dear valued customers.”
We knew that Regina and America had indeed been trying to make this difficult decision for a very long time. And we knew that the end of 2019 would likely see them close down here. We didn’t know that they had found a new home in Port Perry. Port Perry. Uxbridge’s arch-rival for as long as the two towns have existed. We are now losing businesses to Port Perry.
Let that sink in.
Speaking of sinking…rumours spread quickly at the beginning of the week that Coffee Time, on the north side of Brock St., had suddenly developed a sinkhole. We discovered that it wasn’t a sinkhole, but a definite heave in the floor, right in front of the food prep area and the cash register. We were even told that it was because the building was “settling.” That building has been there long enough to have “settled” nicely. What it is is unsettling, in every sense of the word. And to top it off, Coffee Time’s owner claims that she has lost so much business since the culvert project began, she is looking for another job “just to make some money.” She already works too hard, in our estimation, she shouldn’t have to take another job.
The kicker of it all – business owners that are affected by the culvert project will have to prove to the township, once all is said and done, that they suffered losses during the construction of the culvert. They will have to hire a lawyer and submit mounds of paperwork, etc., proving that their business suffered. Of course their businesses are suffering – there’s absolutely nowhere to park, sidewalks aren’t being maintained when it snows, so people who have to park far away have to negotiate slippery, snow and ice-covered sidewalks. Still others just drive by because there is nowhere to park. “Oh, the Coffee Time/Circle K lot’s full, I’ll just drive out to Tim’s/Starbucks.” Ug.
As we’ve said before, we’re not engineers, we’re not township staff, we don’t know all that’s going on behind the scenes. But we’re pretty damned sure that it’s a major worry when shops shut down and relocate to Port Perry. It’s a major worry when shop basements that were always dry are suddenly flooded, when coffee shop floors suddenly heave when they’ve always been level.
Brock St. was supposed to be closed starting this week. Now it’s on hold until who knows when. The Cosmos office is perfectly situated to watch as, if this mess isn’t sorted, the Bottom of Brock slowly becomes host to tumbleweed and sinkholes. A grim view, indeed.