Westcliffe plaza

This cheerful rugby player was visiting the Westcliffe strip mall, buying some Indian snacks at the Allspice…

…before catching the 118 to Baseline Station on his way to the Rideau Centre.

The amiable chap below suggested that I get my next haircut at his place. Usually I go to the Bells Corners Barber Shop across from the Vox, but I said I may check him out some day, as his shop was nice and the price was right.

There are a lot of unique businesses in this mall that have survived a long time.

But there are also seven “boarded-up” spots, some of them empty for years, in the Village Mews plaza (not to be confused with the Bell Mews plaza). Mews are “a row or street of houses or apartments that have been converted from stables or built to look like former stables” so both names seem a bit silly.

The empty stores make it all the more difficult for the remaining businesses to stay in the black, as they don’t benefit from the “spillover” purchases from shoppers visiting nearby stores.

But what is to be done? One anonymous store owner suggested that the solution is lower rent to attract more entrepreneurs, lower taxes (especially the dreaded Rick/BIA tax) and cancelling the expensive name change to give Ma & Pa businesses a fighting chance. A real sidewalk along Robertson would draw in more people, and a rack for bikes would be beneficial.

some other businesses in this plaza:

While cycling along the strip I managed to find about 20 different passengers. The guy on the left had his own wheels but his two friends enjoyed their ride from the sidewalk to nowhere to the TD bank.

This friendly woman lives on Tarquin and is a big bike-taxi fan.

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3 Responses to Westcliffe plaza

  1. Anonymous says:

    The Village Mews was once the home of the Fine’s Flowers greenhouses up until the mid ’80s. Bruce Webster, a ward 21 candidate for Ottawa City Council, worked there in his youth even earlier than that.

    Fine’s still had an outdoor garden centre where the animal hospital is now.

    – Maybe it’s no longer “the Village Mews” – the quaint sign visible in the google streetview image has been torn down, so this strip mall appears to be nameless at the moment.

    The nearby community is called Westcliffe. This strip mall is located at the corner of Robertson and Westcliffe Road, so “the Westcliffe plaza” seems an appropriate moniker to me.

    We used to go there often for the cheap fruit and vegetables at the store in the corner near Lapointe’s (I forget the name – Fruit Something?). It’s been empty for a long time – currently a citrus fundraiser is using it to organize deliveries and the doomed Liberal candidate in the last federal election was another recent tenant.

    One of my daughters once worked at Haveli’s and Zola’s. Not all of the current residents are retail or restaurants.

  2. Jayme says:

    It was Fresh Fruit for many years in that corner. Then a deli moved in and did not last long.

    – I regret the demise of Fresh Fruit – healthy food at a good price while it lasted.

  3. jen says:

    Perhaps the mall needs a Beckers or a 7-11 to pull people in?

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