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Worries Mount About Dental Offices Replacing Retailers on Toronto Streets

September 10, 2018
by Sarah Efron, The Globe and Mail


Keen observers have noticed an unexpected trend in the ultra-hip West Queen West area of Toronto – a proliferation of dentists’ offices.

“Right across from the Drake Hotel there’s a dentist’s office and half block south another one just opened,” says Antonio Carvallo, a realtor with Re/Max Hallmark Bibby Group. He says there are two other dentist offices moving in on nearby Sudbury Street, just off the main retail strip. “It just doesn’t look good. It takes away from the whole culture of the neighbourhood.”

According to John Kiru, executive director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Mr. Carvallo’s observation is part of a bigger trend. In recent years, Mr. Kiru has noticed service businesses are replacing small retailers on main streets across the Greater Toronto Area. While there has always been some service businesses and professional offices at ground level in retail strips, Mr. Kiru says the trend is accelerating as independent retailers face pressure from rising property tax assessments and online retailers such as Amazon.

“The doctors and dentists who traditionally occupied second storeys, and some of the other professionals, such as accountants and lawyers, are seizing on the opportunity to move to the main floor,” he says.

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