Commercial renovations

Commercial renovations are very different from residential renovations. They are often done for different purposes. Sometimes a quick and dirty reno is all that is justified by an elderly building or underused site where something much better is around the corner. Many commercial modernizations do not maintain the historic style of the old building. And too often those that try to open up the façade (the modern need to see inside) while maintaining a look and feel and materials similar to the old,  are derided as “faux historic”.

Some commercial renovations in our west side community go awry: consider the strip on West Wellington, which whilst recladding the old brick and tile structure in corrugated metal, opened up the inside walls and ceilings to the winter cold. Disaster followed, and the project is still not finished up, almost a year later.

Others go well. Here is one, a restaurant, that went from a pair of earlier-“modernized” old brick semis:

to this expensive new “stone” exterior:

The “new” building looks solid and the traditional style (not traditional to this street, but traditional in the sense of not modern) goes well with the business model and the street. It is now one of the solidest and better looking buildings on Preston. The doors are well selected too. Here is the side view:

Meanwhile, over on Somerset Street West, the former home of an antiques store, and subsequently the never-quite-opened Sit! and Stay dog cafe, and now an antiques store again, is undergoing a facelift. The store doors were all replaced by steel doors, with stained/bevelled glass windows. While it may have seemed a good idea to someone, the doors look too residential for a business, and the glass is way too opaque, so that as one approaches to open the door one can no longer see into the shop and at least I found myself turning away rather than going in. What goes on the outside? Time will tell.

2 thoughts on “Commercial renovations

  1. Giovanni’s doors are up a step & very narrow. I was surprised they didn’t open it up more and make it more welcoming to street (and accessible). Restaurants on Preston just don’t like being accessible.

  2. I cycled past there on the weekend. The exterior is now finished, all in white with square trim to make it look a bit more Victorian. I think it’s a great improvement to what was there before. I hadn’t really thought about the doors being opaque. I wonder if people will door each other as a result?

Comments are closed.