Cambie merchants hope for better fortunes – From CKNW News Radio


As predicted, those thousands of  RAV/Canada Line passengers are not getting off the train to shop at Cambie Street stores. The sad fact is, the inference from RAVCo. and later InTransit BC, was that the Canada Line would bring thousands of shoppers to Cambie St., it hasn’t and only those merchants lucky enough to be located near a station have seen increased foot traffic.

Subways, unlike street operating light rail or trams, do not increase surface merchant’s business and was not very honest of the RAV/Canada Line folks to infer that the RAV/Canada Line subway would. What is seen now, is the attempt to try to overturn Susan Heye’s successful lawsuit and settlement against TransLink, by trying to water down the effects of the RAV/Canada Line on local business, with ‘puff‘ news reports on the effects of the new metro. TransLink is desperate to stop the flood of potential lawsuits if Ms. Heyes lawsuit survives appeal.

Cambie merchants hope for better fortunes

Dan Burritt

Cambie Street merchants are hoping for a good holiday season, four months after the Canada Line opened and construction on the street wrapped up.

Christine Schattenkirk opened up her clothing store, My Best Friend’s Closet, in the building once occupied by Susan Heyes’ store, Hazel and Company, on Cambie and 16th.

“It’s actually picking up for us. We get a lot of walk-in traffic, especially on the good days, sunny days. I’m absolutely thrilled with the way things are going. There are people by all the time.”

But Melinda Michalak at Black Dog Video on Cambie near 17th says the Canada Line hasn’t brought many new customers to the village.

“There doesn’t seem to be, like, a real reason to, sort of, shop in this area from out of the local vicinity.”

Michalak says it’s also tough to attract Canada Line riders when there is no stop between Broadway and King Edward Ave.

Leonard Schein with the Cambie Village Business Association agrees that stores closer to Canada Line stops have seen a lot more business than stores in between.


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2 Responses to “Cambie merchants hope for better fortunes – From CKNW News Radio”

  1. mezzanine Says:

    ^^ Ms. Schattenkirk seems quite happy. And Ms. Michalak has a significant point, also made by Ron C. at Stephen Rees’ blog:

    “maybe the level of business that Cambie is trying to attain is too lofty a goal for a neighbourhood shopping district that isn’t supported by the car or with a station for mass transit. Maybe Cambie Village (or Marpole) should be looking to Main Street or Kingsway (i.e. Collingwood, away from Joyce Station) for the type of neighbourhood shopping it can achieve.”

    Zweisystem replies: The Cambie St. merchants were told that business would increase tremendously, when the RAV/Canada Line opened, which was pure “bolloks”. InTransit BC, over and over again seduced the mainstream media that RAV will bring lots of new customers. It hasn’t and probably will not as subways are very poor in providing surface merchants with customers. This was a pure puff piece to counter a lot of merchant unhappiness with lack of business.

  2. George S Says:

    I’m not necessarily a big fan of subways, nor do I know the local context, but this line only opened four months ago. It seems to me that it is a little naive to expect shopping patterns to change in such a short time. A friend of mine who works in the field likes to remind me that it took fifty years of concerted effort to make our cities dependant on the automobile. Why is it that when we provide public transit alternatives we are so shocked when they are not embraced the instant they open?

    Zweisystem replies: The RAV/Canada line subway is a very long saga indeed. RAVCo. and later InTransit BC, claimed that business would soar once the subway opened. It hasn’t and private conversations with two merchants today, leaves me with the impression that business is slower after Cambie St. was disrupted for four years. The Canada line subway is poorly planned and executed and instead of attracting the all important motorist from the car, the metro is attracting older Asian folk to shop in Richmond and older Gamblers to River rock Casino. To spend almost $3 billion to achieve shows why Translink is on the verge of a financial crisis.

    Why the “puff stories” appeared on the radio and the Vancouver sun, seems to an attempt to camouflage real problems with the metro as per BC Transit and TransLink practice.

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