Writing for OpenFile, Tim Alamenciak looks at the issue of empty storefronts in the city:
Back on Queen Street East, some storefronts have been empty for years, others mere months. When Philip Traikos became the real estate agent for the whole south side stretch of stores from Woodbine Avenue to Northern Dancer Boulevard in 2008, all of them were empty except for the bank branches of TD and BMO. Since then, Living Lighting (a lighting store) and SupperWorks (a food preparation service) have moved in, among others. As to why so many spaces are still vacant, Traikos says, “that’s the million dollar question”
Read the comment thread as well, where there’s a good discussion of Toronto’s commercial property tax rates, including a series of posts from a very singularly-minded crusader. I didn’t know, for example, that vacant storefronts pay only half the property tax.
The city has continued the previous administration’s program to rebalance commercial tax rates with residential rates, but this is probably something that deserves more attention.