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391 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - The State of… Lower ... · 0 replies · +1 points

How about an article focusing on the physical state (upkeep) of our downtown?

I moved where I park my car downtown recently, and when I get off work, usually between 6am and 8am, I park it up by John's Deli and walk down to my apartment by Princess and Montreal. It's a pretty sad walk some mornings. Garbage cans still laying on their side from the previous night, excessive litter and garbage scattered everywhere (not just the hub), and what's up with all of the unattended weeds just being allowed to grow and grow? There is a TREE growing out from a lamp post at the Division and Princess intersection.

Kingston is failing to get the basics right. Have someone contracted to remove weeds once a fortnight. Have volunteers or hire some people on minimum wage to wander downtown every morning picking up litter. OR start fining the hell out of people that DO litter, like NYC did. If downtown looks dirty, it isn't helping the situation at all. We need to restore a sense of pride to our downtown, and stop looking the other way!

Are all of the high taxes people are paying on their businesses down here only to finance vanity projects now?

394 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - Farm Girl Mobile Food Co. · 2 replies · +6 points


At the risk of being a quite blunt - would it not be better to simply support the expensive-lease-based locations of Tango Neuvo and The Iron Duke? Why should they invest in a food truck as a vessel to serve those unwilling to travel the very short distance required to eat their food?

I have little time for food trucks. Our downtown is struggling as it stands, yet we have many great restaurants, and they are located in brick and mortar locations with leases, taxes, etc. They are here to stay, they are a PART of our downtown. If I want to eat out, I will support the people that have made a standing investment in our downtown, and not a food truck that can move where it pleases.

431 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - Weekly Poll: Most Anti... · 2 replies · +5 points

A pretty unreasonable assessment.

Empire gave the downtown location a chance. Since taking it over in late 2005 they have invested more into the location than Famous Players did in the previous 10 years. They refitted the largest screen with modern seating, redid the front and rear marqees and put in new doors. They added digital projectors, tried special events, and even introduced an very competitive student special. And what did they gain for all these efforts? A drop in business.

Realistically, the only way for Empire to make money and compete with Cineplex Odeon in Kingston was to do what they have done. Build a new, modern, and fully up-to-date location.

You say they could have redeveloped the downtown location or built in another vacant downtown location. I would ask you this in return: Why should they? They are operating a business to make money. The downtown hasn't taken care of them, so they have had to move on. Why should they invest a (potentially) much larger sum of money to build/rebuild a theater downtown, when instead they could do it for less where they did and probably lose no meaningful amount of business in the process? Empire aren't on the hook to contribute to Kingston's downtown area development.

And as far as not allowing another theater to move into the downtown location, I struggle to really find issue with this because who in their right mind would spend however many million dollars it would cost to purchase that property and open a theater there again? If Empire couldn't make it work, I doubt anyone else can.

Sorry, the fault here lies with Kingston's movie goers, not the evil corporation.

In any case, this does open up a great opportunity for the owners of the Screening Room to step up and fill the void, or perhaps someone else to open a second small and independent cinema in our downtown.

431 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - Weekly Poll: Heritage ... · 0 replies · +1 points

I could be mistaken, but I am reasonably certain that Jack Astor's is not a franchise. They are all corporately owned.

432 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - Weekly Poll: Heritage ... · 0 replies · 0 points

I really liked what happened with the old Modern Furniture building when Trailhead renovated and moved in. They took an old building that was looking a little worn and run down, and really revitalised it. In many cases with the buildings in our downtown, a little work can go a long way. Next door to Trailhead, the old Runners Choice building, which now houses Spin Dessert Bar, is another good example.

The old S&R building improved significantly on the exterior, but even more so when you go inside. The work done to the lobby area was tremendous.

I like that Jack Astor's took a modern eyesore and made the effort to blend it in with the other buildings in the area, it might not be as fine a building to look at as the old Whig building, but expectations should be kept realistic. The same goes for what happened to the old RBC building when Urban Outfitters moved in, they gave a modern building a little old world twist with some brick work, and it no longer looks as much an eyesore.

466 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - Farm Boy to Bring thei... · 0 replies · +1 points

Shopping at Farm Boy is one of the few good memories I have from a year of living in Cornwall. Quite happy to see one opening in Kingston!

471 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - #ygkChallenge: The Emp... · 0 replies · +1 points


The challenge is in convincing Empire that the downtown location would remain viable and relevant after the new location is opened. From an outsider's (non-downtown Kingstoner) point of view, it wouldn't make business sense to maintain both locations, as surely everyone would be happy to have a brand spanking new cinema and gladly go there instead.

But as we all know, many of those living downtown:
- are students.
- do not own vehicles.
- own vehicles but rarely venture outside of downtown except for work.
- choose to support the downtown they live in whenever possible.
- would be unwilling to sit on a bus for a half hour or more to go see a movie, especially since I believe (and could be mistaken on this) that the bus service out to Division ends quite early.
- would be unwilling to spend or split a $15 cab ride each way to and from the cinema to see a movie.
- want to be able to enjoy a convenient dinner and movie night, probably one of the most used date night options available. All of the best restaurants in this city are located downtown, and as someone that worked at the cinema in question for no less than 7 years, trust me when I say they do a lot of business with this crowd.

That's a lot of lost business, the majority of which would probably not choose to use the new location. The new location wouldn't actually be taking business away from the downtown location either, since everyone that currently wants to go to a newer/bigger/modern cinema already goes to the Cineplex - basically they would be taking Cineplex's customers with the new location.

Downtown is actually growing in population currently as well, with many apartments and condominiums under construction or planned. Why offer us a 50/50 choice between the Cineplex or Empire at King's Crossing, then they can tip the scales in their favour and all but ensure our patronage by keeping the Capitol 7 open!

As an aside - I always thought that with a little investment and reno, the downtown location could be returned to a classic style cinema, and really be something unique and wonderful that would draw crowds and tourism. But I would gladly settle for the location simply remaining in existence, as I do still love it in it's current form.

473 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - Odeon Theatre, 1948 · 0 replies · +1 points

Actually, I was wrong, please ignore my previous post. I was lead to believe that Stages was the old Odeon by others in the past, but hopping onto the Queens archives and having a rake around at photos of Princess street clearly shows that Stages was the Biltmore and the Odeon was where the Grizz/AJ's are located.

Peggy and memememe are 100% correct.

So much for "without any shred of a doubt"... Oh well!

474 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - Odeon Theatre, 1948 · 1 reply · +2 points

Without any shred of a doubt, Stages.

482 weeks ago @ Kingstonist.com - King's Crossing: Phase... · 5 replies · +2 points

No harm in starting a petition for Empire to maintain operations at the downtown location. If enough people show they care, then who knows? They do OWN the building, so it's not like overheads are very high in keeping the place running. I am not sure how many students will be willing to cab it out to Kings Crossing on a regular basis to catch a movie, and they will also lose all the walk by traffic generated from being in a downtown location. Worth a shot I say.

A St. Hubert sounds nice. I lived up in Cornwall for a year, oh what a fun year that was (sarcasm), and St. Hubert was one of the few good memories to come from that place. Much preferable to Swiss Chalet - although it looks like work is still going forward with "Moms" downtown, as they have recently changed the front windows to the opening garage style. Could 2012 be the year of the rotisserie chicken?

The last thing any city needs is another Wal-mart, but I fear it will probably happen. Wasn't Wal-mart trying to build a store across from the Kingston Center a few years back? Pretty sure the city blocked it or something at the time.