Toronto neighbourhood hopes pop-up shop helps revitalization

Residents hope the pop-up shop will encourage retailers to move into vacant stores.

It's just one temporary store but a Toronto neighbourhood hopes that one temporary store will be the start of something big.

People who live along the eastern end of Danforth Avenue want to transform their area from one dotted with vacant storefronts into a vibrant community.

One thing they're trying is a pop-up store.

It's an idea that stared in Australia but has been catching on in North America.

The small business owner gets the space rent-free - and people from the area pitch in to clean up the space.

In this case it appears to be win-win for the property owner and the retailer.

"When you're leasing a commercial space it usually takes two to three months anyway, so it wasn't a great sacrifice on our part," said owner Gay Stephenson. He likes the concept and says it was an easy financial decision.

For clothes seller Osvaldo Sales it's a chance to test the market.

"It gives someone like me the opportunity to try it out before committing to a lease," he said.

Each weekend there will be a different store.

The hope is that the concept will generate interest, and businesses will want to move in long-term to the fixed-up space.

Jules Porter, one of the community members involved, hopes this is just the first step in a redevelopment of the neighbourhood.

"This is the strip I'd like to walk my kids up and down everyday - and have them feel safe, and have them have lots of places to go," she said.

The pop-up store is on Danforth Avenue, just west of Woodbine. It will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.