Originally Posted by acottawa
While condo retail works well on "main streets" I'm not sure I would agree that retail on side streets adds much to downtown. You don't often get popular businesses that generate pedestrian traffic or serve local residents, but small niche businesses that invest little in the appearance of their stores, are hardly ever open and go bankrupt frequently, leaving an eyesore.
Economically, a city needs those. It needs spaces for businesses (and other organizations) to try. And fail. Or succeed, as the case may be.
If we fail to build (or even allow) such spaces, we are stifling future economic growth and diversity.
Centretown side streets, esp. between Kent and Bank, are littered with numerous small office and retail spaces, many of which have (or have had) stable, long-term existences.