Friday, November 05, 2010

Exciting Announcement: New Book about the Junction Renaissance Is Coming

How the Junction Got Resurrected
Revitalization Period 1998-2004 & Beyond
By Henry Calderon

The Story to Be Told...

It was in the fall of 1998 when it all began to unfold. The story of 3 women who after spending an afternoon at Wasaga Beach a year earlier put in paper how this could happen and who will do it! “Resurrect the Junction”"Revitalize the Junction”...“Take the Junction from despair and lost of Hope”, it was their real challenges.

Santa Cuda, the owner of the Flamingo Hall, Piera Pugliese, the owner of Vesuvio’s Pizzeria and Maureen Lynette, the owner of Lynette Funeral Homes. A wedding planner, a pizza maker and a funeral arranger. To me it was an interesting combination. First, you get marry then, you celebrate and then, you die. Three interesting services you will find in the Junction today.

To unfold the resurrection of the Junction, a district in the West End of the City of Toronto, which for almost 100 years was a dry area where no alcoholic beverages could be bought and no restaurants could serve the fine wines of the world. It was a challenge from all perspectives.

The referendum about whether you could go from dry to wet was won by one vote in 1997 during the municipal election but it could not come into effect after a year later to ensure that the consumers and restaurants were ready to accept their responsibilities. It was at this moment in time when I was hired for a 12 month contract after an arduous search and interviews with many well respected candidates as a top consultant in the business of Main Streets Revitalization in the country. A one year contract that grew to six years so, I could experience, talk and write in later years how the Junction got resurrected.

The Players

Key members of the following organizations: David Hastings, chair of the West Toronto Junction Team, Hilary Bell, chair of the Dundas West Residents Association, Piera Pugliesse, chair of the Junction Gardens BIA, Santa Cuda, chair of the Malta Village Business Association, Diana Fancher, member of the West Toronto Junction Historical Society. From the Public Sector: Councillor David Miller and Councillor Chris Korwin Kuczynski, MPP Gerard Kennedy and MP Sarmite Bulte. We must to say that the Junction had a political force that most districts would want to have when destined to deliver their vision.

The Book

Now, I am writing a book with a working title “How the Junction Got Resurrected” where the critical milestones of the revival of the Junction and the whole story of the rebirth of the Main Street will be published.

Henry Calderon
Public Affairs and Urban Revitalization Consultant

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2010 © Henry Calderon


Anonymous said...

oh god. hc - what a strange and lurking self-promoter he was and apparently still is. nobody is exactly what it is he does other than look busy and be a sort of shadowy civic booster. figures we havent seen him for years but he's back to promote himself. please make it stop

olga said...

Interesting series of articles investigating the opportunities and challenges facing the West Toronto Junction's rejuvenation called The Junction Revival in The Villager.

In the first issue Lisa Rainford recalling the political trigger that began to turn around the Junction's economic fortunes - ending the ban on the sale of alcohol in the Junction. "Wet" vote starts to turn wheels of change.

In an online version the title is:
AT ISSUE: The Junction capitalizes on the power of alcohol
"When Maureen Lynett came across the travel piece 'Skid Row to Hip in Toronto' (New York Times, July 5, 2009) about her beloved neighbourhood, her eyes welled up with tears of pride and happiness. Santa Cuda (left) owner of Flamingo Banquet Hall and... Full Article at Inside Toronto

Do not underestimating the power of alcohol I am looking forward to read more about the Junction's "transformation from a derelict industrial crossroad to a chique, economically-sustainable and sought-after place to live, work and play."