The Pop-Up Shop Project

The storefront at 1765 Danforth Ave. had been empty for over six months when the owners agreed to participate in the Pop-up Shop Project. Volunteers cleaned, painted, advertised & then selected this business. In This Closet is now a thriving business!

Revitalizing main streets with Pop-up Shopsmaggie in shop
Pop-up shops are temporary stores that “pop into” empty storefronts, and have been proven to increase foot traffic. Download our free Toolkit and “how to” fact sheets .

We fill vacant stores with vibrant businesses using an  alternative tenancy model. The commercial vacancy rate on Danforth East has decreased from 17% to 6%.

  • 32 pop-up shops since Oct 2012, 15 vacant storefronts leased
  • 6 small enterprises incubated by this project: The Handwork Dept, Merrily Merrily,  In This Closet,  Fareal Custom Tshirts;  LEN: Democratic purveyors of beautiful things, and Looking Glass Adventures.
  • 1 pop-up shop applicant skipped becoming a pop-up completely and secured a permanent lease
  • The commercial vacancy rate on Danforth east is now a healthy 6%, down from 17% in spring 2012
  • 100% of the new pop-up shop businesses say that the experience helped them increase their confidence, and business acumen – teaching them invaluable lessons about the realities of running a business.
  • Over 100 volunteers from the community contribute their time, energy and expertise to this project.Benefits to landlords

“DECA’s Pop-up Shop program found us a quality tenant after our building was empty for a few months. They made it easy and took care of all the details like the liability insurance and the contact with the tenants. They even spruced up the inside space with a coat of paint at no cost. This project is a win, win. If the tenant stays on it’s a bonus and if not, most of your costs are covered, someone is occupying the empty space, making it beautiful and bringing in foot traffic. I would recommend the program to any landlord.” – Klaas Hart, owner 1765 Danforth Avenue

“I believe the pop-up shop helped lease my store. The redecoration and the fact that the windows were properly filled made it much easier to finalize the lease… I think that as long as the community association can keep the pop-ups going we will be greatly improving the community.” – Nita Kang, sales representative, Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty

Read about our work in the news
Despite real estate bidding wars and the arrival of the stroller set, the stretch of Danforth between Greenwood and Main remained rough around the edges. So a savvy group of locals took the’hood’s revitalization into its own hands through the power of pop-ups and social media…

“Pop-up stores revitalize tired streets” REM
In the east end of Toronto’s Danforth Avenue, a local community group adopted the pop-up store process to deal with what was becoming an alarming state of emptiness…

Read all our media here.

Acknowledgments & Partnerships
We would like to thank and acknowledge Renew Newcastle and Renew New Tecumseth whose revitalization programs have both influenced and inspired the design of this project.

DECA works in partnership with WoodGreen Community Services to engage residents, commercial landowners, and businesses to build a vibrant commercial strip. The project is supported by a grant from the Metcalf Foundation.

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