How did last week’s #DreamPopup survey go? In a word: Awesome! As in, the response to our survey, open from Jan. 23-27, 2014, asking what would be your dream pop-up shop, was totally awesome. A whopping 91 of you took the time to fill in the survey and 44 people battled it out online on Twitter and facebook, creating a truly inspiring conversation about what our ‘hood is lacking (or sometimes appreciating what we already have and introducing your faves to others).
Without further delay, here are the survey results. Drumroll, please…
Question 1: “What kinds of new businesses do you want on Danforth East?” (Note: Results for this question add up to over 100% as respondents suggested multiple businesses.)
# 1. More Restaurants and Pubs – when combined they were the top request (cited by 38% of respondents) with many people specifically citing things like: good quality places, family-friendly, healthy food options
# 2. Bookstore – new or used (cited by 27% of respondents)
#3. Fishmonger (cited by 24% of respondents)
Tie for 4 and 5.
#4. More Coffee shops (cited by 20% of respondents) with some requesting Starbucks
#5. LCBO or Wine shop (cited by 20% of respondents)
Two other top requests were Cheese shop (14%) and Clothing (13%) – boutique, children’s.
The answers we saw on our social media sites were pretty similar, with restaurants/bars/cafes taking the top spot. A bookstore was the next most popular, then a cheese shop (a combined brewery + cheese shop was a particularly popular Tweet, though not the most unusual combo. That honour goes to the suggestion for the lingerie + hardware store. Perhaps we can petition the Home Hardware to start a new side business…).
Other suggestions on Twitter and facebook included clothing (kids’, outdoors), a community hub space (similar to the Centre for Social Innovation;
a sewing store; specialized grocers (Korean, Japanese, Mexican); a housewares shop; a “funky” design store; a place to buy really good quality posters you’d want to frame; an art gallery; a water sports store; a food co-op; a music store; a vintage toy shop; a theatre company; large grocery stores like The Big Carrot or Whole Foods and a tea shop. (Yes, please, to all of these!)
Question 2: “Why? How would to convince them to come?”
Answers most commonly talked about changing demographics in the hood, working families, and wanting to walk to shop for all their needs. Some sample replies:
-My own personal goal is to be able to do the majority of my shopping in the neighbourhood. I would much rather support the local economy than big name stores and I would prefer to walk and experience my neighbourhood first hand. I want an opportunity to commit to local businesses – which means they need to take a leap of faith and commit to this community.
-The neighbourhood is changing and supporting more and more quality, specialized businesses.
-We generally have to leave the neighbourhood to go to these places.
-These are the things I most often go outside of our community in order to access. If I could simply walk down the street and purchase these things that are staples in my life, I would be their customer for the duration!
-that young parents looking to stay healthy have moved to the neighbourhood, can no longer get downtown
-the neighborhood is changing. Houses are selling as soon as they go on the market. Lots of young people and young families. It is one of the last neighborhoods right on the subway line that has not “come up” yet!
-All of these things are lacking within walking distance of our neighbourhood. I would way rather walk to do my errands than drive, and I believe that others I’m the neighbourhood share that sentiment.
Question 3: “How often do you shop on Danforth East?”
In total, over 60% (or nearly two thirds) shop 3 or more times per week on Danforth East! (Although those of you who read this blog are arguably more likely to shop locally, we’ll choose to look see this as a good news story.)
Here are the results:
5 times a week or more: 23%
3-4 times a week: 39%
1-2 times a week: 33%
Once in a while: 5%
Not at all: ZERO
So what’s next? Obviously, we won’t be bringing you a pop-up fishmonger anytime soon (Can you imagine the cost of setting up the refrigeration & display units?), but now we’ve got more tools in our belt to take existing businesses, say, Hooked
, to petition them to open stores within our stretch of the Danforth. If you want to help try to make these changes a reality, come join our weekly Pop-up Shops lunch meet up or send us an email at Renew(at)DanforthEastCommunityAssociation.com to volunteer.