A new storefront has opened in a condo in Toronto’s Chinatown neighbourhood, which has been dubbed “the new Chinatown” by its residents.
The store is named after the Chinatown neighbourhood in Toronto where rent is low, according to an online community that’s also called the Chinatown Commons, which is run by the homeless, and has an open kitchen, kitchen sink and storage space.
The community’s owner, who goes by “Renta,” told CBC Toronto that she and her staff have been working with the landlord of the building for two years.
She said they’ve been doing a lot of community outreach and building relationships with people who live there.
The first floor of the condo building, which was previously a condominium, is being converted into a communal kitchen and storage area, according the CBC.
The condo is one of several new condo buildings being converted by the Downtown Toronto Community Housing Association (DTCHA), which has also built a library in the building.
The building was formerly home to the Eastside Market, a market that closed in the 1970s and was demolished in 2009.
The DTCHA has said that many of the residents of the Eastsider Market moved into the condos as they were sold out.
“This space will serve as a communal space, a place where we can all gather and socialize together,” Renta said.
The DTCAH has been working to redevelop the building, and Renta and her team have been helping with the work.
“The first step of the DTCHA [renovation] is to bring this space into a community space,” Rasta said.
“That’s how we’re building this communal space.”
The community also hopes to host events in the space.
The building has a laundry and laundromat, a restaurant and a coffee shop.
It also has a fitness centre, and a library.
The residents of Chinatown Commons say they’re hopeful that the community will come together and help the building become a permanent community centre, Renta added.
“We’ve got a lot more to do in the next two years,” Ratta said.