Downtown South is NOT a Ghetto

JJ's Restaurant
Downtown South Core
Downtown South Core could be described as an unpolished diamond. However merchants are working hard to fix that.

THUNDER BAY – A ghetto? Hell no! The downtown south core of Thunder Bay is a beautiful place with engaged and enthusiastic business owners stepping up to make the area more attractive for visitors and customers. There are ongoing efforts that local business owners are doing in the downtown south core to achieve those goals.

One of the issues is one of a lack of understanding of the problems. On the streets of the downtown south core, business owners are out cleaning up, and making sure that the area is as safe as possible.

Thunder Bay Police have set in place new programs where stepped up Zone Policing will happen. During the day there are uniformed officers on the streets walking a beat. The downtown south core is not a ‘ghetto’ it is a place of business, a place of commerce, and a place of administration.

Those who would assert it is a ghetto likely have not been from behind their desks enough, or outside of their vehicles enough to actually explore the area. Driving through an area is far different than walking an area. The downtown south core offers a growing number of new businesses, and a growing spirit of youthful enthusiasm.

The new Youth Centre in the historic Chapple Building has brought youth into the core, and it is providing youth with a solid place to enjoy being a teen. Just west of Youth TBay is the New Hope Youth Centre, offering yet more youthful enthusiasm.

New businesses are opening in the downtown south core too. This week, Daytonas opened in the Victoriaville Food Court. A new cleaning service has just opened on May Street. Unveiled Bridal Boutique offers fashion at a New York/Montreal level of style and class. 

New York Sub on Brodie Street offers a real step up well worth trying if you are used to the usual in your sandwich choices. Inside the Victoriaville Centre, Croc and Dial and Fox on the Run can get your taste buds dancing too. Ever had Perogie Soup? Its a must try at Croc and Dial.

Venture out from Victoriaville, and there are some really great places in the downtown core that you simply must try. JJ’s in Centennial Square offers fantastic value and really tasty food. Check out their Special Won Ton Soup. If you like the traditional ‘chicken balls’ over at JJ’s they are dubbed Tterodactyl balls – they are huge!

JJ's Restaurant
‘Chicken Balls’ and fried rice at JJ’s in Centennial Square – Uber tasty!

Crystal Clear
Crystal Clear Cleaning has just opened in the downtown south core

There is new enthusiasm as local merchants are talking, working together and moving forward with a zest and zeal not seen until recently. On Facebook the May & Victoria Merchants have banded together with a new Facebook page.

For some in Thunder Bay, the heart of their community might be found in big box stores, and in national chains. For many if you look back at our past, and then into our future, chances are it is the small locally owned and operated shops in our community that provide the service and memories.

Nothing against the Intercity Mall, there is a lot of amazing activity there too, and a very large spirit of energy too. All across our city there are gems.

In the Bay and Algoma District there is a panache and style far past where it was a few short years ago. There the impetus for positive change came when local businesses stepped up. In the May & Victoria District there is some of that same spirit and feel starting now.

From a business perspective, having your business in a place where there are lots of people is a component for success. Building a thriving and exciting downtown south core already has some of those components in place and with the new court house, there will be even more opportunities for new business.

The opportunities for our ever Emerging Thunder Bay are boundless. All it is taking is enthusiasm, time and talent. Our south core is an unpolished diamond. Once we are focus positive energy and effort on the area, its future is far more than we likely dare dream.

James Murray 

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