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Despite turnover, Kensington businesses resilient post-recession

Last Updated Oct 9, 2019 at 7:29 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — People in the community of Kensington are noticing quick turnovers for businesses as lease and closed signs pepper windows at shops in the neighbourhood.

On the heels of Starbucks’ announcement that it would be closing several stores in Calgary, a toy store that has been a fixture in Kensington for nearly 30 years said it’s following suit.

“Everybody’s sad about it. There’s nobody that is really enthusiastic about this store going,” said Neil Lalonde of Livingstone & Cavell Extraordinary Toys.

He says the owner is closing up shop because he wants to retire.

The owner of Livingstone and Cavell Toy Store in Kensington is closing the shop to retire. (PHOTO: Crystal Laderas/660 NEWS)

For other businesses shuttering their doors in one of Calgary’s most popular retail districts, ballooning business taxes and the slow crawl out of the recession may be to blame.

While some are mourning the losses, the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone is drawing attention to new businesses coming in.

As Annie MacInnis, executive director of the BRZ, points out, three businesses have opened and six more are coming within the next couple of months.

“It’s often simply just moving to a different location or to a bigger location,” she added.

“I am hearing from landlords that there is interest in several of the vacant properties already, so Kensington remains an attractive place.”

Post-recession, Maclnnis says this area has the city’s most resilient businesses with lots of stores responding to online shopping by offering classes and community events.