By Jared Davidson –
There is quite a bit of change going on along the Wellington/Richmond Road corridor. We’ve had some businesses leave, to be replaced by a fresh crop of newcomers. The neighbourhood may be changing, but these new businesses seem to fit right in with the crowd, offering new experiences, products, and more things to do in Kitchissippi.
It took awhile, but one of the biggest additions of note is the arrival of the new Second Cup/Pinkberry on Wellington Street West at Holland Avenue. The location is in competition with the nearby Bridgehead and Thyme and Again for the area’s coffee market but will no doubt see a good share of foot traffic in the location once inhabited by iconic World of Maps.
Just down the street is a new law office, one with deep history in the neighbourhood. Formerly Nectar Fine Teas, the location at 1250 Wellington St. W. is returning to its roots, in a way. DioGuardi Law, co-run by Paul and Brigitte DioGuardi, follows in a long line of DioGuardis. The spot was once occupied by another Dioguardi, Paul’s father, under the name “Phillipe’s Smoke Shop” back in the 1950s.
“It was just a small location, but my father put me through law school and he put my sister through medical school,” says Paul. The law office promises a friendly, drop-on-by atmosphere and a specialty in wills, offering a new selection of services to the community.
Meanwhile, Hair Fellas is opening a new school for barbers. Located a bit further west on Wellington, the school offers low-cost barber programs that promise to bring an apprenticeship atmosphere to barber education. For the new generation of barbers, this will no doubt be a wonderful resource.
Further into Hintonburg, a French bakery has risen. Les Moulins La Fayette is in the Eddy building at Irving and Wellington West across from Tooth and Nail. Its location makes it an excellent spot for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Near the Parkdale Market, there is a whole lot of change going on. Not only was Holland’s Cake location taken over by Morning Owl, but Crazy Carl’s at 233 Armstrong St. is now The Nostalgia Warehouse. It’s a perfect opportunity to grab a coffee and browse vintage decor and collectibles.
Moving west, Arc of Life Chiropractic opened at 1318 Wellington St W. near Clarendon Avenue. They offer massage therapy as well as chiropractic care.
Luxury consignment shop and showroom, Valamode, opened at 1367 Wellington St. W. If you’re interested in luxury brands and fashion, this is the destination for you.
Trish Barr, the director of Wall Space Gallery, has seen plenty of changeover over her tenure in Wall Space’s Richmond Road location. The gallery has been part of the Westboro arts and culture scene for 10 years and they are celebrating this special milestone with a dance party on August 18 from 9 p.m. on. All proceeds go to Cornerstone Housing for Women, an organization which provides housing for women in Ottawa and is opening a new residence in Westboro this summer.
While Trish is excited to be celebrating 10 years, she is aware of the challenges new businesses face establishing themselves in the competitive Westboro marketplace.
“Starting a small business is hard. Rewarding, but hard,” she says. “There are a lot of new businesses coming in that really seem to get the Westboro vibe.”
The gallery’s official anniversary celebrations happen to coincide with the Westboro Fuse Street Festival. Trish promises that Wall Space’s offering for the festival will be the “most instagrammable location” on the strip. (That sounds like a challenge to the other participating businesses!)
Westboro, Wellington Village, and Hintonburg are always evolving. While some businesses have departed, cool new ventures have been steadily filling their places. What’s next for the neighbourhood? Only time will tell.