There have always been plenty of raccoons in the Roncy neighbourhood who typically commute when they need to via the nearby rail corridor. But recently we had a visit from this special raccoon who arrived by air. He was in the Village on one of his urban reconnaissance missions for a feature in the current issue of re:porter, the inflight magazine of Porter Airlines.
We're very pleased not only that the lead for the article is a big picture of our shelves (with a cameo from Shannon) and a separate column on The Mercantile (complete with a shout out to our dear friend Laura Slack) but also that so many of our wonderful neighbours and customers were included in the feature as well - from Butcher Bar to Hopgoods to Muttonhead to the Likely General and Miranda Bryden to Dylan Thomas Childs.
A few weeks ago, I took a walk from the top of Roncy to the bottom. Except for the banks, in that whole strip there were only five chain stores (Subway, Home Hardware - which totally feels local - Sobey's, Guardian and Tim Horton's) and a handful of places that have more than one location in the city (Butler's Panty, Fresh Collective, De La Mer, Ed's, Wisey's, etc.). When you think about it, that's a pretty remarkable feat given what has happened to strips like College St. and Queen West. That density of local, independent businesses is a testament to the people of the neighbourhood who clearly value the same kind of independent outlook that we do and we really appreciate it.
So clearly we all think of our neighbourhood as a real gem - hopefully this feature in re:porter will encourage visitors from Montreal and New York and Halifax and Chicago and Pittsburgh and Boston and St. John's to pay us a visit and see all the great things we have to offer as well.
If you're not flying Porter in the next little while, you can read the feature online here.