This was the neighbourhood of my first apartment, a $350-per-month studio in the old Greenwood Lodge, in the '80s. It was also the first-apartment area of family members reaching back to the 1950s. This is where my boyfriend brought home deli from Szasz's, cornish pasties from the butcher and cinnamon buns from the bakery next to that.
My last job as newspaper editor was in the former Pitman secretarial school, in the historic Dick Building at Broadway and Granville. I moved into my office when the only trace of the old Aristocratic restaurant on the opposite corner was the refurbished neon sign in the newly built Chapters.
For the next five years I had a front row seat for the neighbourhood transition from the clutter of green grocers and diners to high-end designer clothing and objet shops. During my last months at the newspaper, the strip started to reek of exclusivity and it became quite the challenge to find a place to buy a banana or a pair of socks. Today it is identified as a food desert and the outgoing point of exodus for several art galleries, due to high rents and lack of space.
Despite the bad rap, there are some good upscale galleries that make South Granville a reason to browse, especially this Saturday (June 21, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.) during the 3rd annual Art Walk (map). The 18 galleries and antique dealers that form what the retailer-community association has dubbed Gallery Row is putting out the coffee and cookies, hosting artist talks and demos and generally readying themselves for a spike in walk-in traffic. It's a smart move that is no doubt in reaction to the loss of key galleries Winsor, Monte Clark, and Equinox to 'The Flats.'
If you've ever wanted to see inside those slightly intimidating spaces, this is the day.