Old East Village has a busy summer planned. With 122 shows at the London Fringe Festival, five runs at the Western Fair District, and a street festival, the community wanted to make sure they were freshened up for visitors.
“We’re really doing what anyone would be doing in their home. Company’s coming over so we’re doing a clean up.” Old East Village Business Improvement Association Manager Jennifer Pastorius said. Pathways Skills Development were cleaning up graffiti, gardening, and sweeping sidewalks prior to the busy schedule.
It had a reputation for being a rougher part of London, but things are looking up for the community. With businesses like the Root Cellar and the Artisan Bakery, along with entertainment venue like Aeolian Hall and Palace Theater, Old East Village has a unique facilities. “What we’re so pleased to have is businesses that have been in the corridor for a long time, who have led the way of this regeneration, and now are offering an opportunity for young businesses to come in,” said Pastorious.
Leslie Walker of Pathways was unsure if she’s seen much of a change of Old East Village, because it looks the same to her ever since she used to drive past the area frequently. However, she enjoys that there are new businesses emerging “It’s always kind of nice to see that there are fresh ideas, and you do see fresh window displays.”
They also won an award as the People’s Choice for Greatest Places in Canada. Ward 6 Councillor, and Executive Director of Pathways Paul Hubert says people from all over London will visit the Western Fair Farmers Market and the London Potters Guild, along with other Old East Village businesses. He thinks people should drop the stereotypes the village received in the past. “Some of that stuff is actually old news. The new news is this is the new village, and it’s moving forward and that’s what we need to celebrate.”