Businesses Battle Over Ottawa's Gay Village
Plans to turn six blocks of Ottawa’s Bank Street into a gay village have been put on hold after contradicting surveys put a chill on the proposal. Two surveys commissioned by the Bank Street Promenade Business Improvement Area failed to conclusively state whether or not area businesses would be open to branding the street as a gay neighbourhood. The first survey suggested that 75% of business owners in the area opposed the idea, while the second suggested that 73% were in favour.
Other cities, such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal have thriving gay villages which draw tourists and have revitalized what would otherwise be rundown neighbourhoods. However, these areas generally formed organically on their own without surveys and committees drafting up plans for a tourism boost.
Still, I’m not sure I buy all the opponents’ excuses. A spokesperson for the Bank Street Promenade said that some businesses were concerned that branding the neighbourhood would pigeon-hole them, saying “they feel they needed a policy that would not convey any special status or treatment or benefit of one group over another.”
You know, because all the Chinatowns, Latin Quarters, and Little Italy’s worldwide are totally about favouritism, right?
- Gay village bid set back by clashing surveys [The Ottawa Citizen]