In Assisi they have the Piazza del commune. It’s the heart of the small town that have birth to St. Francis of Assisi. Even in the cold winter months the people gather there at night and stroll, stop in shops for an espresso with a touch of grappa! It’s part of the beauty of life in Europe… the town square, piazza, place centrale. Now Don Mills has such a place.
That’s why I love the Shops at Don Mills. Ok, it’s not real, in the sense that it’s a private property (owned by our retired teachers), but it still works for me. The design of the “shops” is modern and in keeping with the traditional lines and colours of Don Mills. This isn’t your faux Tex-Mex hacienda mall that you can find just around the corner at the Laird big box centre (Home Depot, Bestbuy etc.).
The other day I was there for a cup of tea at Teopia. It’s an amazing tea store with a wild assortment of teas. You can get a large cup of tea, from among their huge selection for $2.75. Then we strolled through the streets, some closed to traffic and stopped in the main square for a concert. There were tons of people around just enjoying the music, the weather and each others’ company. Tonight the “festival” continues with more concerts and they are having fireworks for Victoria Day weekend.
My only disappointments with the “shops” is that more store are not open yet, especially the new McEwan food store. The other thing I don’t like is that Banana Republic does not carry men’s clothes at that location. Shame on the GAP (owners of Banana Republic). I like the store because my family buys me stuff from there for Christmas. What else are you going to get your friar/brother 🙂
I hope that our new lifestyle in Don Mills continues to develop. We have great churches in Don Mills. We have our own foodbank, many seniors facilities, lots of outreach ministries… and now we have the beginning of a heart of the community. Now if only the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario can get together and help the Civitans move the arena out to a better location, we could have a great Community Recreation Centre to complete the new Shops location.
Thanks to Terry West of our parish and to the Don Mills Residents’ Association for their efforts and working with Cadillac Fairview to make this project on a human scale and something we can be proud of for our community.