Come one, come all. A red light district has emerged in downtown London. So much for restoring the downtown core, as a new style of entertainment has hit the city.
On Tuesday, an adult video store, Adult Video X, opened up on Dundas St. just east of Richmond St.. A legitimate establishment? Yes. Something London's already ailing downtown needs? Most definitely not.
Situated about a half a block away from another adult entertainment establishment, Solid Gold, Adult Video X is fully equipped with private and communal rooms for viewing pornographic videos. It also sells magazines, videos and novelty items all the same variety of material. Oh and don't forget the tissues which are supplied for the needy customer.
This is a tremendous blow to the attempts London has made to re-vitalize the downtown core and actually draw London's entertainment dollar back to where it should be going. Instead, the most recent turn of events could only serve to hinder the situation.
If a parent has a decision to make on whether to go see a movie or take their children shopping downtown or to a mall at the north or south ends of the city, they are going to be even more discouraged from venturing down to Dundas. No parent wants their child to walk past an adult entertainment store on the way to the movies or have their child ask what goes on in Solid Gold on the way to Galleria.
So where does that force their entertainment dollar? To the fringes of the city.
As more "for lease" signs appear in the store fronts of downtown London, people will keep lamenting the loss of a once-prosperous part of the city. Vacancies and low rent is the perfect situation for more of these businesses to show up. Why not throw in a massage parlour and a couple more strip bars? That's what Londoners want, isn't it?
Allowing stores like this to inhabit the streets of downtown is just putting another nail in the coffin maybe the last one. Granted these are legitimate businesses, they are not what the downtown needs. The citizens must now state this loud and clear by avoiding them. Do not give them the business to stay alive and they won't.
If the trend continues, London police may find themselves checking identification from Queen to York streets come night time, keeping minors out of the downtown core.