Monday, November 30, 2009
1,633: there goes the dealership (a story in pixelboard)
I guess I should have waited a little longer to post the last installment of my stroll along Broadway Avenue.
Almost two weeks ago, I noticed that the lot of Brennan Pontiac Buick GMC was emptier than usual. Upon closer inspection, office equipment was piled up in the showroom. Sell-off sale announcements were posted on all of the windows.
In short: sixty years of car dealerships at the corner of Bayview and Broadway have drawn to a close.
No idea if this is a temporary or permanent development, though given the fate of other shuttered central car lots, I wouldn't be surprised if developers are chomping at the bit. A decent-sized plot of land close to nature trails, an upper middle-class shopping strip, hospitals and a future Transit City line holds great residential possibilities...
Was Brennan was one of the dealerships that were cut during GM's recent round of downsizing? Their website has been replaced with a default page, while a summertime attempt by a community paper to verify the future of the lot was met with silence.
A week after noticing something was amiss, I took my camera over for a shooting session. One lonely car sat in the shop, while the backlot was nearly barren. Chairs that had been set-up restaurant style in the front window were pushed to the back. Nobody had claimed a piece of exercise equipment. An aging ghetto blaster sat in the window, which I imagine provided soothing music while a deal went down or allowed the night janitor to polish their air guitar skills.
With Brennan gone, none of the Big 3 have dealerships anywhere near Leaside. If laziness is a critical factor in buying another car, my next set of wheels will be a Lexus, Mercedes, Smart or Toyota.
As for other changes in GM's dealership lineup, the lot in Amherstburg that my family has dealt with for my entire life was among those that were cut loose. Luckily Mom does not have to panic about finding a new place to have her car taken care of, as Thrasher Sales & Leasing will carry on as an independent.
Meanwhile, back in Toronto...
Last one out, please turn off the lights. - JB