Though the closing of their store is tinged with sadness, the Budd family are also optimistic about the future. “We’ve walked King Street every day for 50 years,” says Howie. “We’ve seen the best, and we’ve seen the worst. We’re leaving at a time when King Street is on an upswing, [with] the new condos, high-tech, the LRT. It’s all going to form a new, vibrant King Street which will be the heart and soul of our community. People will be proud of it. No question.”
One in four Canadians spend more than 30 per cent of their income on a place to live. That means a lot of people may be one pay cheque away from losing their home. In Waterloo Region, there are 3,000 people on the waiting list for subsidized rental units. Some people may have to wait six years for a unit to become available.
Just south of the Expressway in Kitchener, the Chandler-Mowat neighbourhood is a vital and distinct community - a thin, two-kilometre-long expanse that is home to 4,000 people, in one of the most densely populated and diverse areas in the city.
There’s a current of optimism about manufacturing in Waterloo Region. We’ve all heard about layoffs and plant closures, but people who make things are positive, whether it’s small-scale, niche production or larger, globally competitive companies marketing their products internationally.