The following letter was sent to Lord Mayor Betty Disero and members of Niagara-on-the-Lake town council.
Thanks a lot council, my business has been severely impacted by your negative signage and street closure!
As store owners in Old Town, located behind Queen Street on Market Street, and in these hard times where we are trying to survive, we have found that this approach was not executed positively to help everyone.
Signage has been changed, now for the second time and it still gives a negative impression for our guests approaching by car. Especially where we are located, no one is aware that they can enter Market Street for the parking lot and our business.
The Market Street parking lot has been emptier than usual due to the misleading “no exit” sign on Regent Street.
We know this contributes to a loss of revenue for our town, and for our business.
We agree and appreciate that closing Queen Street can allow more foot traffic and new patios that customers can enjoy in NOTL without the noise and hassle of cars. Unfortunately, the approach you have taken conveys the wrong message. Communication is everything for humans and we need to relay the right message.
We would suggest that clear and welcoming signs be in place, instead of just “ROAD CLOSED” or “NO EXIT.”
We suggest signs could clearly say, “Welcome to NOTL, Queen Street is open for business, road is closed to vehicles, business are open for your shopping convenience.”
Many other city downtowns have closed their main roads and have indicated the purpose much more clearly — even St. Paul Street in St. Catharine has clearer signs.
Furthermore, we understand the town has strict bylaws on store's using portable signage, but since we pay the same high rent as other Queen Street stores, we would like to be allowed to have several signs indicating where we are located and that we are open for business.
Thank you for your time on these matters,
Annie & Xavier Allard
Owners of Cheese Secrets