I took a wander around downtown this afternoon. It is rather dismal to be honest but hey its February. There are some bright spots however. I dropped into the old stomping ground, used to be The Vault, it is now The Simcoe Mall and I would recommend it for a stop-in. It has to be the best smelling flea-market I've been in ever and its bright, clean and full of enthusiastic entrepreneurs running their own booths.
I spoke with a chap who identified himself as John, he runs G&G Music Memorabilia. He says he is under no illusions about the location and the social issues the downtown faces but he says there has been an uptick in his business. He has a very fine collection of music and movies in all formats as well as the merchandise, Elvis, KISS, Rolling Stones etc.
It was gratifying to see the building still in use, those of us involved in The Vault put a lot of time, thought and effort into keeping the doors open for the year it ran. A crowd of young folk took it over afterwards and did a fine job with it. They built it up to a point where the folks behind the Simcoe Mall could envision it as a place where they could invest for their the future.
So if you happen to wander downtown, take the time to visit the Mall, say hi and maybe even buy something - best collection of music/concert DVDs I've seen thats for sure.