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Downtown Timmins enjoying plenty of construction activity.

Despite a Canada-wide recession, downtown Timmins has enjoyed a boom in new construction, renovations and the opening of new businesses.

The downtown, which was revitalized in 1987 at a cost of $5 million and was expanded by two blocks in 1990 for $700,000, is continually upgrading itself.

A renovation worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars to the old Sears store by Peat Marwick Thorne has improved Pine Street South. Timmins Mortgage Centre has also opened an office in the building.

RPM Fashions, a womens' wear store, has expanded from 784 to 1,624 square feet. Owners Irene Grydsuk and Suzanne Robichaud originally opened the store in 1988.

Socks Third Avenue has expanded to 1,300 square feet from 600 square feet. Added to the store's lingerie and leisure wear stock is a full line of accessories, according to owner Kari Reid. She is also the co-owner of the North Bay Socks store.

Some six new businesses have opened in the downtown, including a Native trust company.

Downtown Timmins (the official name of the BIA) believes that ongoing work is needed to keep the downtown looking beautiful and a "people place."

A new downtown mini-mall of 6,500 square feet was opened on Third Avenue by Bob and Mary Smith in August 1990. The mall has seven businesses, including a hairdresser, shoe repair, massiotherapy centre, wool shop, sports card and gift shop, as well as a karate club.

The Smiths are now operating a lottery centre there.

This spring the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announced it would spend $4 million constructing a new building in the downtown area. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall. The bank will replace the present bank at the corner of Pine and Third Avenue. This was also the site of the former Kresge's building.

Downtown Timmins captured provincial awards for beautification in 1990 and 1987.

"One thing about downtown Timmins, says Downtown Timmins chairman Pat McConnell, "is that there is a sense of continuity. You know today that the store you're doing business with will be there tomorrow."

There is such a variety of goods and services available in downtown Timmins that McConnell has a hard time thinking of something that is missing.

"I don't know what there is that we can add to the core," he says. "Virtually every type of shop and service is available, but this does not mean that we're not looking to improve and add more.

"We are also favored with 5,700 people working in the downtown each day," adds the chairman.

Barbara Reynolds is the executive manager of Downtown Timmins an association which includes 235 shops and service companies.
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Title Annotation:Report on Timmins
Author:Reynolds, Barbara
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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