We will admit it: Welland has an issue with abandoned buildings. Now, it’s not a dire situation, but the situation is there and needs to be met head on. We can’t keep using the excuse, “it could always be worse.” Welland should not want to be a step above worse. We should always be striving to be better.
Things are rolling. Last week’s post in Good News in Welland covered four new small businesses that are opening their doors or expanding just in the last month, and two of them are in abandoned storefronts. But there are still some pretty big (and pretty ugly) empty spaces. Why aren’t businesses rushing at the opportunity to open in these large spaces in high traffic areas and what can we do to fix that? That’s a whole new post.
In case you’ve been living under a bridge, or you know, just haven’t travelled down south Niagara St. lately, the old Sleep Country space has been converted to a Phantom Gallery. Created to showcase local artists and improve the look of abandoned buildings, Phantom Galleries have popped up in spaces across the world, and the latest one is in Welland.
James Takeo of Black Lantern Experience. (Photo: Allen Benner, Welland Tribune)
The Black Lantern Experience has completely transformed the look of the old building and people are noticing. This is a perfect example of people in the community coming together to make Welland a better place, even if temporarily. Perhaps an ‘uprising’ of determined folks with ideas and a gathering of resources is all that’s needed to beautify Welland with a much needed facelift in our arts and culture sector.