Selkirk Avenue Garden Centre – A Success!

Selkirk Ave garden Centre June 2015

Selkirk Ave garden Centre June 2015

The weekend of June 26 – 28 was not the greatest for weather, in fact you may recall that Saturday the 27th was downright stormy – Thunder, Lightning, Hail, and Rain. Lots and lots of Rain. Despite these hardships we believe that the Pop-Up Garden Centre was a success. we achieved the three goals that we had set -out.

1) Test viability and opportunity of a Garden Centre retail operation.

2) Create employment and work experience for community youth.

3) Create activity and interest in the North End community.

Given the nature of the retail operation, while net profits were not stellar, a longer term, more visible operation with reduced operating costs will most likely be viable – so stay tuned fro 2016. We were able to employ three youth through the North End Youth Employment Strategy in the centre and an additional youth to do the advance door to door marketing distribution. All youth reported that the experience was valuable in providing new skill experiences, provided an opportunity to build a resume and to overcome some hesitancy in applying for work. There was a flurry of activity at times around our pop-up location, we were certainly a highlight on Selkirk Avenue with our colourful tents and display. There was also great interest in this project by the media with an article in the North End Times, CJOB Radio interview and CBC TV News interview.

So all in all a great success and we will now need to seriously consider establishing a more formal social enterprise in 2016. We appreciate the support of organizations including NECRC, Jensen’s Nursery, Surplus Direct and others that provided guidance and financial support to establish the centre.