Owners of now-closed downtown North Bay business say the city isn't doing enough
NORTH BAY -- The owners of a now-closed North Bay jewelry store called Pearls are saying the city isn't doing enough to address addiction, mental health and other issues in the downtown core.
"We get phone calls, we get emails saying 'please re-open'… and I would like to re-open, but at this point in time, I don't see it happening in the downtown," said Susan Middaugh.
Earlier this year, the store was broken into three times within a relatively short period of timeand jewellery was taken.
That led to the decision to close, but now the owners are unhappy with the city for the way it handles concerns in the downtown.
"You don't want to see people retire in the way that they've retired, but boy, do we miss them, I have to tell you," said Michelle Trudeau, the chair of Downtown North Bay.
Having been in business for 43 years, the owners of Pearls say the downtown has potential, but they say issues surrounding mental health, drugs, lack of parking, homelessness, and snow removal are a real problem.
The city started an Ambassador Outreach program in the summer to tackle mental health and addiction.
As for parking, city staff are looking at fixing pay rates for weekends and reducing permit fees.
One city councillor that spoke to CTV News believes things have improved drastically in the second half of the year.
"In 2020 and beyond, I think you're going to see a different kind of downtown. You know these issues in the downtown are not specific to downtown North Bay," said North Bay City Councillor Dave Mendicino.
The owners are hopeful the city takes a serious look at the issues in the downtown, so what happened to them doesn’t happen to the other merchants.