Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pizza Pizza occupies former Shawarma STOP

(Note: a couple posts recently got mysteriously bumped to the top of the Blogawa.ca feed. Not sure why; I didn't do anything.)

My recent post with photos of the Aimee's Convenience Store Fire drew a lot of attention, which has inspired me to post again fairly quickly. Here's something that's ready to post:

I'm not a fan of Pizza Pizza (or any major chain pizzeria, especially when there are local, organic alternatives), nor do I like the idea of two small mainstreet stores being merged into one. But I am a sucker for construction.

This past fall, the Pizza Pizza on Elgin at Cooper engulfed the former Shawarma STOP next door. I remember when the Shawarma STOP opened; it was my first time seeing the words "falafel" or "shawarma". I also remember that my friend's description of both terms did not pique my interest.

Here's what the Shawarma Stop used to look like in early October, after closing but before much of the major construction. I found the Conservative political posters in the window (it was during the election campaign, after all) to be interesting for their '80s styling. Below is a shot from a bit further back, also showing the Pizza Pizza in its former dressing.

A week later, the Shawarma STOP's door had been converted to a window, indicating it would become part of the Pizza Pizza store next door. (The former Great Canadian Bagel at Lisgar recently had been similarly annexed by Johnny Farina's)

On the same day as the photo above, it was evident that work was underway inside:

The dressings for both stores (including the signs) were removed, and sheet rock was installed around the bottom of the storefront.

Incidentally, there's a neat sidewalk "feature" here at Cooper--a big hole in the concrete pavers, patched with black asphalt, with a spray-painted note saying "NO WALK". How inviting.

Tiles were added to the sheetrock that had been recently installed. These are slightly less garish than the bright orange-and-white tiles on the Pizza Pizza on Somerset and Bronson (not pictured).

Next was added some white styrofoam to give some form to the upper part of the storefront.

I was (masochistically) spending much of the day at City Hall on November 19 to watch the Transportation Committee discuss the Transportaion Master Plan and the Light Rail plan, catching a few hours at work as well. On my many trips between work and City Hall that day, I happened to catch the new Pizza Pizza sign being installed, and took a photo:

And by later that day, two of the three lit signs were installed:

After my last meeting at City Hall that night, I headed to Bridgehead for a reprieve. The darkness outside and the indoor lights gave an insight into the progress on the interior:

By December first, the last sign had not yet been installed, but they had painted the styrofoam and added some decorative lights (pretty tasteful, actually, for a Pizza Pizza), and new equipment was inside waiting to be installed.

Add some decorative awnings, and you're done!

(pardon the blurriness on this last shot, the weather hasn't quite cooperated enough for me to take a good shot of the finished product).

Let's hope the renovations included public washrooms. When attending Lisgar, my colleagues would be frustrated that they wouldn't let you use their washrooms, despite providing seating for patrons. (And this was apparently against a by-law, though I'm not sure which.)

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