Beauty salon owner Susan Smith and two others have closed their doors.
The owners of the salon, the Garden City Inn and the Lulu Lounge, have said they have lost business because of the “deteriorating” environment in the neighbourhood.
“It is the reality of this city, where people are moving to, and it’s difficult to find places to go to,” Ms. Smith told The Globe and Mail in an interview last week.
The news comes as Vancouver continues to grapple with a new wave of gentrification.
On the heels of the May 9 coronavirus outbreak, some businesses have closed, and many residents are fleeing neighbourhoods where residents are being pushed out of their homes.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson recently announced a five-year, $500,000 investment in a new health centre for the city’s homeless population.
In May, a city council committee heard from several businesses, including the Garden Street Beauty and Salon, which said it had lost about half of its business during the pandemic.
Ms. Gervais, who opened the Garden Crescenza salon in 2007, said she has seen the changes in her neighbourhood.
Her shop is a popular spot for tourists, but it is “very quiet, very quiet” now, she said.
“We’re not seeing a lot of activity in our shop,” she said, adding that she believes there are fewer customers at her other businesses because of “a lack of focus” and “fear [of being out] of touch.”
She said she’s “trying to keep it going and trying to get it back up.”
“I think we’ve had a good year, but I think there’s definitely a lot more work to do,” she added.
Vancouver’s downtown core is experiencing a gentrification boom, but the Garden Center is one of the neighbourhoods with the most to lose.
“I’m definitely worried about the future, but at the same time, I think we have a great community here,” Ms Gervains said.
Ms Smith, who runs the Garden Curl, has been running the salon for five years.
She said it was “a big loss for the neighbourhood,” adding that the “miserable” environment “doesn’t help our business.”
“It was definitely a loss for our business,” she told The Huffington Post Canada.
“Because we don’t have the space for more people to come in and work here.
We’ve lost all our customers.”
A new luxury condo tower is being built on the same block, but there is no indication it will be used for the Garden Centre’s salon.
“The Garden Centre has always been a community-oriented, affordable beauty salon,” Ms Smith said.
She added that she has been “working to find new ways to do our business” to “keep the community going.”
The Garden Center has long been a haven for Vancouverites who can’t afford to move out of the city and into smaller, pricier neighbourhoods, and have turned to the city for affordable housing.
It has also been a magnet for the international Chinese community, which has helped grow the business, and who have provided a new revenue stream for the restaurant.
“At the same as I’m trying to keep the business going, I’m also trying to help other businesses,” Ms Sisay said.
The Garden Centre closed its doors in January.
Ms Gavais has been a fixture in the community for decades, opening her shop on St. George Street in 1998.
She also opened the first Beauty Salon in the city, on Stampede Square, in 2008.
The business has also hosted numerous charity events, including a fundraising concert for the Red Cross.
Ms Sesay, who is married to the owner of the Garden Cafe, said the Garden was “very lucky” that the Garden Café “never closed.”
“They have the same vision, the same values, they have the passion,” she explained.
“If you think about it, it was really fortunate that they didn’t close, and I think they’ll be back, I hope.”
The loss of the restaurant will not impact the Garden Centres business, Ms Sese said.
Her husband said they will keep working.
“There’s no point in going out of business,” Ms Ainslie said.