Homeowners and businesses in the neighbourhood keep fingers crossed
Michael Woods, Ottawa Citizen
For merchants, the cautious optimism of the past few months has made way for excitement about the crowd of 24,000 that will descend upon TD Place at Lansdowne Friday night, said Glebe BIA executive director Andrew Peck.
"For businesses, the big thing is how is that traffic going to translate into customers," he said. "What they really want to make sure of is that nothing disrupts the things that are working right now for their current customers."
For businesses along Bank Street, these first Redblacks home games are key. With the 360,000 square feet of retail space at Lansdowne not opening until November, Peck said many merchants are optimistic they can become part of fans' game-day routines early.
"There's going to be a captive audience coming to the games that need other options," Peck said. "I think it's going to be exciting to watch people rediscover the Glebe and be tourists in their own city."
The BIA will line the neighbourhood, starting at 3:30 p.m., with musicians, cheerleaders and "super fans" to hand out merchandise, paint faces and create an exciting atmosphere for the game. Peck said the goal is for fans to arrive early and stay late.
Among residents, there remains varying feelings. Glebe Community Association president Christine McAllister said there's "excitement mixed with some trepidation" in the neighbourhood.
"We're all just keeping a pretty close eye on how things unfold," she said.
Some residents remain concerned about the inevitable influx of vehicle traffic to the neighbourhood. Marion Moritz, who has lived in the Glebe for 35 years, said she thinks it will be a "disaster."