De­vel­op­ment causes iconic jean­ery to change ‘zip’ code

Over the Rain­bow will move to the Man­ulife Cen­tre af­ter 42 years in Yorkville

North Toronto Post - - News -

Joel Car­man isn’t your av­er­age shop­keep. Over the past 42 years, since he first opened Over the Rain­bow in 1975, he has been on the floor, build­ing friend­ships with the cus­tomers of Yorkville. Now, with a new de­vel­op­ment pro­posed by First Cap­i­tal Re­alty for the store’s site at 101 Yorkville Ave., Car­man has made plans to re­lo­cate his fam­ily-run busi­ness to the Man­ulife Cen­tre, with a win­dow on Bal­muto Street. The new store is slated for com­ple­tion in late 2018.

Were you of­fered space in the new de­vel­op­ment?

No. I think First Cap­i­tal is go­ing to go af­ter very high-end re­tail­ers, like the Chanels of this world and the Jimmy Choos. I think that’s the fu­ture of Yorkville.… I think it’s en­demic of what’s hap­pen­ing in the city.… Peo­ple are pay­ing so much money for prop­erty that they have to get big rents. I think it’s very dif­fi­cult for an in­de­pen­dent to­day to sur­vive in this en­vi­ron­ment.… It’s al­most scary be­cause the in­de­pen­dents are such an im­por­tant part of our cul­ture, and they’re be­ing squeezed out.

What has been the high­light of your time spent at the store?

I’ve had cus­tomers and fam­i­lies that have been shop­ping here for 42 years. Watch­ing these fam­i­lies grow and now deal­ing with the sec­ond and third gen­er­a­tions. So many of them have be­come friends of mine. That’s prob­a­bly the high­light. And we’ve had a tremen­dous amount of celebri­ties: Wayne Gret­zky, Doug Gil­mour, Chris Bosh, Alec Bald­win, Hi­lary Duff, Jim Cuddy and even Sonny Bono.

What can you tell us about the new store on Bal­muto Street?

We’re go­ing to have 650 square feet, with higher ceil­ings. It will be a fresh take on what we do. Our prime ex­cel­lence is de­liv­er­ing pre­mium denim with al­ter­ations and ser­vice. That will con­tinue. And we’ll be ex­pand­ing our men’s de­part­ment (416-967-7448).

Clock­wise from top: Owner Joel Car­man in front of the store in 1982, Car­man with his wife Jinni (front right) and staff in 1977, a ren­der­ing of the new lo­ca­tion

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