An­gered by bank’s move

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - FORUM -

I am frus­trated and an­gry at the de­ci­sion of the Bank of Mon­treal to desert their down­town lo­ca­tion on 2nd Av­enue East at 9th (Street) in favour of a new lo­ca­tion in Big Box al­ley on 16th (Street) East, as re­ported in The Sun Times.

We all wit­ness, ev­ery time we go down­town, the sad dere­lic­tion of our Main Street, with scads of empty store fronts, in­clud­ing the for­mer Le­gate’s across the street from the bank. BMO’s large, cor­ner lo­ca­tion is an an­chor for that stretch of the street, so their move is has­ten­ing the demise of the heart of our city.

Cheri Knott, BMO’s re­gional vice pres­i­dent, ex­plained po­litely but un­con­vinc­ingly that the move, dic­tated at a se­nior level, was re­quired be­cause the branch has a few steps that are dif­fi­cult for se­niors and peo­ple in wheel­chairs to nav­i­gate. How­ever, even the briefest sur­vey of their frontage makes it clear that a small el­e­va­tor could eas­ily be in­stalled. Ms. Knott also cited the lack of park­ing down­town, de­spite the fact that two-hour park­ing is free on Main Street, and coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing free park­ing ev­ery­where down­town.

BMO, like ev­ery ma­jor cor­po­ra­tion, trum­pets its com­mit­ment to the com­mu­nity. But from what I can see, this dis­as­trous de­ci­sion, ap­par­ently a done deal, was made with lit­tle or no com­mu­nity in­put. So where, BMO, is that com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity when it re­ally counts?

Michael Craig Owen Sound

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