I agree with councillor Holmes view that perhaps it’s time to force absentee landlords pay extra for their vacant buildings.
Why not? If a downtown building is vacant for more than a year or two, there must be something the municipality can do.
I also think there should be a bylaw forcing landlords to clean up and paint their ugly, peeling frontages. It reflects badly on the other businesses when a building is vacant for years and things are left to crumble around them.
They are not helping to keep our downtown alive, so let’s encourage occupancy any way we can.