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'There's just no one down here anymore': Sports4 moving from downtown, blames lack of foot traffic

It's the end of an era for one sporting goods store at Bank Street and Laurier Avenue.

"We faced the reality that things weren't going to get better and it's time to move," said Sports4 owner Jim MacFarlane. "There's just no one down here anymore."

For 41 years, it was a prime location but not anymore.

"Lunch hours, it used to be packed with people. It's now barren," said MacFarlane. "It's a tough environment to run a business in and we hoped for change but it hasn't gone that way for us."

Sports4 has already opened its new location in the Glebe. By the end of September, the shop at 151 Bank St. will be no more. There is no word yet on what will take its place.

"I am sad," said MacFarlane. "Forty-one years is a long time and it's going to be so weird to not come here."

This is becoming a larger problem: a hollowed out downtown not recovering quickly enough from the pandemic. The Bank Street BIA is trying to be optimistic.

"When the W.H.O. said the pandemic's over, it doesn't mean it's going to shift back to where it was before. It's not," said executive director Christine Leadman. "We have a changing downtown. For revitalization of the core, there needs to be investment in the core."

It comes on the heels of the federal government's plans to dispose of 10 buildings in the national capital region, including L'esplanade Laurier in downtown Ottawa. Top Stories

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