Non-profit venture will see 'inexpensive; used clothing, small household items
Thrift shop backers predict April opening
Iqaluit's long-awaited thrift store could be open by April.
The outer structure of the building, near the former site of St. Jude's Cathedral, is sealed, and now it's a matter of finishing the drywall, electrical and mechanical, said Peter Scott, who's heading the project.
"Until we've got heat on in the building, we won't be able to finish the drywall," he said.
The store will be run by the Iqaluit's Piviniit Society, who view the project as a way to make cheaper clothing available to Iqalummiut while diverting waste from the city's bulging landfill. Shoppers will be able to buy clothes and small household items, but not furniture.
The building, which will also be home to the city's soup kitchen, was also used by Nunavut Arctic College and Baffin Correctional Centre as a training ground for a pre-trades program that wrapped up before Christmas.
Nine men on early release from the jail did framing for the walls, roof and windows, Scott said.
"We're hoping that once we get the electrical and mechanical rough-ins done that we can go in and maybe get a drywalling course going," he said.
Beth Beattie, who was asked by the Piviniit board to make a few changes to the shop's interior plans, said merchandise will be displayed on hangers to make it feel more like a store and less like a rummage sale.
"I think it's going to be fabulous," said Beattie. Those changes included reorganizing shelves, moving washrooms and changing the location of windows to increase the amount of natural light that enters the store.
"Hopefully [the thrift store] will get good stuff."
The plan is to get the thrift store opened before the soup kitchen to get some revenue coming in, Scott said.
The new location for the soup kitchen will have something the current site lacked – a kitchen. Food now has to be prepared elsewhere and hauled to the dilapidated building, located near the Navigator Inn, for the daily meals, which typically attract 30 to 60 Iqalummiut.
Rev. James Barlow of the Cathedral Parish of St. Simon and Saint Jude's said the current soup kitchen at building 1041 would continue to operate normally until the new location opens.