The Winners Circle Poster Campaign started sometime in the middle of July 2004, when it was noticed that there seemed to be a considerable number of empty stores along St. Paul St. An actual count proved that the initial observations were correct. Of the 148 St. Paul St. stores, 39 were empty, for rent or for sale. This is the highest number of empty stores in the history of Downtown St. Catharines. The images on the poster suggest that most of the empty stores are reasonably attractive.
So, why are they empty?
When others found out what was going on in downtown St. Catharines they took a stroll down St. Paul St., up King St., plus the cross streets and were shocked to find at least 65 empty store fronts.
The Stores photographed on August 16, 2004, were presented to Mr. Shannon in a mock-up poster form.
Shannon talked to a number of Winners Circle merchants and property owners for an opinion.
A meeting was held to decide whether or not to proceed.
Solicited merchants and property owners were strongly in favour and wanted the poster campaign to start as soon as possible.