After 16 years running a fruit stand at Queen Street West and Euclid Avenue, a Korean family is closing down because a new landlord wants a trendier business in the space. A bit further east, the owner of a vintage clothing shop is also packing up, her building set to be demolished and rebuilt as condos.

One of these women is real; the other is a character in a new play. Both stories illustrate how gentrification on Toronto’s most artsy avenue still touches a raw nerve.

“When I found out I couldn’t look my customers in the eye. I was almost crying,” said Agatha Chung, the owner of Square Fruit Market at 684 Queen St. W., who runs the business with her husband, his brother and her sister-in-law.

“Some people come in every day,” Chung said Friday, her eyes watery. “Some twice a day.”

In March, the Chungs and staff at the shoe store next door, Heel Boy, received letters telling them that 682 and 684 Queen St. W. had a new owner — who wanted both out by June 30.

The vintage store owner is a fictional character, played by Lisa Marie DiLiberto in her six-character, one-woman play The Tale Of A Town — Queen West.

Running until May 16, the show begins when the audience is greeted outside Theatre Passe Muraille by DiLiberto’s first character, a forthright condo developer. She takes the group on a stroll past the site of the 2008 fire and through Graffiti Alley between Queen and Richmond, touting the new Loblaws going in at Portland Street. Next, in a loft space, the audience meets the vintage store owner, boxing up her goods. In a later scene, live musicians will play at the nearby Cameron House.