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T&T Supermarket to open downtown Toronto at Waterfront

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In today's Toronto Star business section, there is an article about the Taiwanese/Chinese supermarket, T&TT, opening a branch by the waterfront in downtown Toronto this fall.

http://www.thestar.com/Business/artic...

The store will be located in the former Knob Hill Farms supermarket on Cherry St., just north of Polson Ave.

A friend of mine was worried what it will do to Chinatown. Understandably, there will be some effect. But T&T's location is still not convenient by public transport, as opposed to Chinatown's Dundas/Spadina junction. Also, as much as I love T&T, it isn't the best price on everything. It is largely good on variety and different focus than conventional supermarkets. Chinatown still has competitiveness on price, and selection of produce. And those frequenting Chinatown East on Gerrard will not suddenly stop going there for food and shopping simply because T&T appeared. It's just one more choice of venue.

Still, I can't wait!

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  1. I agree ah123! I think this is great since the Knob Hill space has been vacant for so long. Toronto East is on the up...

    1. Well, as a chowhound, I'm thrilled about this. But as a Leslieville resident, I'm concerned. I feel this will be the death knell of "Chinatown East". As it is, most of the restaurants are empty at dinner already, but the better stores are still very busy. With a T&T in the area, I fear that only those too economically disadvantaged to shop at T&T or unable to conveniently get there will continue to shop on Gerrard. Thus declining business plus declining quality. I hope I'm wrong.

      1 Reply
      1. re: embee

        I remember when there were really only 2 Chinatowns - the one on Dundas that started out located just west of Bay and then moved to the Spadina area, and the one on Gerrard. Then came the movement to the burbs, first to Scarborough then to Markham/ Richmond Hill/ Thornhill that has made the old Chinatowns inconsequential.

        Now these downtown Chinatowns are a shadow of their former selves and seen as old, dirty and frequented mostly by local, relatively poorer, residents (at least that's the perception). So the "death knell" was dealt long before T&T even came into the picture.

        In fact, on the contrary, one could conceivably argue that this new downtown T&T may attract some Chinese residents back into the downtown area which may give back some life to the downtown Chinatowns.

      2. I agree with the original poster, T&T is quite expensive, when compared to the local Chinatowns. As for me, living in central T.O, I won't be heading down there too often (plus, the thought of biking with a sack of rice on my back uphill is a little tiring).

        1. The T&T in Mississauga is a much miniaturized version of the big-ass east-end locations. Given the fact there are 2 big Chinese supermarkets within about .5km, I'm surprised they even bothered.The upside, though, is an ongoing price war on staples. T&T's takeout/counter grub is still good, though.

          1. Oooh, now I'll get to choose between the chip truck or T&T snacks after walking the dog at Cherry Beach--that's going to be challenging...and fattening...

            1. I for one cannot wait.

              T & T rocks. While not as cheap as the down and dirty stores, I for one am willing to pay a little extra for the selection. quality and cleanliness.

              This will save me hauling a@@ up to richmond hill

                1. re: s0memale

                  s0memale, this is the south end of Leslieville - so, east of downtown. Southeast of Queen & Broadview, near the Leslie spit, Cherry beach, the Canary restaurant........

                2. That is exciting, exciting news. I love T&T.

                  1. Great news - now I'll be able to save a little gas money from frequent trips to their other locations. I'm intrigued to see how they renovate the store - I dimly remember going to that Knob Hill as a kid and being impressed then as to how dumpy it was.

                    1. The interesting thing is, I live @ City Place just South of China Town and the new Condo coming up there "Montage" was suppose to have T&T under it just like the Express walk in North York has Loblaws. I guess T&T might not have recevied approval from the city to be so close to China Town.

                      1. this is fantastic new, i won't have to drive up to Steeles & Warden every wkend

                        1. Does anyone know if/when it's open??

                          DT

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Davwud

                            CP24 said it would be open in fall of '07. Can't wait!

                          2. I drive by it everday to get to work...they are not moving too fast. They have empied it out of all the junk from the previous users, but nothing past that.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: suzspot

                              ahhhh...today they started ..there were workers there breaking up the cement floor, and it looked like a fair bit of activity. Finally.

                            2. This should be interesting because T&T customers are almost 100% Chinese (or at least Asian) and this location is in a neighbourhood with relatively few Asians. This T&T may have to be more mainstream and carry more non-Asian products.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: syoung

                                I was at the Thornhill location of T & T last week, and at least 50% of the customers were non-Asian.

                                1. re: FlavoursGal

                                  Don't they have a kosher section too?

                                  1. re: embee

                                    I don't recall seeing one, embee, but it's possible that it just didn't register, given that the last time I was there I was trying to be a savant who could suddenly read Mandarin (I was searching for a particular Sichuan chili bean paste, some of which bear no English writing whatsoever).

                                    Besides, with the "kosher Sobey's" around the corner, it would be a bit futile for anyone to attempt to compete.

                                2. re: syoung

                                  I go to T&T quite often and I am not Asian. It's a great place to shop, whether you are Asian or not.

                                3. Leslieville and South Riverdale still have a fairly large Chinese or Asian population so perhaps that will be enough to sustain them. I like your earlier suggestion that perhaps it will help entice that segment back!