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Sun Valley on The Danforth closing

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I've heard through reliable sources that Sun Valley is closing it's Danforth doors come end of July 2012.

I can't say I'm really shocked by this because the last few times I've been in for emergency or last minute items - the place was a ghost town. It's a far cry from what it was when I first moved to the 'hood close to 20 years ago. It's a shame. They seemed to loose interest, and then customers.

All in all though, I will miss them and sorry to see them pack it in.

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  1. I'm sad to hear this. I'll miss Sun Valley.

    1 Reply
    1. re: prima

      I recall when the place was opened. Everything especially the fruit and vegetables were first rate. I was there about 3 months ago and everything looked the same--except there seemed to be very few customers. Also the aisles seemed to have been made closer some how. Anyway a loss for sure.

    2. It's a loss to the area for sure but I always had mixed feelings about the place. High prices, sometimes snarky/disinterested service and I think they could have focused more on local products. I went in recently hoping for Western Creamery cream cheese (or any brand other than Philly's) and found none, but meanwhile they carried 7 brands of jarred capers. Another time I was hoping for interesting mustard (Kozlik's would have been ideal) and found an American brand with HFCS instead. Not sure they kept up with changing tastes.

      6 Replies
      1. re: julesrules

        In general I agree. But few places on Danforth have low prices and many/most are a bit short of pleasant staff. But the fruit and veggies were really good. As for local stuff you might read Margrete Wente in todays National Post.

        1. re: Herne

          Is she writing for the Post now? Then I guess it's safe to read the Globe again ;)

          Assuming it's a political polemic, I'm not so hung up on local for enviro reasons (or interested in debating that here), I just thought their selection was odd. I went there for "specialty" items not found at IGA but somehow, they never had what I was looking for, while stocking other oddities I had no interest in. It just somehow wasn't for me.

          1. re: julesrules

            I have to agree with you as well. I thought the main attraction always was the fruit and vegetables and the groceries were for somebody else who I guess stopped showing up. Danforth is certainly changing and not necessarily for the better. I recall when there were live pigeons for sale in Kensington and I remember a live goat escaping from somewhere and running down Nassau street. Now the big draws are cheese, coffee and used clothes. Changes everywhere all the time.

          2. re: Herne

            The Danforth is a far cry of when I was growing up there. It seemed on every other corner was a fruit market or small grocery store. Now the whole place is just another yuppie haven. I remember going with my mom or aunt shopping at "The Metropolitan" or "S.S. Kresge's" or "Woolworths". Woolworths had a diner where you could get a BLT and chips (which were really chips from a bag). I remember the butcher shop right at Carlaw and Danforth a couple of doors east of the Sunkist Market. They used to hang whole lambs in the window some with wool, some totally bare. Very gruesome to a young kid. The Rex Theatre, Duke's Variety, the cheese shop at Pape Station, all gone. Change in demographics? It's a shame in some ways the way it's changed.

            1. re: scarberian

              What a blast from the past! Thanks scarberian. These are all of the things I remember from growing up around the Danforth as well.

              There was a candy-chocolate shop with a soda fountain very close to the Music Hall (it was the Century movie theatre at the time). The shop had old-fashioned dark wood and glass cases, booths and counter with white marble tops. It probably closed toward the end of the '60s. Does anyone remember the name of it?

              1. re: Crepes Suzette

                I recall the chocolate shop. I believe it was still there in the late or mid 1990's. Can't remember the name either. I used to pass by after leaving the Old Nick which is still there. Haven't been to the Old Nick for 10 years or so but I drive by frequently.

        2. Sad to hear this, Sun Valley has been around as long as I can remember and I've been going since I was wee. I still remember staring at the jars of pickled octopus in the pre-reno version in horrified fascination...think I was about 4.

          I will miss their tzatziki and yoghurt but not the sometimes surly staff behind the deli counter. I feel like the neighbourhood I knew growing up is disappearing before my eyes.

          21 Replies
          1. re: petra_reuter

            I hate seeing places that have been around for so long close but they really went downhill. When I moved to the area 20 years ago it was THE SPOT. When I left 3 yrs ago it was expensive and I could get most stuff elsewhere, cheaper. Agree on the surly staff at the deli. There was one woman I hated getting, if in desperation she chose to serve me. I was actually afraid to ask her for stuff. Uh? WTF?

            1. re: MargieEv

              OMG too funny about the deli counter staff. Totally agree. In fact, I started going to IGA in a pinch rather than deal with them. IGA has the exact same sodium packed cold cuts without the 'tude. I complained once but it didn't seem to do much good.

              It really was a mini Pusateri's way back when. It carried everything I needed and could ever want. Then I graduated and discovered Summerhill Market and never looked back. The few times I did go, even the fruit and veggies weren't up to par.

              I will miss their chicken kebobs though. They were of great quality.

              1. re: MargieEv

                I know exactly who you mean. I dread being waited on by here. Is it really that damn hard to cut me a piece of feta that's 200g?

                I think it's really been hurt by the cheaper fruit markets. Everything else seems to have declined quality wise, as well. Sad day for the Danforth.

                1. re: petra_reuter

                  We were in Sun Valley this afternoon. No sign of any preparations for closing. A few holes in the shelves but otherwise it was business or rather lack of business as usual. Place seems oddly free of customers.

                  1. re: petra_reuter

                    What a terrible year for smaller retailers in TO. Greek House Market closed in May, and Reither's on Church closed this spring.

                    1. re: prima

                      Where was Greek House Market??

                      1. re: Herne

                        It was at 565 Danforth, east of Sun Valley, near the Fish Market. They sold lots of dried goods and cheeses. It was my go-to shop for Greek Nescafe (for frappes) and Cretan olive oil.

                        1. re: prima

                          Sounds like a real loss

                          1. re: prima

                            Oh no! Their cheese selection was great! Boo :(
                            So, Prima, here do you go for Greek cheeses now?

                            1. re: CocoaChanel

                              I've been cutting back on cheese at home lately, so I haven't been buying any Greek hard cheeses lately. I usually end up buying my Dodonis feta at Alex Farms' SLM location lately, which is at a slight premium, but I'm sure the feta at Serano's grocery would be fine.

                              1. re: prima

                                I forgot about Serano's - thanks

                                1. re: CocoaChanel

                                  I have not personally confirmed this closure and now starting to wonder, have my reliable sources failed me?? Maybe their not closing after all??

                                  I've not been to the stores in ages and maybe I was to quick to post this.

                                  I hope I am wrong..it would be nice to have them around.

                                  Anybody else know the scoop?

                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    I spoke to someone who knows people in the Greek community about it. Apparently it's turning into an IDA pharmacy with doctor's offices on top. He used to own a store on the Danforth and is pretty in the know.

                                    1. re: petra_reuter

                                      That sounds about right. My wife was in last week and the closure was confirmed by one of the staff; by end of July.

                                      I always considered Sunvalley an asset for the neighborhood, they carried a good range of foodie items at a fair price. While not on the same service or product level as Summerhill or McEwans, I think it contributed to making the 'hood as popular as it is. In addition to the Big Carrot, Sunvalley brought food choices to The Danforth that were previously unknown. Where now to find Gelato Fresco or Manoucher bread?

                                      1. re: lightbulb

                                        Relieved to know that I wasn't spreading any false stories but sad that I was right.

                                      2. re: petra_reuter

                                        I imagine a drugstore and a few MD offices will bring in a lot more rent than a one floor grocery store.

                                        I wonder what the Danforth will look like in 10 years.

                                        1. re: Herne

                                          I wonder what Shoppers Drug Mart will say about this.

                                          Either way, I guess that nasty looking Guardian Drugs will close up because they're owned by the same company, IDA and Guardian.

                                          1. re: millygirl

                                            LOL if you are referring to the store on Broadview across from Loblaws--I recognize your description.

                                            1. re: millygirl

                                              And Rexall. Katz Group actually owns the building that the Albany Clinic moved into (with a Rexall outlet) and they didn't move to close the Guardian just down the street then, so no that Gaurdian and the building full of rental medical offices above it, isn't going anywhere. (and although it doesn't look like much from the street the staff there are nice and the service is good, unlike the Rexall in the Albany building)

                                              In 5 years the Danforth will be nothing but nail salons, medical offices and to keep it on restaurant topic, chain pubs.

                                              1. re: bytepusher

                                                No, I am referring to the Guardian on Danforth at Jones, in the former Blockbuster Video storefront. The one with the permanent steel gate window coverings.

                                                bytepusher, not many are familar with Katz Group! We must travel in similar circles. However luckily I am no longer involved. Suffice it to say, I'm a Shoppers Drug Mart girl if you get my drift ;)

                                                Let's hope though your prediction is wrong. We've got a few yogurt shops to look forward to and hopefully lots more to come. I've noticed a few of the vacant storefronts have renos going on so that's a good sign - to keep it food related.

                                                1. re: millygirl

                                                  Never get as far east as Jones. The one across from Loblaws indeed has nice staff and the feeling of the Hampton Court maze as well.

                    2. Was in there today. When I asked the deli lady why they were closing she just shrugged her shoulders and said "dunnno". Nice!
                      I was speaking to the cashiers and they confirmed that it had been rented out to a rexall. What a real loss to the neighbourhood. Milly, I was so excited to see another drugstore going in at Jones, I think I've actually been there 2 times since it opened, it's terrible!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Baelsette

                        It really is dreadful isn't it. It looks like it belongs in a penitentary

                      2. The sign went up in front of the store today. Very depressing. Some people complained about the high prices, but their prices for produce are lower than the crappy IGA, and the quality is better than most stores. I always knew that my cherries would be sweet, and worth the extra $ compared to the green grocers on the street. Someone else mentioned that they didn't have Western Dairy cream cheese. They stock that brand all the time, so perhaps they were out.

                        For those of us that live in the neighbourhood, it's a real loss. Now we have to look at an ugly drugstore. This street is getting uglier every year.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lolatengo

                          agreed!

                        2. We need to go en masse to Masellis and point out that there's money to be had now in carrying a wider variety of better quality produce. The rest of their stuff is so good, and they're so nice, I don't mind paying a premium. But that produce... ick.

                          IGA is so soulless, crowded, and inept. And lately, in addition to their usual poor produce, they've begun to carry "fresh" snow and snap peas grown in China. In our midsummer! Not to mention huge bags of rotting bok choi... bags that can't be opened. The one thing they have going for them is cheapish delivery and a tiny section of Rowe Farms meat. I guess that's two things!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: stonerose

                            I was just having this same conversation with my partner. I love Maselli's, but their produce, particularly the vegetables, leaves much to be desired. But I don't follow you re the price premium; most things are much cheaper there unless you are thinking about the loss leaders of the big grocery chains, like milk or toilet paper. Maselli's is consistenly cheaper on all canned goods, coffee, pasta, cheese, and a few other things. What do you find to be more expensive?

                            1. re: lolatengo

                              Fair point. I was probably fixating on a few staples. And their prices on some high-end imported Italian goods (e.g., burrata, San Marzano tomatoes) beat everyone by a wide margin.

                              I should also emphasize that they are pretty rapidly improving their selection of things apart from produce (e.g., Ace bread, more cuts of meat). I'm a huge, huge fan.

                          2. Once again agreed...... re Masellis. They are trying to better their produce it sounds like and carry fresh Ontario produce when possible. They had a big sign outside advertising fresh Ontario produce and some a@#@*(&)(*& stole it??
                            They do Italian products SO well, hoping they can better some of the other products on their shelves.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Baelsette

                              Some items at Maselli's are so cheap you wonder if they even make a profit on them. But personally I never buy their produce or their meat. That being said, I certainly wouldn't call them nice. In fact, they get my award for grouchiest shopkeepers on the Danny.

                            2. My Greek partner went to talk to the folks that own Sun Valley. Although they definitely have fewer customers than they used to, I never had the sense that the business was in trouble. They were still quite busy at most times other than evenings. The owner's son said that they still made good money. Basically, Rexall just offered them a pile of money to rent the whole building, more than they were making from selling groceries. Apparently, large retailers approached them regularly over the years asking for the location.

                              This is why North American cities look like crap. I believe that a Dollarama is also moving into the strip. Just like College Street, and Queen before it, soon no one can afford the rents and it starts to look like a suburban shopping mall.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lolatengo

                                Let me clarify that I'm not implying that Sun Valley couldn't afford the rent; they own the building. These kinds of moves by large retailers drive up rents for everyone else though.

                              2. I stopped by Sun Valley today (Saturday, July 21, 2012), and I thought I'd pass along some of the produce specials they offered today. I'm not sure if the same specials will be in effect tomorrow (Sunday), since some specials were listed as one day only specials. American cherries $1.49/lb, limes 8 for $1, lemons 5 for $1.99, ON red peppers $0.99/lb. Open until 8 pm on Saturdays.

                                I'm glad their other location further east on Danforth Road http://www.sunvalleymarket.ca/ will remain open.

                                1. Sun Valley had interesting products, but I found the service from the entire staff to be lousy, frankly. They never seemed interested in working there and were impatient or rude. I actually don't blame the staff for this -- I just got the feeling it was a lousy place to work.

                                  1. What is the latest word on Sun Valley's site?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Herne

                                      Interestingly after all the above discussion, I heard from two sources that when Miss Miriam's (a nursery school above Sun Valley) closed suddenly a few months after Sun Valley, the owner told people it's going to be a condo. Maybe with a Rexall on the main floor? Dunno.