HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Discussion

One of the sickest piece of 'foodie related' news this year!!

  • 88
  • Share

This is one sick joke!! Proposing to knock down one of Toronto's iconic foodie destination - Kensington Market !!! and replacing the place with a Walmart!!!!!

http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Just to clarify - they're not going to plow down Kensington. They're going to build a 3-story structure on the currently vacant lot on Bathurst, south of College. In the Kromer Radio location (beside it?) if I'm not mistaken.

    Here's The Star article: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/...

    It's not actually IN the market, but it will change the dynamic of the area if it is successfully built. They will face a lot of resistance from local residents and shop owners.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jlunar

      regardless, it would be an eyesore that would irreversibly change the dynamic of the neighbourhood. is dufferin really so far away?

    2. Typical hysterical headline!?1!

      6 Replies
      1. re: MissBingBing

        As thinking the same thing. As much as I like you Charles and your posts here, I think a more descriptive thread topics that give an idea of what your are talking about in the thread would be more productive :)

        Re: this story.. In general I don't support "NIMBY" type attitudes. I think competition should be allowed to come in subject to existing bylaws/etc and let customers decide. They have the same argument about a potential Loblaws in the area. If there are large variances or zoning amendments required than that is a different story. Personally I would continue to support Kensington but I can't say that I have never shopped at a Walmart and why should people that live downtown be denied an accessible location to them.

        Now, the traffic and infrastructure to support a big box location is another story but their are now big of Canadian Tire, Bed Bath Beyond, etc stores right downtown

        To address digusti's point - i think that the design aspect to fit into the area should definitely be considered. I guess the question is what is the alternative. Would people be okay with a Canadian Tire but just don't want a Walmart? Would it be better to have yet another huge condo building?

        1. re: ylsf

          Loblaws is already in the Market. It's called Freshmart on Augusta and there was a big to-do about it when it opened 20 years ago. It's empty whenever I pass by.

          1. re: MissBingBing

            While Freshmart is owned by Loblaw Companies, the store is not Loblaws. HUGE difference!

          2. re: ylsf

            I live a 10 minute walk from the market and I could not care less that Wal-Mart wants to open on Bathurst. There's a Metro right across the street from St. Lawrence Market and it works just fine. People who shop in the market will not care about Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart shoppers are probably not KM shoppers anyway.

            1. re: ramenramen

              I live a 10 minute walk from Kensington as well and I drift over to Loblaws at Queen and Portland more and more these days. This is partly due to the closure of European Meats. Kensington just isn't a one stop shop for me anymore.
              So my point is a Wal-Mart and/or Loblaws right on the fringe of Kensington will definitely negatively affect current businesses.
              I think the potenttial traffic chaos related to a Wal-Mart with an underground parking entrance off Bathurst should shoot down the proposal but the city unfortunately doesn't have a lot of luck upholding it's own zoning/planning, the province (OMB) often sides with developers and over rides the city's wishes. Stinks.

              1. re: crawfish

                Agreed. Kensington is no place for a stinking Walmart. Those people have no sense whatsoever.

        2. This title was very confusing, Charles.

          I wasn't sure whether it was some attempt at new-age pop lingo shining through, or what!

          lol

          I cant stand Walmart, avoid them like the plague...absolute scum!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Sadistick

            Sorry for the confusion!!!
            Just that to see the possibility of a store like Walmart replacing small neighborhood specialty/artisan stores kind of makes me angry. Its going to ruin the urban habitat personality of the area?!! And a move like this is no fair competition!!
            Also, imagine doing the same thing in London by intruding into Convent Garden with a Walmart? Londoners will take to the street to protest?!!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Ha!1!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                I think the key thing to realize here is that Walmart isn't replacing small neighbourhood/specialty/artisan stores at all. It's going up in an empty lot and probably the Kromer Radio lot (okay, Kromer is a specialty audio store).

                I'm not advocating it, I just don't want the wrong information flying about. It will surely affect the area, but aside from Kromer, nothing is getting displaced outright.

                In the long-run, I can see that it'll affect the shopping habits of locals. I would have figured it more of a competition for Honest Ed's than Kensington, but Honest Ed's is further up the street.

                1. re: jlunar

                  I believe Kromer shut their doors many months ago.

                  People have been voting on the future of Kensington for years with their shopping dollars and that result can never be denied. If the 40,000+ petition-signers want [to keep] Kensington the way it was, they are too late. They should have been shopping there month after month. And anyway, the rents would have sky-rocketed had they done so.

                  The shift has already begun with or without Walmart. The balance has changed where we no longer support dozens of butchers and produce vendors (combined). I've been shopping Kensington multiple times a month for years and I am there more now than ever before because of the great new food spots.The new Kensington is great and I believe it will easily co-exist with crappy Walmart 3 or 4 blocks away.

                  There's nothing new with this story. The market is already adjusting and I will go as far as saying that it will win more tourist dollars in its newest incarnation than ever before.

                  Little Italy will take a hit and sort itself out. Honest Eds already has all kinds of forces working against it, so who knows with them.

                  1. re: jlunar

                    And the interesting thing is that the Mirvish's fully support competition and the development from what I heard...

                    Now, to take a cynical look at that support, you could say they have an interest in more development in the area so that their property appreciates in value and it becomes more of a "real estate" play than about making money from the store itself.

              2. As much as people fear about Walmart, I don't think they are able to replace Kensington Market with its charm. They're more like jack-of-all-trades, not the best place for quality nor quantity. I go to Kensington Market and Chinatown for its ethnic food and atmosphere.

                That's said, there should be regulation to ensure fair competition between big players (loblaw, walmart, costsco, etc) and small businesses.

                6 Replies
                1. re: durianlover

                  At least Loblaws and Costco carry 'organic products'!!
                  Walmart's produce, meat...etc are all 'inferior' IMO. Place to get GMO, Antibiotic and Hormones products if one is into these sort of things!! Ha!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    Walmart sells more organic produce than any other store in North America. Costco is 2nd.

                    1. re: hal2010

                      In the States, may be??
                      But in my neighborhood store on Major Mackenzie and Bayview it has NOTHING I know of!!

                      1. re: Charles Yu

                        yeah, the volume sold in the united states might make up that number, because i know for a fact that at the wal mart closest my home (dufferin grove), whenever i've patronized it (rarely) and looked at the vegetables (rarer), they've been of inferior quality to what i purchase regularly (in kensington market or from the fruit/veg markets on bloor)

                        it bums me out that there is any support for this. i understand gentrification and i understand changing neighbourhoods but i absolutely don't understand how anyone wants to support corporate giants setting up shop in an area like college/bathurst. they're the antithesis of essentially everything in the area, and regardless of what they might displace, they're a major player in propagating the destructive consumerist lifestyle that is, in my opinion, threatening the very way we live.

                        1. re: disgusti

                          The way we live now is destructively consumerist. People are more worried about accumulating stuff than eating well, being healthy or enjoying life. I don't know that Wal-Mart is causing that so much as responding to a need. Would banning the store really stop this behaviour? Is it better that the residents of that neighborhood drive out to the edges of town for their fix of cheap consumer goods?

                          I live in a neighborhood that's rapidly being surrounded by big box stores. There's an uproar any time a new one is announced. As soon as it's open the parking lot is filled with high-priced cars from the neighborhood.

                        2. re: Charles Yu

                          Sorry!!! I was wrong!!
                          Just noticed Walmart has put in a small 'organic' section at the end of the Produce Department!
                          Must have read our posts!! Ha!!

                  2. If you don't want it, don't sell the property to them. Have you ever heard of "free market"? Just because it may mess with your view of the neighborhood that you've enjoyed for years doesn't give you the right to prevent a property owner to develop within the covenants.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: primebeefisgood

                      last time i checked, the 40,000 people who have signed the petition against this wal mart in the last 24 hours don't own the piece of property in question.

                      1. re: disgusti

                        also, when was the last time any of you supporters were on bathurst? adding ANY car traffic to that street is an insane idea. it'll basically turn the whole damn thing into constant gridlock.

                        1. re: disgusti

                          Yeah, I agree that something needs to be done to address the traffic issue but I am not sure what can be done. The reality is that the land/property will be re-developed.... I don't think a condo would be any better. The city has a serious infrastructure problem. The system can hardly handle what is there now let alone to be developed in 5 years.

                    2. Signing a petition doesn't eliminate an owner's rights. It's simple to people that understand free enterprise. If they own the property and its not against covenants, let them do what they will. Otherwise, get your numerous petition signers together, and buy it! Though, maybe, I don't understand the Canadian ways. Certainly, I wouldn't expect this approach in China, Cuba, Venezuela, or Russia.

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: primebeefisgood

                        So you don't think a community has the right to determine what goes on in their community? A business owners' rights trump all? An absurd concept. I wouldn't expect that approach in those countries either. I'm proud that people are standing up for what they believe and how they want their community to grow. Good for them.

                        I for one know that area can't handle anywhere near the kind of traffic a Walmart would bring - the area is already a traffic nightmare. Dundas and Bathurst must already be one of the worst intersections in the city.

                        1. re: justxpete

                          Traffic is brutal and continues to worsen. Get rid of the street cars.

                          Walmart sucks but people want it. Shitty.

                          1. re: justsayn

                            40,000 people say they don't. That's a significant portion of the community.

                            Where's the 40,000 signatures in support of WalMart? Won't exist now or anytime soon.

                            People need streetcars. I'm fine with driving around and avoiding it.

                            1. re: justxpete

                              The 40K who say they don't are many the same people who pull out their wallets at Walmart et all. You will see the people who support it when the traffic is lined up to enter the parking lot, that's when you will see them.

                              People need electric busses, not street cars.

                              1. re: justsayn

                                I think you're making some rather broad assumptions about the people that signed that petition. Know any of them?

                                Each mode of transportation has their benefits and detriments. Either way, the street cars don't bother me - you learn to live with them. Buses wouldn't fix that intersection - nothing will. Street cars have a minor impact on that intersection. The issue is the hospital, the cabs that line the street, the lanes occupied by parking, and the left and right turns that are available on Dundas. You can't prevent people from turning left because there's no cross streets until College, and there is pedestrian traffic on the right. So many cars get stuck heading north on green lights. South is much of the same, partially due to that Tim Horton's. Street cars have very little to do with it - I used to drive it on a daily basis.

                                1. re: justxpete

                                  you'll see.

                              2. re: justxpete

                                I am all about the community having a voice but the reality is the 40,000 people are NOT from the community and some are even international. I see it as a HATE of Walmart and I don't think Walmart is as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I usually don't shop there but green wash or not they have innovated a lot of new projects in their stores that are rolling out at other retailers now (like, fridge lights that don't stay on 24/7 , etc).

                                Also. Look at Canadian Tire/Best Buy/Future Shop all at Yonge/Dundas area. Those are all traditional "Big Box" stores that are located right in the busiest part of the city along with a HUGE mall. Yeah, traffic is busy in that area but sometimes it is easier to get through there then to drive through Kensington Market with pedestrians crossing wherever they want and cyclists going down the street the wrong way. I think that a downtown Walmart needs to be an "urban" walmart and I think they will adapt to fit that need.

                                Personally, I drive up Bathurst a lot and my biggest worry is the traffic implications but I don't see the Walmart as necessarily attracting any more car traffic than the Loblaw's at MLG or the stores I mentioned above. People will take the TTC to grab their stuff and maybe they will have a delivery service for larger items. They will probably specialize to carry more "urban" items.

                                What I see as a larger issue for traffic in general in Toronto is people not being aware of their surroundings and courteous to others. That involves cars, bikes and pedestrians. I jaywalk from time to time (ok often) but if a car is waiting to turn and there is 5 seconds countdown I don't try to run across the street to make it. Same with entering an intersection with a car and thinking it will clear up so I can just block the road off.... Things like this really annoy me whatever form of transportation I am taking and I really think there needs to be more enforcement of it.

                                Anyway, end of rant... :)

                                1. re: ylsf

                                  It is 100% accurate that the 40K are primarily Walmart haters from around the world. I would like to see the real number from the local population of Bathurst and College. It is probably around 250 - 400 people.

                                  As a food issue. Walmart opening at College and Bathurst is a non-issue.

                                  1. re: justsayn

                                    ...

                                  2. re: ylsf

                                    Walmart adds nothing to the neighbourhood, and will only harm other businesses in the area, especially grocers. What's the benefit? Do you see any?

                                    And ps, you're only J-walking if you take the right of way from a car. Just crossing the street not at a cross-walk/light is not J-walking.

                                    Just like how people think u-turns are illegal...

                                    1. re: justxpete

                                      I may be in the minority - but I lived in Kensington for more than five years and didn't think the grocers, or particularly the meat and fish vendors were putting out good product. I worked near the St. Lawrence Market and always used them instead. So I don't particularly feel bad for the grocers.

                                      As far as benefit - Walmart provides cheaper more affordable options to people who want or need it. You may not want it, but obviously, given their history, others do.

                                      1. re: andyb99

                                        They can't get that elsewhere? They have to put it in an historic Toronto district? There's no other place for it? Hardly seems logical to me.

                                        1. re: justxpete

                                          Okay I'm going to say I full out hate wall mart. But calling the wasteland that is Bathurst from college to Dundas, a historic district is a bit of a stretch.

                                          1. re: justxpete

                                            Where they are placing the store is an area of older warehouses / industrial builings across from the 12 story Hospital on Bathurst - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tor... - not by any means a "low rise" "historical district" that people are saying.. and really not even in the Kensington Market boundries as they end at Bathurst and the building site is on the oppisite side of Bathurst.

                                      2. re: ylsf

                                        True. Canadian Tire/Best Buy/Future Shop are located at one of the busiest high traffic Yonge/Dundas area.

                                        But they also have a subway line and are strategically located besides the Eaton Centre.

                                        Whereas, Bathurst & Queen are streetcar lines only, with 4 car lanes.

                                  3. re: justxpete

                                    I thought any development has to be approved by City Council?? Just because a developer owns a piece of land that doesn't mean they have free reign as to what they can do with it?!!

                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                      This really made me laugh. Google using the search terms 'toronto developers omb city' and you'll get a good idea of how broken the process is. E.g.: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto...
                                      http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall...

                                2. If you really care, tomorrow is (one of many) opportunities to voice your opinions:

                                  June 6th, 7-9pm @ 454 College St.
                                  https://www.facebook.com/events/52768...

                                  I will be there.

                                  1. In Leslieville they put bike lanes on Eastern Ave in order to stop a Wallmart. Cant have a big box store on a two lane street so take the outer lane and make it bikes only...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: pourboi

                                      Which leaves a bike lane and a streetcar track. Like that will happen.

                                    2. Folks, a lot of this thread is getting really far afield from anything to do with food. We know that anything to do with development of big box retail is a huge issue that people care passionately about, but please try to keep things focused at least vaguely on the effects this might have on the food scene, rather than getting off into general discussions of things like the OMB process, property owners rights or big box retail in general.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                        !

                                      2. Meh...... this intersection is an absolute mess at all times of the day. I cant see a Walmart being approved here. But regardless, I highly doubt it will affect Kensington. Charles your title is very misleading and actually kinda!!!!!!Hilarious!!!!!!??!?!?!?!?!?

                                        1. No, this development won't physically displace Kensington stores but Bathurst is the western edge of Kensington so it will have a direct affect on Kensington businesses.

                                          We do have an official plan which says:

                                          "Large scale, stand-alone retail stores and/or “power centres” are not permitted in Mixed Use Areas within the Central Waterfront, and Downtown, and are permitted only through a zoning by-law amendment in other Mixed Use Areas."

                                          and will only be allowed if

                                          "the function and amenity of the area for businesses and residents and the economic health of nearby shopping districts are not adversely affected."

                                          The sick thing is that our Official Plan is ignored over and over again!

                                          Kensington is changing - 2 more fish stores have closed recently - and I am sad but I can accept a slow evolution. But giving this developer special permission to kill off Kensington Market businesses? That should be illegal.

                                          BTW, the green grocer at St. Andrew and Kensington is getting better and better. Nice to see an old school Kensington business adjusting and catering to the new Kensington customer.

                                          21 Replies
                                          1. re: crawfish

                                            PLEASE blame the people who don't shop there. Give me a break with protecting fish stores that people don't shop at! Which mega fish store opened and stole away all that lucrative business from the small fish guy?

                                            1. re: justsayn

                                              Well, hooked

                                              1. re: disgusti

                                                Hooked is hardly a mega fish store

                                                1. re: midtowngirl

                                                  i'm aware of this, but as a business it appeals more to the current crop of kensington customers than many of the other, older fish stores in the market. the proprietors are more in touch with what people want (sustainable product, artisanal product, etc). i look at it much like sanagans taking over european, and it wouldn't surprise me to see hooked looking for a bigger space in the near future

                                                  1. re: disgusti

                                                    Well it sounds like its time to picket in front of Hooked! Close them down!

                                                    1. re: justsayn

                                                      lol

                                              2. re: justsayn

                                                I'm not blaming anyone, justsyan. I mentioned the fish guys because it shows that Kensington is evolving just like it did from a Jewish market to include Portuguese stores, then Caribbean stores. I'm OK with that. I'm not OK with changing our zoning and planning rules so the largest retailer in the world can move in. Why should we do them any favours? There is far more in it for them than us. When you shop at local retailers much more of the money stays in the neighbourhood. They live in the neighbourhood, they shop in the neighbourhood, their kids go to local schools, etc.

                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                  Uh, have you walked into any of those fish stores in Kensington? (Other than Hooked.) Nasty places. If they've lost business because Hooked is a better place, well, so be it. That's competition.

                                                  It's great that higher quality stores are coming into Kensington. And bars too (hello Thirsty & Miserable!) We hardly ever shopped in Kensington until Hooked and Sanagan's set up shop. It's nice to see some quality coffee joints and restaurants opening in Kensington too.

                                                  I live and work 10 minutes away from Kensington. I for one welcome our potential new retail overlords of Walmart to where Kromer used to be. I don't shop at Walmart often but I do occasionally and it's nice not having to get into the car and drive out to the 'burbs for some big box stores. The addition of Canadian Tire, Future Shop, Best Buy, Loblaws to downtown Toronto hasn't brought about the end of the world. Walmart won't either. Where Walmart has signalled death is in small towns. Last time I checked Toronto isn't a small town. (I do hope Home Depot tries again. A Home Depot in NYC that I saw integrated nicely into the community.)

                                                  These Chicken Little's who say the sky is falling for every single little thing is really tiring and annoying. How many of you against Walmart coming in actually live within 20 minutes of the area?

                                                  1. re: lister

                                                    i do

                                                    1. re: disgusti

                                                      As do I.

                                                      And it's not "chicken little", it's a much bigger deal than that.

                                                      Luckily both Adam Vaughan and Mike Layton are intelligent enough to realize that they shouldn't support it either.

                                                      Ultimately it's up to all of City Council to either approve or deny the permit, as Walmart originally filed a minor ordinance change (like something you would file to make minor alterations to your house), but that was denied.

                                                      But if they lose that, they will probably appeal to the OMB, which will have the final say.

                                                      Also, there's a meeting this evening at the Church at College and Bathurst to discuss the issue.

                                                    2. re: lister

                                                      I do.

                                                      1. re: lister

                                                        I shop at the fish store on the south side of Baldwin. It's always full of Jamaican ladies and they give me good advice on fish selection, preparation, etc.
                                                        BUT I will say AGAIN, I have no problem with the slow evolution of Kensington to address the needs of newcomers to the neighbourhood. If my fish store closes so be it. However, a W-M or other big box store will not bring on a slow change it will be a sledge hammer. And why are we even entertaining these requests? When our zoning and Official Plan do not allow it? When the traffic and unloading trucks will only further clog Bathurst? Why do we have FIGHT to uphold our own zoning and planning?

                                                    3. re: crawfish

                                                      Kensington is changing and it is changing for good - especially food-wise! Support it in the direction you wish to see it change and look fondly on the past as it ain't coming back any time soon...because people didn't support it.

                                                      1. re: justsayn

                                                        Kensington is not anywhere close to what it used to be like in the 60's and 70's. Yes, there are the remnants of i,t however gone are most of the shops that were truly family run. Walmart will force a change in the way things are done there, and it will be up to the individual stores to evolve. I still see plenty of opportunity there for the "niche" type stores.

                                                        1. re: Poorboy

                                                          I think sasmart will be affected the most.

                                                          1. re: LexiFirefly

                                                            And Tap Phong

                                                            1. re: crawfish

                                                              Tap phong has the restaurant supply buisness so it'll probably do okay.

                                                              1. re: LexiFirefly

                                                                If they still had that much restaurant supply business they would have moved to the burbs long ago. If that's all they have left they will definitely go.

                                                                People, it's all about what kind of city do you want to live in? Think of all the great cities in the world that have vibrant downtown cores. They don't have big box stores downtown and certainly not on the edge of an iconic shopping area. The Wal-Mart at Dufferin Mall is probably one of W-M's most urban stores ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

                                                                1. re: crawfish

                                                                  NYC for one.

                                                                  Do a little research you'll see the big box stores scaling back and trying to fit in better in urban areas. (Bed Bath and Beyond is at Yonge & College!)

                                                                  I'm not saying I want a shrunken Mississauga, Brampton, Richmond Hill, etc retail scene put into downtown Toronto, (how boring would that be?), but as a resident of downtown Toronto it is nice having easy walkable access to some of these big box stores in their smaller urban formats.

                                                                  1. re: lister

                                                                    When I Google Wal-Mart New York City I see no Wal-Marts on the island of Manhattan. There isn't even a Wal-Mart on Staten Island. They're in New Jersey. In San Francisco, the closet Wal-Mart is on the outskirts of Oakland. In Boston, they're in Quincy and Saugus.

                                                                    1. re: crawfish

                                                                      There's one in downtown Chicago

                                                    4. oh please. enough drama. i would welcome this living downtown and invite those who ACTUALLY live downtown to comment. big box electronics, fine downtown, big box discounted retail, al a winners, home sense etc., fine downtown...heck, even Costco is in downtown Vancouver and it is working out great...why the hate for Walmart? i would love to be able to walk up there and grab stuff and not have to drive. funny Charles, where do you live. do you even live downtown? i highly doubt it. sorry, but kensington is kind of dumpy and expensive for marginal quality produce, meat, chease and bread.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: limitedtimeoffer

                                                        again, I live downtown, I don't support big box retail but see the place for it at yonge and dundas, college and Bathurst is not yonge and dundas.

                                                        What marginal quality do you mean? I have great luck at sanagans and hooked and the produce shops across the street from each other at Kensington and st Andrew, and I also get the self satisfaction of supporting small business. Why would you rather buy at wal mart? Is the quality of meat or fish anywhere close to what's offered by the aforementioned places? Is there someone to answer my question about the provenance of the quail I'm considering buying? (Excuse how much of a douche that made me sound like it was a hypothetical.)

                                                        I wish someone of the opposition would answer this question - what could this wal mart do for you that wal mart at dufferin mall does not do? A valuable lesson, one that can be applied frequently - just because it isn't there doesn't mean that we need it.

                                                        1. re: disgusti

                                                          The Bathurst and College location is closer to me, way closer to me, than the Dufferin Mall one. 1.8/1.9 vs 4.3 km. When walking that makes a big difference. When driving, should that ever happen (hope not!), it's less time and hassle on the road. The Walmart that I currently go to via car is the Queensway one.

                                                          Oh, I don't buy food at Walmart. I buy certain other things.

                                                          1. re: disgusti

                                                            Based on your arguments there shouldn't be a Future Shop less than a block away from the Best Buy at YD Square. There shouldn't be 4 + banks on the corner of Spadina and Front, there shouldn't be two grocery stores within a 5 minute drive of each other and there shouldn't be more than one starbucks within a 5 minute walk of each other.

                                                            Maybe you can argue that all of the above is a "waste" of society resources but I don't see how competition is a bad thing. I could see a nice "urban" walmart being a much nicer shopping experience than the one at Dufferin Mall. If the other one is close enough and you say that Walmart will drive these smaller places out of business, well, they would have closed up long time ago.

                                                            1. re: ylsf

                                                              you're right, i do think that we don't need all of those things. my last apartment, there were literally 7 subway restaurants in a 1 kilometer radius. i'm all for competition, but seven subways for every 2 or 3 independent sandwich shops hardly seems like competition, it seems like corporate giants steamrolling into neighbourhoods and through sheer numbers taking out other guys. i understand this is how things work, but that doesn't mean that i like or support it.

                                                              you can say that 'the people have spoken' or whatever, but the people aren't really speaking. developers are just saying 'hey, you need a wal mart there!" did anyone ask for this wal mart? was there a large poll of the surrounding neighbourhood that showed overwhelming support by area residents for big box retail on bathurst? or did some guy say 'hey, i bet i know how i can get a bunch of people to buy a bunch of crap and make myself a nice chunk on the real estate, awesome!' perhaps there does need to be some degree of oversight, or even enforcement of the 'oversight' that's in place already. i mean what's the point of having laws regarding zoning and development if they're little more than lip service?

                                                              1. re: disgusti

                                                                In my neighborhood, there are 5 Starbucks and other various big players (McD, BK, etc). The independent shops focus more on the high-end market - sorts of gentrification, snobbish. That's the reason I seldom patronize anything in my neighborhood.

                                                                Any decent TTC-accessible neighborhood where I can stay and shop without burning a hole in my wallet and avoiding 'big players'? I don't fancy gourmet burger, overpriced fish taco, hyped ramen, etc. Just decent meals.

                                                                1. re: durianlover

                                                                  Welp better open up a McDonald's for you then

                                                          2. re: limitedtimeoffer

                                                            I'm surprised at the amount of "Pro-Wal-marters", considering most of the Chowhounds here are looking for unique food gems & experiences?

                                                          3. sorry, so overhyped that this thread should be closed.

                                                            there's absolutely nothing walmart offers that loblaws at queen & portland or bloor & christie, or metro at bloor & spadina or yonge & college doesn't already offer.

                                                            really, it would be good for the environment so that downtowners don't have to drive so far just to go to a walmart and not get ripped off at loblaws/metro.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: filtered

                                                              Has anyone ever noticed the long RETURN lines at a Wal-mart?

                                                              Why would one waste time and money to go to a Wal-mart?

                                                            2. Perhaps somebody said this already, but the truth is that if Wal-Mart does go up in that location, our dollars are going to determine whether or not they're a success. If people want to put their principles before their pocketbooks, then they won't shop there. But if they care more about saving a few bucks, than preserving the small businesses that are currently in the area, then they will frequent this store, and ultimately affect the small businesses. Wal-Mart can go up anywhere it wants. "We" as a community decide whether or not they stay, by choosing to shop there...or not.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                No, you are wrong. We, as a community, decide if they open up in the first place. The zoning and Offical Plan do not support it. The question is: do we bend our rules to let them open there? If so, why?

                                                                1. re: crawfish

                                                                  Yes, but if for some reason, it goes up against the will of the people, than "we" decide through our dollars whether or not they stay.

                                                              2. Who to blame? Why a big box store? Answer is business is business. Walmart flashes the money and they get the spot. Whomever owns/owned the lot can't wait forever for some independent retailer to open up the next neighbourhood joint. Someone posted two fish mongers are closing or have closed down. Lack of customers and/or were they "muscled out" by rising costs? If the locals in the area are so concerned, signing a petition isn't going to do much in the long run. What will replace the Walmart? Vacant lots? Another big box store? Condos? Reality sucks folks, but it's here. What about a strip club? They're independent. Would the locals prefer that over a Walmart?

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: scarberian

                                                                  Its interesting how Toronto's Progressives, as they style themselves, are actually fighting to save the status quo. Change is now the bailiwick of the Conservatives. Surely the empty lot will be filled by a big concern. Who else has the money?

                                                                2. All development is blocked in the area along Bathurst for a 1 year study. Can't wait to see what the geniuses come up with. In the meantime the land owners have to suck it while the city loses potential taxes. It will be a miracle if something good comes of this.