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Jun 3, 2013 07:32 PM

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

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!!!!!

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  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:

    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?

      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!


          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

                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.