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Will new Loblaws on College kill Kensington Market?

Posted by Robyn Urback / February 21, 2013

kensington market loblawsIf a viral video can win you a one-on-one with Galen Weston, perhaps a series of protests can convince him to abandon plans to open a store by Kensington Market? Anyone? No? OK.

A group of concerned Kensington Market advocates however, is a little more optimistic. "We've gone against big corporations before," says Venetia Butler, chair of the Kensington Market Action Committee. "And we've successfully demonstrated our ability to make change."

That group is hoping to change plans for a new 20,000 square foot Loblaws that is slated to open on the second floor of a new condo at College and Spadina. The worry among the anti-Loblaws crowd is that the new grocery store will drain business from the smaller independent food shops already operating in Kensington Market.

"We're not against all types of retail there," Venetia says of the condo development. "We're just saying that it's entirely impractical to put a big grocery store chain there when the area is underserviced in other ways. We'd be delighted to have a liquor store; a Staples would be fantastic."

The group already held a protest in Kensington Market this past weekend to voice its displeasure with the plans, and is planning to go against Councillor Adam Vaughan to seek to halt the Loblaws arrival.

"Kensington has had successful outcomes rallying against corporate entities, before" Venetia says, citing a battle with McDonald's back in the early 1990's and a more recent Starbucks threat. "Our primary objection is that by having a Loblaws so close by Kensington, some of the Kensington grocery dollar will be spent there."

Venetia admits that the group is still early in its efforts, but it has already launched an online petition and plans to hold an open community meeting someone soon.

Photo by sevres-babylone in the blogTO Flickr pool

Discussion

130 Comments

NIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 11:15 am
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So an LCBO or a Staples are ok, but not a Loblaws... Maybe Venetia can provide us with with a list of businesses that is deemed appropriate? I have a list of businesses that I'd like to have in my neighbourhood too, but it's not really up to me.
NIMBY replying to a comment from NIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 11:15 am
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*that ARE deemed appropriate
C. / February 21, 2013 at 11:16 am
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(I know this reasoning doesn't apply to corporate entities, but) I really don't understand the point of having a Loblaws at College and Spadina when there's already one at Queen and Portland. It'd be nice to see have something that the neighbourhood is lacking open there instead.
YIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 11:18 am
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The answer is no.

No it will not "Kill Kensington Market".

"having a Loblaws so close by Kensington, some of the Kensington grocery dollar will be spent there"

Again, no. Get your heads out of your asses.

The people who are currently buying K Market lousy fruits and decent vegetables will continue to do so.

The people who buy awesome fish and awesome meat in K Market will continue to do so.

Same crybabying happened when Freshmart came in and that shithole had zero effect whatsoever on other vendors in the market.

If anything, it will increase traffic to the market. New people will say hey let's do most of our shopping at the Loblaws and then visit the market to try out the butchers/fish vendors/etc.

And the net result will be: less people will shop at the shitty Metro at Bloor and Spadina. That's all.
NIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 11:19 am
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I think the reasoning behind having a Loblaws there is being in near UofT with 46,000 students enrolled. The next closest grocery store I can think of is the Metro at Spadina/Bloor. (unless I'm forgetting one)
Joe Fresh / February 21, 2013 at 11:23 am
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"We'd be delighted to have a liquor store"
You have one... Across the street on Spadina...

This is a total non-issue
Most people that go to Kensington market go there to go to Kensington market. I am sure many visitors that shop and buy groceries there pass by at least 4 to 5 giant grocery stores on the way there. But THEY choose to shop at Kensington Market.
I highly doubt that someone on their way to Kensington market will see the
loblaws and decide to go shop there instead.
People shop in Kensington for its charm, for the experience for the sights and smells. NOT because it has a loblaws
iSkyscraper / February 21, 2013 at 11:23 am
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20,000 SF is tiny. This is not a Wal-Mart footprint. And if you look at Manhattan (think Chelsea, East Village) you will see all kinds of chain supermarkets of all stripes coexisting with boutique food retail.

As long as the nearby residential population is large (and it only continues to grow), this will all work out fine.
Me / February 21, 2013 at 11:25 am
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Yawn.
NIMBY replying to a comment from YIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 11:26 am
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Well said, YIMBY. I like Kensington Market, but if anything, adding a grocery store to the neighbourhood only adds value to the area. It's not like there are plans to drop a casino there or anything.
James / February 21, 2013 at 11:26 am
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Go Loblaws!
WALMART!!! / February 21, 2013 at 11:29 am
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These people better watch out!
Protesting every single company that wants to set up shop will get old very fast and support will dwindle!
Then BAM! Walmart swoops in and builds a HUGE SUPERCENTER that will then indeed take over 95% of Kensington Market!
Choose your battles carefully NIMBY's!
Tyler / February 21, 2013 at 11:34 am
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The Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens is 85,000 sq ft. This would be less than 1/4 of that. Kensington is great, but this neighbourhood needs a complementary grocery store this size.
fiz replying to a comment from NIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 11:36 am
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How would/does the LCBO kill business? it's the only place in Ontario where we can buy alcohol, other than the Beer Store and Wine Rack.
Bonnie / February 21, 2013 at 11:38 am
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First off, College and Spadina is not IN Kensington Market. Second, if people are so loyal to the local fishmongers and fruitsellers in Kensington, then there should be no threat to local business.

This is downtown Toronto, not some sleepy little village whose heritage needs protecting. People want more choices and there are some things you just can't get in Kensington Market. Just like there are some things you can't get in a big-box grocery store.

Besides, there's a big old Metro across the street from the St. Lawrence Market, and the last time I was there, it didn't look like business was suffering at all. So much ado about nothing.
Mike / February 21, 2013 at 11:51 am
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If you have the time to protest the opening of a Loblaws, your life is truly blessed and I only wish to one day have the time to focus my energy on frivolous nonsense.

Keep living the dream.
DS / February 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm
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Can't wait for a decent grocery store to open on College!! The current Metro at Crawford is a joke! Please hurry up with building this!
NIMBY replying to a comment from fiz / February 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm
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Not quite sure where I said LCBO would "kill business". As others said, If someone needs the LCBO, there is on on Spadina about a block south.
Rob / February 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm
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Anything that puts pressure on Metro to improve their dismal stores, customer service, and selection is a plus. We all shop at large food retailers. Kensington Market needs this.
Jim / February 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm
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No grocery store for miles, but this guy is OK with adding ANOTHER liquor store when there is one two blocks away. Something is wrong with his priorities. Lost my support right there.
Jim / February 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm
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And another thing: Staples would hurt the small computer shops on the strip. I'm guessing he doesn't care about the overall community or small business in general and only the food sellers in the market.
ash replying to a comment from WALMART!!! / February 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm
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Walmart tried to swoop in recently at 420 bathurst, and were defeated at the municipal level and at the OMB.
put a bird on it replying to a comment from fiz / February 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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It'll kill our local Kensington craft brewery
margarets / February 21, 2013 at 01:11 pm
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The Loblaws at Christie & Dupont does not seem to have harmed Fiesta Farms. That's because they sell different things. The same dynamic could work in Kensington Market.
d.a.r.y.l. / February 21, 2013 at 01:14 pm
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I wonder how many rat pics will be taken at the new loblaws fish counter. I'm guessing 0.
Alex / February 21, 2013 at 01:14 pm
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They need a grocery store there, that area is way underserved in terms of grocery stores and even drug stores. When I was in res in the area you had to walk all the way over to Bloor and Spadina to find either of those. Good luck to Loblaws and hope the NIMBY's lose.
crimby replying to a comment from put a bird on it / February 21, 2013 at 01:16 pm
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I doubt it. The LCBO sells Kensington Brewing Co's beer...
McRib / February 21, 2013 at 01:24 pm
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get mad, Jim.
Joel / February 21, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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I always head to kensington market for meats, cheeses and bread on my way to or from Loblaws at Queen and Portland. All this will do is make Kensington a destination which will bring in more business for restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, etc...
Khristopher / February 21, 2013 at 01:28 pm
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It will not kill Kensington. If all the hippies really appreciate Kensington, they will still shop there just as much as they always did, and won't step a foot into a corporate grocery store.
cathy / February 21, 2013 at 01:41 pm
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There's a Metro at College and Yonge. Isn't that closer than Bloor/Spadina?

(From the comments it seems like people in the area go to Spadina rather than Yonge and I'm curious as to why.)
Rob replying to a comment from cathy / February 21, 2013 at 01:55 pm
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Yonge Street's just not cool, man. That's for the tourists and the squares, man.
pat / February 21, 2013 at 02:37 pm
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white people protesting a grocery store opening....
Sarah replying to a comment from Rob / February 21, 2013 at 02:39 pm
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I'm a square who shops at the Yonge street grocery stores. I just wish there was proper grocery store serving those of us who live around University and Dundas. Closest proper grocery stores are at Yonge and College. That might not seem far, but my weak, little, girl arms get really sore trying to haul a proper grocery-shop worth of groceries that far.
Robert / February 21, 2013 at 02:42 pm
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There was much protest when a Loblaws at Jarvis and Queens Quay was proposed, it was said it would kill the St Lawrence market. Never happened. Then a Dominion(now Metro) opened on Front across for the ST Lawrence market.St Lawrence market is still going. If anything St Lawrence Market has lost business to the many 'framers' markets that dot Toronto and the GTA.

Both Metros close to the Loblaws at MLG are still dumpy, don't expect any improvement there.
SW replying to a comment from Bonnie / February 21, 2013 at 02:46 pm
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"This is downtown Toronto, not some sleepy little village whose heritage needs protecting. People want more choices and there are some things you just can't get in Kensington Market. Just like there are some things you can't get in a big-box grocery store."

...AMEN!

This Loblaws would be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood - I should know, since I've lived in it for 23 years. That Metro at Spadina and Bloor just doesn't cut it (read: it's awful).

Kensington will not be "killed." Quit being such hippy alarmists. This is TORONTO.
har / February 21, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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No, it will NOT kill Kensington. Gimme a break. God forbid folks in the area would have somewhere to buy groceries without a drug deal happening outside though.
Willy / February 21, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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Cry me a river, Kensington Market Action Committee. A Loblaws at College and Spadina would have been fantastic when I was at U of T 20 years ago, instead of trekking up to the Dominion (now Metro) on Bloor and dodging the winos out front.
GaryT / February 21, 2013 at 02:48 pm
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I love Kensington. There are great butchers, fish shops (the less obviously rat infested ones) and cheeses etc. But produce is mostly pretty crap. If a grocery store forces these places to care more about the quality of their offering, it isn't a bad thing. As it is, I get my meat at Sanagan's, grab coffee and head to Fiesta Farms for everything else.
SW replying to a comment from cathy / February 21, 2013 at 02:49 pm
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To answer your question, I personally believe that Spadina and Bloor is much more convenient. They've got a free, large parking lot, it's just a quick jaunt up Spadina on the streetcar, and I do actually think it's closer than Yonge... It honestly never even crosses my mind to go over to Yonge Street.
bichesofkensington / February 21, 2013 at 02:52 pm
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The issue of a Loblaws at College and Spadina goes far beyond the effect on Kensington Market. This is and issue of another big box store being injected into our downtown core. Toronto continue clammers to be(come) a "global city". What are the characteristics of great "global cities"? Overwhelmingly urban planners cite walkability. As Jane Jacobs stated " ‘no one will ever walk from sameness to sameness even if the effort expended is minimal’. We already have a Loblaws about a 15min walk away from the new proposed site. How many more Loblaws, Winners, Shoppers, Starbucks etc do we really want to see?

Apathetically allowing our city to be overrun by big box stores further fuels monotonous, dry lifeless streets, suburban sprawl, cars, and an overwhelming lack of novel spaces. When you think of some of the "greatest" cities, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo etc. your thoughts immediately go to densely populated neighbourhoods of interesting new sidewalk visuals.

I would highly recomened watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdnNwQ1j3rI
Brian / February 21, 2013 at 02:55 pm
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Kensington is great unless you want to buy something in say the evening. There are two grocery stores a stones throw from St lawrence market and it still thrives.
anthony replying to a comment from NIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 02:56 pm
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Sorry to hear that Nimby, it's always a good idea to situate yourself in a place where you appreciate the amenities it has to offer.
Personally, I would prefer to be involved with the planning and development of the area I live in and will continue to do so.
That is what participating in your community is all about. Have your say, accept the outcome, or find another community.
ME / February 21, 2013 at 03:14 pm
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I have lived in the Kensington area for more than 4 years and I must say that a decent grocery store would be a great addition to the neighbourhood. I doubt that it could possibly "kill" Kensington.. it would take a lot more than just a small grocery store to do that.
Todd Toronto replying to a comment from Rob / February 21, 2013 at 03:27 pm
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They changed their name for you (from Miracle, A&P, Dominion)(, didn't they?! What more do you want?!

Some people. Yeesh.
cathy replying to a comment from SW / February 21, 2013 at 03:33 pm
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Fair enough. I'm the opposite - I work in the Dundas/University/Yonge area and I'm always vaguely surprised that there are stores after College/Spadina, which is about the border of my errand running area.
Todd Toronto replying to a comment from bichesofkensington / February 21, 2013 at 03:34 pm
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How would not building a Loblaw's impact Toronto's walkability? If anything, putting another supermarket downtown means more people will be able to walk to a large supermarket, if they so choose. Toronto has made a stupefying amount of urban planning mistakes, and in terms of walkibility, will never be New York. And by the way, walkable as they are, the streets of Manhattan are increasingly becoming not unlike an open-air Yorkdale, with mom-and-pop stores increasingly replaced by banks and large chain retailers.



CaligulaJones / February 21, 2013 at 03:37 pm
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"we've successfully demonstrated our ability to make change."

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
Jimby / February 21, 2013 at 03:53 pm
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Apples and oranges. The proposed Loblaws on College is a non-issue for this Kensington Market resident/property owner. It will compliment not destroy the neighbourhood.
shea / February 21, 2013 at 04:02 pm
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yawn who gives a sh!t!
scottd / February 21, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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I dont see how this is bad for Kensington. In fact it makes living in the area better.
r / February 21, 2013 at 04:15 pm
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what about all the cockaroaches and rats in kensington... they have been infested for years...

Kat replying to a comment from d.a.r.y.l. / February 21, 2013 at 04:24 pm
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hah right, because Loblaws never has infestations of any kind!

http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2009/01/27/vermin_infestation_closes_dupont_loblaws.html

Sophia / February 21, 2013 at 04:31 pm
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So far the overabundance of fruit and veg places in Kensington/Chinatown doesn't seem to have hindered the overabundance of fruit and veg places in Kensington/Chinatown.
Groceries replying to a comment from bichesofkensington / February 21, 2013 at 04:34 pm
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I would argue that the Loblaws at Portland & Queen has only served to increase pedestrian traffic in that area. I can't see how the addition of a grocery store to an area that is obviously lacking would not produce the same results.

I'm no fan of box malls either, but infilling the downtown core things like grocery stores makes for a more livable city.

I get the feeling that if it were Whole Foods that were opening we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place.
Chris / February 21, 2013 at 04:35 pm
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We are at 51 comments and nobody has mentioned the fact that there are 4 relatively same-sized supermarkets in closer proximity to Kensington. If anything it will affect them more than the market.
Jamie replying to a comment from NIMBY / February 21, 2013 at 04:42 pm
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That's sort of the point - it should be up to the collective 'we', if substantial, worthwhile reasoning for not needing the service is given. And I personally think the threat of debilitating local, independent groceries is just that.
GRBY / February 21, 2013 at 04:44 pm
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Loblaws are swine.

They own a great heritage/art deco building at Lakeshore & Bathurst. That building would be an incredible grocery store if they decided to gut it and renovate it. But the Weston family (that owns Loblaws) wants to rip it down to build condos, even though the City wants it to remain due to its heritage.

The Weston family has intentionally have left the building decaying by the means of not fixing the broken windows so that mold develops. Once the mold develops they tell the city 'it has asbestos' ... and then it gets torn down.

Now the Weston family wants to ruin Kensington.

This City is going to shit.

Welshgrrl replying to a comment from Groceries / February 21, 2013 at 04:46 pm
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Seriously! Its not like a Walmart is being plonked right in the middle of Kensington and Nassau. If a mini-Loblaws is built nearby I would probably pick up the odd thing here and there, and it wouldn't stop me from buying from the same more specialized places in KM that I frequent anyway (Sanagan's, Global Cheese, My Market Bakery etc)
v79 / February 21, 2013 at 04:54 pm
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"We'd be delighted to have a liquor store" Ummm, you already have one, at Spadina and Baldwin. The fact is, not everyone wants to purchase their groceries from specialty shops at inflated prices or from sketchy, filthy, run down mom and pop shops. The area as a whole has a low income level, and having more affordable food prices in the area is only a plus to residents. The slew of large Chinese grocers on Spadina didn't do in Kensington's independents, and nor will a much needed Loblaws. Having had organized at least a dozen events in the area, it was always a pain to have to import food and drink from other areas instead of simply going down the street and buying it within walking distance (without having to pay nearly $4 for a 2L pop at a convenience store). Bring on the Westons!
evan / February 21, 2013 at 05:20 pm
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I can't see the need for a Loblaws when there is such a fully stocked market RIGHT THERE. Unless the goal for Loblaws is to beat up Kensington's business's, then why would they open in an area that doesn't need them. It's like Starbucks opening up in the middle of a well serviced area just to undercut and drive the locals out of business. What would Loblaws offer that Kensington can't?
StayInSchool replying to a comment from GRBY / February 21, 2013 at 05:29 pm
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"Once the mold develops they tell the city 'it has asbestos' ... and then it gets torn down."

You don't have the slightest clue what asbestos is, do you.

That's okay.

In any event, the building was a crumbling structural nightmare long long before the Westons showed up. It will never get torn down - Weston is waiting for the opportunity to be the hero again (saved Maple Leaf Gardens). He doesn't need the political win right now, so the building will sit until it needs saving to get him great PR.

"Now the Weston family wants to ruin Kensington."

Dramatic much?
Me / February 21, 2013 at 05:42 pm
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Galen Weston responded to a Youtube whiner? Now THAT'S funny!! The internet really is a funny thing.
Robert replying to a comment from evan / February 21, 2013 at 05:49 pm
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Better prices, larger selection, cleaner stores that is to start. But hey if you want to shop at the stores in Kennsington go ahead. Personally I want to know my food was not shat on my a mouse.
Holly replying to a comment from SW / February 21, 2013 at 06:39 pm
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Testify!! I hate that Metro with a passion. And Kensignton shoppers will only gain from this. If they have to step up their game to keep attracting customers, isn't that a good thing? It's like how many indie cafes became great when they were threatened by Starbucks. Personally, I think a lot of the shops in Kensington (Essence of Life, for example) offer very poor service, but get by just because there's such an incredible level of demand right now.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Robert / February 21, 2013 at 07:00 pm
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"Personally I want to know my food was not shat on my a mouse."

I don't side with the hairy protesters in this debate, but i can tell you honestly that the biggest rat I have ever seen was ambling down an aisle at the Queens Quay Loblaws in the middle of the afternoon.
Michelle / February 21, 2013 at 07:44 pm
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It'll be fine, folks, really. Since when is College and Spadina considered part of the market? The people who shop in the market are not the same people who shop at big mainstream grocery stores. Loblaws cannot possibly recreate what the market is and does, which brings us back over and over. Loblaws is just a store. It will get business from people hoping off the streetcar on the way home to grab dinner and such, but they aren't shopping in the market now anyway. Let them come. And we'll carry on in the market, business as usual.
George / February 21, 2013 at 07:57 pm
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GO LOBLAWS!!!
Water into beer / February 21, 2013 at 08:37 pm
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I'm onside with the pro-Lobs on this, but when I see the snake Adam Vaughan pushing this, not so much.
the lemur replying to a comment from bichesofkensington / February 21, 2013 at 10:14 pm
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And cities like NYC, London and Paris (can't speak for Tokyo) have supermarkets that fit their environment in terms of size.
Kaeden / February 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm
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Bro, this is like the worst thing ever. It's like worse than Hitler or Ethiopian famine. Like I'm going to totally move away from this city, it's like people think cities are for making money and employment centers and not like places where you know you totally like live off your parents' money and shit. Like I totally can't believe now I'll have to make a conscious decision to shop where I want to instead of just like you know shopping at the same place I used to and like shutting up and shit.
Kaeden / February 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm
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I also like want to say that I feel it's really important that people want the same exact things as me because I totally know what's good for everybody and and I really don't think it's fair that if a Loblaws goes in at this location people will be able to shop there if I am making a stand and not shopping there, you know?
Jill / February 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm
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#Firstworldproblems #Hipsterwhining
Me replying to a comment from Jill / February 22, 2013 at 12:59 am
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Exactly. Best comment here.
annakarenina / February 22, 2013 at 03:50 am
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omg, shut the hell up venetia butler.
DL / February 22, 2013 at 08:11 am
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Kensington is gross. It surprised absolutely nobody when they found parts of the market had a problem with infestation. It needs investment. Do that, and you could open up a Loblaws, Metro, Target, Lowe's, etc. and still be bulletproof.
Gabe / February 22, 2013 at 09:00 am
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College and Spadina is NOT Kensington. You're outside your boundaries stop your complaining...

Elle Em / February 22, 2013 at 10:22 am
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I don't see the point of having a Loblaws on College and Spadina with the Loblaws on Queen and Portland. The only big advantage of Loblaws nearer to Kensington is that it's open til 11pm and Kensington rolls up its streets by 7:30. At night there's just the bar crowd.
Lauren / February 22, 2013 at 10:34 am
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Most people are lazy and want what is easier not what's best. So if there is a one stop shop for all your microwavable ready-made meals, they will go there. For the other part of the population who view cooking as an art, they will continue to go out of their way to find the best shops for their needs. Loblaw's won't kill Kensington, but it will help filter out the non-appreciative foodies out there.
Rob replying to a comment from Lauren / February 22, 2013 at 11:23 am
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Oh STFU. Some of us just don't like paying $6 for a bottle of ketchup at a Kensington convenience store.
Rob replying to a comment from Lauren / February 22, 2013 at 11:24 am
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Unless of course, "appreciative foodies" make their own from fresh tomatoes and the smell of their own farts.
the lemur replying to a comment from Rob / February 22, 2013 at 11:35 am
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I'm not sure Kensington even has a convenience store, and I doubt Freshmart charges that much.
Holly / February 22, 2013 at 11:40 am
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How has Kensignton managed to develop this myth of being great for foodies? The produce is mostly shipped from overseas, unlike the beautiful local produce at the St Lawrence Market. And the number of times I've bought mouldy cheese from there! I can't wait for Loblaws!!
Rob replying to a comment from Holly / February 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm
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Because it's an open air market and this city is loaded with transplants who don't know that open air market doesn't always equal amazing fresh produce. It's appearances, like everything else in this town.
Jkay / February 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm
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I think the real issue is about the cultural landscape being affected by such a huge corporate entity. The new Loblaws will take away from the intimate community feel of the neighbourhood. But, nevertheless, people or at least students at UT will probably benefit from the additional shopping choice.
esteban / February 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm
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im just against supermarkets. is not the first time they kill small businesses
john / February 22, 2013 at 01:07 pm
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No, it won't have any effect, unless the argument of the protestors is that the only reason they shop in kensington is b/c they can't get anything better elsewhere. Is that really what they want to say?

People who like shopping in Kensington will do so, and people who like shopping grocery stores will no longer have to go either to the Metro or the Loblaws on Portland, neither of which are very convenient if you live at college/spadina and your primary mode of transport is foot.
Tim replying to a comment from Jkay / February 22, 2013 at 01:15 pm
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The new Loblaws at Queen and Bathurst has brought a real community feel to the neighborhood at least for my family. Finally somewhere to get good groceries, baby foods, etc. I'd rather not have to pay specialty food prices, mom and pop and quicky mart prices.
'
From College and Spadina there's also a Metro a short walk north to Bloor St.

Communist Kensington.
Me / February 22, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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Protesters protest to give the rest of us with lives someone to laugh at.
Giorgio Mammoliti / February 22, 2013 at 06:19 pm
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Why isn't anyone talking about the REAL issue here: who's gonna hoover a rail off Paul Karn's hog??!
Toronto Fatman / February 22, 2013 at 06:33 pm
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No idea who Paul Karn is, nor do I care enough to look it up, or at all.
Toronto Fatham replying to a comment from Toronto Fatman / February 22, 2013 at 07:07 pm
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Toronto Fatman is TOTALLY curious.

Watch out Kensington...you're about to have a coked-up, sex-crazed, butt nekkid liar in your midst. :)
Toronto Fatman replying to a comment from Toronto Fatham / February 22, 2013 at 07:15 pm
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Thought Jack Layton was dead?
Jer / February 22, 2013 at 07:58 pm
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As other's mentioned Kensington Market basically shuts down in the evening. Would be good to have a local grocery store. I don't even live in the area but I would definitely hit up a Loblaw's there, use the free "validated" parking time left over to hit up a store or two in Kensington market. They are stupid to protest this. Just like the article that said that the MLG Loblaw's killed the Church street strip...

Be competitive/ offer something unique and you have nothing to worry about.
Toronto Fatham replying to a comment from Toronto Fatman / February 22, 2013 at 08:10 pm
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Touche, and well-done, sir! You may be a knave, but a man must tip his hat when he has been bested. The thought of a hard and deliriously randy Jack Layton wlll not soon depart my thoughts. Jack too would have approved....even he too.

Until we meet again.
Toronto Fatman replying to a comment from Toronto Fatham / February 22, 2013 at 09:10 pm
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Aye dear Squire. I toast Thee with fine mead.
Stephen / February 23, 2013 at 03:48 am
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My main problem is the aesthetics of the condo that Loblaws will occupy. It's ugly as shit but that's the only problem I see.
I find grocery shopping in Kensington can actually be as expensive or even more so than Supermarkets. I appreciate all that is offered in Kens' and support the idea of small thriving businesses but it feels like the average person that would buy their groceries there does it for the "experience" rather than the actual quality. The type of person that frequents smaller shops in Kensington Market is not going to shit their pants and run to Loblaws for toilet paper. Everything will be fine.
The fact that this buffoon is suggesting ANOTHER LCBO in the area is disgusting. Yes, Kensington Market needs more drunk homeless natives for people to look at as they enter the market to buy stupid shit. Maybe we should thrown in a pawnshop into the area as well, fuck it.
Cut! Print! Next! replying to a comment from Stephen / February 23, 2013 at 03:12 pm
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"...more drunk homeless natives".

Somebody call Bellwoods Brewery, I think we have a smashing new ironic name for their next growler.
FlipMyFlop / February 23, 2013 at 03:38 pm
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Ah, but is there anywhere for the drunk homeless natives to set up a blockade? That'll keep them busy 'til the booze runs out. Of course then they'll be back until their next welfare cheque but one can't win them all.
Simon Tarses / February 24, 2013 at 05:49 am
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Good to see that this is happening-the opening up of a Loblaws in Kensington would kill the market and make it as shitty as any of the bland suburban areas that comprise most of Toronto. If the students and condo dwellers want or need to shop for standard groceries, let them hop on the streetcar to someplace else or head to the Loblaws on Queen Street.

@FlipMyFlop & Stephen: Your comments only show how racist and stupid the two of you are, and I don't think that you should be paid attention to.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from the lemur / February 24, 2013 at 05:28 pm
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Cities like London have organizations like the NEF (New Economic Foundation, http://www.neweconomics.org/projects/clone-town-britain) that have set up a campaign called Clone Town Britain to oppose more big box retailer like Loblaws from overrunning the downtown area of major British cities and towns, FYI: the Kensington Market Action Committee isn't any different from them, and unlike you, and others here who don't see the danger, they are right about this.

If people need to shop at Loblaws, there's already a Loblaws at College and Church, and the one on Queen Street, in addition to the various Metros and No Frills around; there's no need to have another one in Kensington Market.
Tanya / February 24, 2013 at 08:08 pm
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The problem with Kensington is you have a bunch of people that can't afford to live in the city and a bunch of businesses that are surviving because of the area, BUT couldn't survive in the real world. Build me a lowrise condo in Kensington and I'll pay $300,000 - $400,00 for it. Times X that by 80 and you're talkin some serious cash flow, not the $1400-$3000 per month rents these business are paying.

The businesses can't afford to stay around... Just goin through the motions its not profitable they can just get by, which is not a real viable business.
Me replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / February 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm
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But Simon, no one really cares who YOU feel should or should not be paid attention to either.
Johnny Longo replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / February 25, 2013 at 08:33 am
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Hi every buddy!!!
Don'ta shoppa ata loblaws or No frills. Come-a to mya store. I have a lots of nice tings to buy!!!!
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Me / February 25, 2013 at 11:22 am
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And nobody cares about YOUR shit, either, yet here you are just trolling away instead on contributing anything worthy to the discussion.
Me replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / February 25, 2013 at 11:38 am
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Yup, just like you. How thrilling. Venting your spleen on an internet blog. Wow, must make you feel SO enlightened. Poor Simon, doesn't get that none of this matters in the real world. Mom must be so proud.
Ford4ever replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / February 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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"...the opening up of a Loblaws in Kensington would kill the market and make it as shitty as any of the bland suburban areas that comprise most of Toronto..."

First of all, they're not talking about opening up IN Kensington Market.

Secondly, take a look at any old photos of Toronto from the 50s onward, Loblaws has always been part of the streetscape.

The sky ain't falling.
Concerned / February 26, 2013 at 01:57 am
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I don't think people realize the effect a major supermarket will have on Kensington Market.

Most of the people who shop in the market come on foot. When Loblaws opened at Queen and Portland 2 KM away sales in the market dropped overnight by 20 %. The people who lived along Queen St. now have no reason to make the trip here any more. The new proposed store falls within the boundaries of Kensington Market.

The proposed new store is probably larger than all the food providers in Kensington combined. Their goal will be to canabilize the clientle by undercutting the exsisting businesses at a loss just to gain a market share. Just ask your self why European Meats left, who will be next?

The Market needs support of it's community ,not an endorsement for a large corporation with deep pockets with the goal monopolize the customer base of the area. We need to protect the small family businesses of Kensington Market.

If all the food vendors disappear, the next wave a business to come to the Market will be bars and night clubs.
Kensington Market may very well become the next Entertainment district,which may already be happenning. With it comes drunken disorderly conduct and crime. I am sure that is not what we all want to see the market evolve into.




mondayjane / February 26, 2013 at 07:04 am
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I have been shopping in Kensington for over 20 years. I also shop at Loblaws. Is it possible that a Loblaws may only serve to augment Kensington's offerings?

For instance, I will not buy meat at Loblaws but am devoted to Sanagan's. Loblaw's has no kind of wellness section compared to Essence of Life, and the bulk section cannot compare to anything in the market. At the same time, I am a new mom and the diapers/wipes I buy are usually PC. There are brands I like that I would buy at Loblaws that I can't get in the market.

I agree also with the other poster who cites the Metro directly across the street from St Lawrence Market having virtually no effect on the Market's business.
The King / February 26, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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What would Al Waxman do?
NativeOfToronto / February 26, 2013 at 04:01 pm
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There are two takes to this that people should consider. One is the typical factor of whether or not this new Loblaws will hurt Kensington Market or not. Second is whether or not it is the intention for Loblaws/the Westons to hurt Kensington Market.

I'd be more concerned about the second one, because we have content that proves the possibility. Remember last year about the public story, the outcry from Galen Weston saying that one day farmer's markets may kill someone? Rubbish, hypocrisy and ignorance. Talk about showing your true colours! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVsSnzQScFE
(search newspapers and blogs as well, it went as far as Ottawa and Vancouver)

Then last year there was also the frozen yogurt issue, the story is very accessible on the internet. Overall, I don't trust the Westons, as they are not about balance and are one of those businesses that have insecurities because they want it all at he expense of others. Wake up people, it's all greed out there, that you can no longer brush off any ideas or theories, but you have to look into them or just think yourself. Some have even thought of the idea that the Westons are probably buying or will buy property at Kensington which would automatically make a non-battle if it happens.

But the main point is that it is up to the people, because where you shop determines the outcome. One thing Canadians (minus Quebecois, who do so) are weak in is making a statement together and boycotting. Too many are not supporting our own national or local businesses, even when there are options and prices are close or better! So many Canadians are lined up at Starbucks, etc when we have our many local options that could've used or could use our dollars. This is a way to hurt the broken system. It really is up to the people, and please be mindful of possibilities of schemes from greedy parties.
NativeOfToronto / February 26, 2013 at 04:12 pm
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Take a look at Carnaby Street in London and what happened to it. Take note.
Concerned / February 26, 2013 at 04:38 pm
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replying to a comment from mondayjane.

You made the following statement that I disagree with "At the same time, I am a new mom and the diapers/wipes I buy are usually PC. There are brands I like that I would buy at Loblaws that I can't get in the market."

The nice thing about the merchants in Kensington Market is if you ask them they will do their best to bring in whatever you want. You can't get that service in a large corporate supermarket. All you have to do is ask.

As to the "poster who cites the Metro directly across the street from St Lawrence Market having virtually no effect on the Market's business." That may be true but all one has to do is look at the thousands of high rise condo units around ST.Lawrence Market. Kensington Market does not have the same demographics.or density.

In Favour / February 26, 2013 at 05:53 pm
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I moved into the South Annex a few years ago, and compared to every other neigbhourhood I've lived in, the one shortcoming it has the complete lack of a clean and fresh grocery store within walking distance. The existing options are all frankly all pretty grimy. A Loblaws in this spot would be fantastic. That stretch of College Street is pretty ragged, and more than ready for a bit of clean up.
John Greg replying to a comment from The King / February 27, 2013 at 06:51 am
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He would probably tell Loblaws to Wax off Man
Purchasing Power replying to a comment from Concerned / February 27, 2013 at 09:29 am
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Giant supermarkets do that as well, if there's demand for it. They will stock fried ants if people want them.

Asking a local merchant to stock something is nice, but it's going to cost you more and it's going to inconvenience them if you don't end up buying it. I think the survival of smaller merchants is dependent upon low overhead and keeping a clean, friendly store, not a wider range of products. That's why there's a Loblaws planned.

Gabe / February 27, 2013 at 09:15 pm
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Is this what KENSINGTON MARKET is AFRAID OF? I don't understand tough gritty Kensington Market is afraid of some soccer moms and everyday people that want good value for food and this somehow threatens their existence and the whole neighborhood they've only been involved in since.... MY HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED... What was once PUNK ROCK is now afraid of mom.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO2AEtYRmIQ
Tim / February 27, 2013 at 09:25 pm
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Let's allow property values to go up its what's best for the city instead of trying to block change that the best for the city instead of within your two blocks...
Sam / February 27, 2013 at 09:47 pm
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NO!

Because the locals won't support the weston family. Neither should you.
Julie replying to a comment from Sam / February 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm
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I'm supporting my own family by shopping there and the value priced quality items not supporting their family.
Babak / February 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm
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All you ugly hipsters who are protesting against this can go jump off a bridge! It will raise property value in the vicinity. You guys wouldn't know about that because none of you own property, and most of you rent in rooming houses. As someone mentioned above Kensington closes up shop early anyways, so it's more convenient for the people who have jobs who get home later in the evenings. You guys wouldn't also know about that because you don't work since you have time to protest during the day.
What? replying to a comment from Concerned / February 28, 2013 at 10:47 am
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"Kensington Market may very well become the next Entertainment district,which may already be happenning. With it comes drunken disorderly conduct and crime."

So drunken disorderly conduct = bad. Shady drug deals that happen in Kensington all the time = ok?
Sriskandakumar OMalley / February 28, 2013 at 06:58 pm
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Came here looking for pointless narcissistic circlejerk confirming most people on all sides of any given issue are utter morons. Was not disappointed - 4.3 out of 5 tugs.
Robert B replying to a comment from Rob / March 16, 2013 at 09:28 am
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$6 for a bottle of Coke??
Or is it ok to pay $6 for a stinking coffee at Starbucks.
big b / April 1, 2013 at 09:27 am
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I think you people have nothing else to do but complain and write this stupid blog. I have been a Loblaws fan all my life and I would love a Loblaws there. Loblaws is a big employer of Canadians. A store like that would hire at least a hundred maybe more people. Jobs that are really needed! Kensington market is well established and is not going anywhere. So do something more constructive with your time like get a job.
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Zapperade / June 3, 2013 at 06:03 pm
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Put your efforts towards the proposed Walmart. There is already a Walmart down at Dufferin South of Bloor, no need for this one. Walmart looks so wrong against the KM backdrop, it's jarring to our city's heritage. The proposed Loblaws fits better, as they are Canadian, support Canadian businesses, and if not for them the Maple Leaf Gardens may have been just another memory. It's also much smaller. With condos coming into the area, impossible that KM will be able to support everyone's needs. Pick your battles, and put efforts into better defining and designating KM more visibly and have government support the vendors more with tax cuts or capital investment towards upgrading their building needs.
keenan replying to a comment from NIMBY / June 5, 2013 at 05:10 pm
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They are not complaining about not having business they are saying there is a wide variety of stores where you can buy a number of food items run by small businesses. They want something big that isn't there already. A large company like loblaws would hurt said small businesses. They just want to keep the social construct and not be interrupted by someone trying to make another dollar that they already have.

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