Impending closure of Weston Bakery worries Leslieville
Weston Bakery has known it would eventually have to leave Leslieville for a couple of years now. A proposal for a condo has overshadowed the discount bakery and dry goods shop, and now, some families in the area are wondering where they'll go to shop for the basics.
The bakery's demise appears imminent because of a development application for a seven storey mixed-use development. It would include 259 residential units and ground floor retail. The application is still under review, with a public meeting to come in the near future.
I wander in one afternoon to see what the bakery's neighbours have to say about the potential closure. During the week, Leslieville can be pretty quiet, especially given the construction along Queen St.
Patricia Olawuyi lives in the area with her husband and two children. I ask her what she thinks of the closure as she picks out a loaf of bread.
"Of course we'll be affected. This bakery is cheaper, more convenient than other places. It's a good place, we don't want them to close."
She says now she'll have to venture further from home, to Shoppers or No Frills. That means lugging the groceries for a greater distance, and more time spent running errands. It also means she'll have to get what she needs at a greater cost: almost everything in Weston Bakery costs about $1, from cans of beans and chickpeas to tea, soup stock, various condiments, and loaves of bread.
While Olawuyi is sad about the closure, another lady I speak with is flat-out disgusted. She has a condo at Church and Front, and comes here to shop from time to time.
"What are they going to do? Are they going to tear this down and build condos four inches wide?"
She says developers are corrupt, and will do as they please regardless of the city, or of the neighbours' needs.
"They're going to do what they're going to do. And if they get away with it, the next guy is going to say 'Well, he was able to!'"
I tell the cashier I've heard about the development proposal, and ask her whether there are any details on where and when they'll be moving. She's friendly to me, but she looks both bored and annoyed by this pedestrian question, which appears to have been posed to her a skull-numbing number of times. I can't blame her, given the fact that rumours of the bakery's closure have been circulating since 2010. She says she's heard an uproar from neighbours about the closure, but then, other neighbours have complained about the bakery being there in the first place because of increased traffic and truck deliveries.
She sighs."We don't know anything yet. We might only be open 'til the end of the summer, maybe longer."
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