starbucks toronto closing

Three more Starbucks stores just closed in Toronto and residents are shook

With the global pandemic forcing so many office workers to do their jobs from home, it's never been more important to have a reason to get outside — even if it's only once a day, just for coffee. Just to see the sun.

For downtown Toronto condo dwellers, whether apt to admit it or not, Starbucks serves this purpose well: The chain is ubiquitous, its atmosphere is comforting, and its products are consistently good (or at least higher in caffeine than what a Tassimo can put out.)

And those perpetually-chatty baristas? They've come to sub in for the friendly co-workers we now only interact with through Slack. Even the most introverted among us can some small talk on an otherwise silent, screen-filled day.

All of this is to say that people in cities tend to get attached to their local Starbucks locations — and that when one closes, it cuts. 

Toronto residents have reported the closures of at least three more Starbucks locations in the city since last Friday, when we confirmed that a Leaside location would be shutting down on Oct. 25.

That Seattle-based coffee giant did announce in June that it would be closing as many as 200 stores in Canada over the next two years due to financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starbucks told investors at the time that it would be restructuring the business to focus more on grab-and-go options, notably those with drive-thru service. 

"We will restructure our company-operated business in Canada over the next two years, with the potential of up to 200 additional stores being closed, with some of those stores being repositioned," noted the SEC filing.

Starbucks Canada spokesperson Carly Suppa-Clark confirmed to blogTO on Thursday that the following three Starbucks stores in Toronto have permanently closed:

  • The King & Dufferin Starbucks at 1200 King St. W., which itself moved across Dufferin Street less than two years ago from its original location beside Island Foods to make way for an incoming condo development.
  • The Bloor & Avenue Starbucks at 150 Bloor Street West, located just steps from the ROM behind the gorgeous and historial Church of the Redeemer.
  • The Yonge & Rose Hill Starbucks at 5 Rose Hill Ave., just south of St. Clair. "There are nearby Starbucks locations at Yonge & St. Clair and Yonge & Roxborough, but this, between the two others, was certainly a convenient and popular outlet," said one blogTO reader by email when reporting the abrupt store closure.

Upset as neighbourhood residents may be to see their favourite drip spots go, Suppa-Clark reiterated that this part of a planned "transformation" into more convenience-led store formats, "mostly in downtown metro centres."

Starbucks isn't leaving Toronto, it's merely changing — as it has before, several times, much to the dismay of its neighbours.

"We have taken great care to ensure our partners (employees) have been provided with options, including redeployment to another store where possible," said Suppa-Clark of the store closures in Toronto.

"We have begun our accelerated store transformation to best meet our customers where they are now, which means we will close some stores and open more next year, the majority of which will be Drive Thru. We remain open in neighbouring locations and look forward to serving our customers at those stores."

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