starbucks toronto

Closing of Starbucks in Toronto has locals worrying about the future of the economy

Between the dozens of restaurant and bar closures in Toronto over the past few months and the shocking number of newly-vacant storefronts along the city's thoroughfares, it's no secret that our small businesses are fighting just to stay afloat right now, too many of them sadly unable to do so amid the health crisis.

While residents fear that the only things left standing after COVID-19 and the consequent recession will be outposts of massive corporate chains, it seems that even they aren't weathering the current economic conditions so well.

We've witnessed a number of large brands shutter certain locations or Canadian operations completely, which is definitely not a good sign of the times — and Torontonians who have noticed the recent closure of their local Starbucks agree.

The Starbucks location at the corner of Laird and Eglinton in Leaside posted a notice informing the community this week that it would be permanently closing as of the evening of Oct. 25, encouraging patrons to instead visit one of three locations nearby.

"We would like to thank you for being a part of our store community; you are the heart of who we are at Starbucks and it was a great pleasure to connect with you every day. We are very thankfuly to have played a role in your daily routine and that you have shared these moments of your life with us," the letter, posted on Oct. 19, reads.

The news of the closure is admittedly not objectively all that tragic, but to locals, it indicates "another sign of the major pain that retail and other sectors of the economy are in," as one Facebook user writing about the subject in a Leaside community group put it.

There is also the fact that a lot of Torontonians really love their neighbourhood Starbucks, and have in the past not only bemoaned their closure, but even petitioned to save certain locations.

"Personally, I will really miss the place. I do not dare estimate how many hours I spent in my 'office away from the home office,'" the above poster wrote.

Despite the fact that the city is peppered with what one could argue is perhaps too many of the internationally ubiquitous cafes, location closures seem uncommon, though not unheard of — one of the city's oldest and well-known Starbucks on Yonge Street actually closed down just earlier this year.

The chain, like many, does open, relocate and close stores all over the world on a regular basis based on a number of factors that undoubtedly include their respective success and financial feasibility.

But still, in this case, some are seeing the closure of a popular location as a bad omen.

Lead photo by

Chen Shaowei/Google

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