starbucks toronto closing

Another one of downtown Toronto's Starbucks locations has closed for good

While countless small businesses across Toronto have been permanently shuttering due to the financial ruin the pandemic has meant for them, residents are noticing another concerning pattern: that outposts of major chains are quietly disappearing as well.

In recent days, there's been the closure of the city's flagship Pickle Barrel, a long-standing Swiss Chalet, and multiple Starbucks in quick succession, on top of the many larger retailers that downsized their Canadian footprints earlier in the year.

The latest Toronto location of the ubiquitous Seattle coffee giant to shut its doors is the one at the busy downtown intersection of Queen and Bathurst.

The store was one of a handful of Starbucks that ceased operations early on in the pandemic due to lockdown restrictions, and never re-opened, even after it was able to do so.

 A notice on the door indicated that the closure was temporary, but now it appears that the location has been completely gutted, with a new sign on its door encouraging customers to instead visit another Starbucks in the area.

According to the new sign, the location officially shut down on Oct. 25, and all interior fixtures and exterior signage have since been completely removed, leaving no evidence that the conglomerate was ever there.

The closure likely has something to do with the entrance of a new Sbux location in the Loblaws just a block down at Queen and Portland, but it also comes days after the shutdown of the ones at Laird and Eglinton, King and Dufferin, Bloor and Avenue Road, and Yonge and Rose Hill.

Before this year, closures from the seemingly unshakable brand were few and far between despite the fact that there are hundreds in the city.

Starbucks did reveal in June that it planned to "restructure" and close or
reposition as many as 200 stores nationwide in the wake of the health crisis, prioritizing keeping those with existing drive-thrus or the potential for them.

The brand also stated on Twitter that it culls stores for a variety of reasons, including understaffing or not being able to adjust to the modified operations necessary amid COVID-19.

Still, many feel the fact that such a large company is suffering the economic pressures of the pandemic — and that it has decided not enough people are frequenting usually bustling locations in the downtown core of a major city — is worrying. 

The closures are, though, definitely a good excuse for Starbucks fans to become regulars at the city's smaller independent coffee shops, who definitely need the support right now.

Lead photo by

Staff


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