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Toronto neighbourhood upset that local Starbucks is switching to takeout only

Members of a neighbourhood in Toronto are upset after learning that their local Starbucks location will be switching to takeout only.

While Starbucks isn't necessarily the image that immediately springs to mind when one imagines a go-to hangout in the neighbourhood, members of the Church Wellesley Village neighbourhood are upset to be losing theirs.

According to a recent post in a neighbourhood Facebook group, the manager of the Starbucks at 485 Church Street has confirmed that the location will be switching to takeout-only hub next month.

"Say what you will about the product Starbucks now offers, this location offered a daytime destination and gathering place for many," writes the poster, noting that the loss might diminish the neighbourhood's appeal to people from other neighbourhoods in the city.

Other members of the community were quick to jump into the comments to voice their confusion and displeasure with the decision.

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A screenshot from a local Facebook group.

"Why are they doing that? Every time I go in there’s always a decent amount of people upstairs and downstairs getting coffee," one person writes.

"This side of town is getting lamer and lamer," says another.

Others, though, don't seem bothered by the decision, suggesting that losing the cafe as an option could push patrons to try local cafes and restaurants in the area, while others, still, just don't really care.

"I think in 15 years or so I only went in once to buy something because someone gave me a gift card," one person comments.

"Screw Starbucks- go further South and buy coffee at Bulldog Coffee on Granby Street," comments another.

This isn't the only time that Starbucks pickup locations have caused controversy.

When the coffee chain opened their first takeout-only location in the city, members of the community launched a petition to try to prevent it, taking issue with the mass of single-use plastic waste that would come out of the location.

According to Starbucks Canada, the decision to convert the Starbucks location was based on the safety of staff and the community.

"The personal safety and security of our partners is of the utmost importance to us and is always something we consider when reviewing the experience in our stores," they tell blogTO. 

"As a result, together with our partners, we made the decision to modify the store’s seating and washroom availability in order to  create the a safe experience for the community."

The upper floor of the cafe, Starbucks Canada adds, will be maintained as a space for organized local community events and non-profit gatherings, so the community will still be able to use the cafe space in some capacity.

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