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Cumberland Cinemas To Become Nespresso Boutique, Says Real Estate Agent

The former art-house multiplex will become a retail outlet for the multinational coffee-equipment retailer, according to a real estate agent involved.

The Cumberland's marquee, as of earlier today. The quote is from Blade Runner.

The Cumberland Four Cinemas, which closed permanently on Sunday after more than 30 years in Yorkville, will soon be replaced by a Nespresso boutique, according to a real estate agent who handled the changeover in tenants.

Jordan Karp, vice president of retail advisory services for Paracom Realty Corporation, said that his company helped the owner of the Cumberland Four’s building—someone Karp would identify only as “a private investor,” and whose name we haven’t yet been able to dig up—lease the property to Nespresso after months of searching for an ideal occupant.

“We were holding out for the perfect fit,” Karp said.

According to Pat Marshall, spokesperson for Cineplex, which owned the Cumberland, the art-house multiplex was operating on a month-to-month lease prior to its closure. “It was always with the knowledge that the landlord wanted to redevelop the property,” she said.

Switzerland-based Nespresso, part of the Nestlé group of companies, sells machines that brew coffee that comes packaged in capsules. Torontonians may be more familiar with some of Nespresso’s competitors, like Tassimo, Keurig, and Senseo.

Karp believes Nespresso will gut and remodel the interior of the Cumberland Four. “It will take a year to transform the property,” he said. His understanding is that the plan is for the store to be open in time for the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. “They will sell the coffee machines,” said Karp. “And there will be a cafe component.”

Nespresso’s North American office did not immediately return phone calls, but according to the company’s promotional materials, it already has retail shops in 168 cities, including one in Toronto: a small outlet inside The Bay at Queen and Yonge Streets.

Nespresso products have reportedly been selling increasingly well in recent years, even as the company copes with an ever-increasing number of knockoffs and rivals.

Evidently, the company is planning on getting comfortable on Cumberland Street. “The building has been leased long-term,” said Karp.

As to old rumours that the Cumberland Four’s property is on the cusp of being redeveloped into a condo high-rise, Karp said they’re “all bullshit.”

We’ll update as we find out more.

UPDATE: May 8, 1:55 P.M. And below is a statement from Jacques Demont, Managing Director of Nespresso Canada, issued through a public-relations firm. Since it’s not a flat denial, we’re calling this confirmed until further notice.

We are eager to bring the Nespresso culture to Toronto and are looking at a number of locations for our boutique but have not confirmed a site as of yet. Nespresso entered the Canadian market six years ago with a Boutique in Corner in Toronto, then in 2007 it opened a Nespresso Boutique Bar in Montreal, and we look forward to sharing our unique coffee experience with Canadians across the country and in years to come.


  • Anonymous

    Nespresso? You have got to be kidding…

  • Roy Schulze

    I was always under the impression that Famous Players *owned* the space. Didn’t they once have their offices there off the Bloor Street entrance? Also didn’t Famous Players originally build the Cumberland to make us all feel better about them closing down the University?

    • Timmy

      Yes, that was the Famous Players building but as we know Famous Players ceased to exist years ago. Also, the Cumberland opened at Christmas of 1980 so I doubt if they knew if and when the University would close…that didn’t come until 6 years later. FP had been planning their own re-do of the University site for years before that…

  • Anthony Castaneda

    How ironic. A venue that showcased thought-provoking cinema gives way to a store that sells a gizmo that does all the thinking for you.

  • Roy Schulze

    In fact, now that I think of it, the Cumberland might very well have been part of the deal that *allowed* them to sell the University.

  • Jer

    wow, seems like a huge space for a nespresso to use. What will they do with all of that space?? Big money to renovate it for sure.

  • Anonymous

    Could have been worse, they could have bought European Meats.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a damn shame. And another sign that Yorkville is once again on the decline.

    • Canadianskeezix

      Why is it a sign of decline? Some big multinational snapped up the space. This makes Yorkville seem quite healthy and desirable. Far, far less interesting, mind you, but hardly in decline.

      • Neosavage

        Tell me about it ! They’re gonna dump in a few million bucks and hire a few dozen staff and sell that product like crack cocaine ! Has anyone gone to the Boutique and see how busy it is ?! Their product is-what-it-is and I know many cafe’s & coffee shops that have excellent espresso, only much more expensive. It’s great we live in a time & place where there is choice.

        • Anonymous

          I know many cafe’s & coffee shops that have excellent espresso, only much more expensive

          You just said earlier that ‘few coffee shops in the GTA have decent coffee’. Which is it?

          • Neosavage

            Both words are relative in meaning; few is three, many is four !
            I thought all Portuguese bars/restaurants, etc. had great coffee; several have now greatly disappointed me. The 360 atop the CN Tower has great espresso and under six bucks. There are thousands of places to have just espresso in the metro area ! You will spend a lifetime discovering this as many new places open and many existing places close. I learn of a ‘few’ places everyday and I trust the source opinion as to the quality of the coffee. Ultimately, it’s my palate & taste buds that determine if I’ll ever go back.

          • Anonymous

            ‘A few’ is not the same as ‘few’. Your initial statements about Nespresso suggest that because of it, you rarely bother to have espresso outside the home – presumably because you have encountered so many places that do it badly and so very few that offer decent espresso. You still contradict yourself.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like a waste of space just to sell a machine that generates waste with each cup.

    • Anonymous

      Nespresso capsules are recyclable (by Nespresso), although it would have been nice to have a combined café and movie theatre.

      • Neosavage

        They are commonly recyclable as any aluminum can…
        they are the only company in the world that has always had a 100% recyclable container in the market. It’s now 90% recycled aluminum, 10% new aluminum. A vegetable based coating inside protects the coffee from contacting the aluminum and it is packaged in a vacuum, meaning that light, air & moisture has never seen the inside blended espresso. When I’m done with the capsule, I open the lid, remove the coffee (used coffee is excellent fertilizer/compost as it contains many nutrients plant life requires – especially plants that require acidity like flowers, tomatoes, shrubbery/trees, etc), and put the capsule in my blue bin.

        • Anonymous

          What do you use to open the lid?

        • Anonymous

          I use a small blade and cut the inside perforated foil and use an espresso spoon to remove the 5 grams of used coffee. Coffee to garden, container to recycle box. I have also used my finger, which is the easiest.

  • Kevin Grabb

    Huffpo did a study and they found that Folgers/Maxwell House etc etc cost about 40$ a pound through the individual coffee pods. That’s over twice as much as Organic, Fair Trade ‘Artisinal’ Coffee. And all of that waste to boot. What a joke.

    • Anonymous

      With Nespresso it still works out to $0.50-60 per shot – cheaper than most coffee shops and, for most people, more convenient than pulling your own shots. Plus Nespresso recycles its own capsules.

      • Crimson Cass

        I’m skeptical of the “Nespresso recycles its capsules.” Does this mean you have to collect them and take them back to the store for recycling? This sounds really inconvenient. You have a bagful of leaky, coffee-grindy, bulky waste to cart around, and most people are busy and already have too much to think about. I expect that the majority of these capsules will end up in landfill.

        • Anonymous

          You do have to bring them back to the store, but it’s about the same level of inconvenience as returning empties to the beer store (minus the deposit, obviously). I’d rather do that than know that they were going to a landfill.

          The machines collect the capsules in a two-part bin that allows them to drain, so they’re not leaky or coffee-grindy at all. You can just put them in a bag and bring them to the store the next time you buy capsules.

        • Neosavage

          Read my earlier comments above. Why would you go or send back your used capsules to Nespresso instead of just putting them in your BLUE bin ?

        • Anonymous

          Even if Nestlé recycles the capsules, there’s still a lot more material and energy waste involved compared to the packaging, use, and recycling of a glass jar.

          The first R is for Reduce. Glass has the capsules beat with the second R as well.

      • Neosavage

        Again, read my comments earlier, get your FACTS right. Call Nespresso, they are one of the only company’s in the world that have a 24/7/365, 800 number for customer service, ordering, information, etc. I order my coffee ONCE a year, on December 25th as a present to my family.

        • Anonymous

          Well, for those of us who buy the capsules more than once a year, that involves going to the store. The prices I quoted above come from Nespresso’s own information.

          • Anonymous

            Why would one waste their time & resources going to the store unless it was convenient ? The coffee never expires as no chemical reaction can take place inside. It is only coffee inside, no additives or preservatives – it is processed in Switzerland & the Swiss are very meticulous about human health. Wherever you may’ve received that flawed information, it is no at all correct or current. Anyone may call them to get clarification: 800.562.1465.
            I own several of their models and as a sommelier enjoy what it is. Fresh, chemical free, fast and convenient. Over the years, I have decreased my capsule purchases and seldom bother to go out for coffee as few coffee shops in the GTA have decent coffee.

          • Anonymous

            Do you always sound like a press release when you talk?

            What ‘flawed information’ did I present, other than being wrong about the current pricing?

            I actually do go to the Nespresso store at the Bay because it is convenient and not at all a waste to time and resources. I have no interest in buying several months’ or a year’s worth of coffee at a time (particularly since the limited editions are seasonal).

            The coffee never expires? They may seal the capsules very well but Nespresso realizes that the coffee is still best soon after roasting, which is why the sleeves have an expiration date printed on them (usually up to 9 months away).

          • Anonymous

            The Swiss may be meticulous when it comes to human health, but Nestlé can’t claim the same standards.

            They have other highly suspicious concerns as well.

            (Do you work for Nestlé? Is that you, John Challinor?)

          • Anonymous

            I don’t work for Nestle or want to; I think for myself and concern myself with current accurate information. You should always read multiple reliable sources before offering an uneducated sheeple opinion. The links you provide are outdated & biased. I try to be as green as any normal responsible person. 100% of my power is solar – I generate so much I sell it to the grid. I use ground water for drinking and heating & cooling my home(ground source heat pump); have solar tubes as a back up; natural daylighting from recycled and reclaimed materials; never used disposable diapers, compostable toilets and sinks; gray water recovery; rain water collection…
            my list would go on for an hour, and all this didn’t cost me a great deal of money, only research & time.

          • Anonymous

            Outdated and biased? The Sun link is two months old and comes right from the horse’s mouth. As for the boycott, it may be 35 years old, but the information cited in the article is not.

      • Anonymous

        the capsules are 63 cents for the Grand Cruz, 68 cents for the Pure Origins, 70 cents for the Limited/Special blends. When I first started ordering the capsules, they were 22 cents for all blends !

        • Anonymous

          Okay, so slightly more than I said. My point that it is cheaper than in coffee shops still stands.

    • Neosavage

      All statistics reveal is what the author wants you to believe. Nespresso pays independent coffee farmers 25% more than fair trade AND all the farmers belong to the Rain Forest Alliance which is a FREE non-governmental organization to belong to.

  • Charles Melvin

    The Blade Runner quote on the marquee is perfect.

    • Neosavage

      I wonder how many others would have clued in on this classic line ?!!!

      • Margarets

        A lot of Cumberland regulars would.

  • Anonymous

    are u kidding ?

  • François

    Good news about Nespresso… I used to fiddle with a regular machine and a coffee grinder, but all I want is good espresso. There are so many great, independent places to go for professionally pulled espresso, I don’t need to play barista at home.