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Your Toronto 2014 Issue Navigator

How the candidates compare on some of the city's biggest issues.



Loblaws Is Coming to Kensington Market

Despite local opposition, the grocery chain is set to open a 20,000-square-foot location in a new condo development.

Kensington Market is fiercely protective of its identity as a unique, eclectic neighbourhood: after residents learned that a new 15-storey condo development approved by city council last year might end up being home to a Loblaws, there were street protests, and warnings about the damage the chain grocer might do to local businesses.

But it’s now a done deal: Tribute Communities, the developer behind the new condo building at 297 College Street slated to open in 2016, has confirmed that Loblaws will be setting up shop in a 20,000-square-foot space on the second floor of the complex.

Steve Deveaux, Tribute’s vice president of land development, suggests that the store will not become a looming corporate presence: “It’s not a big-box store like some people will attempt to categorize it,” he said. “It’s more of a community grocery store.”

But the arrival of the chain will doubtless contribute to fears that the neighbourhood is headed for increased gentrification and corporatization—although plans for a nearby Walmart have been put on hold because of a year-long large-retail freeze instituted by city council, they do not appear to have been scuppered. So with the possibility of a Walmart still on the horizon, many worry the future Loblaws is a sign of big-box things to come.