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Loblaws: worth switching Kensington Market around for?

After years at 297 College St., the monks of the Zen Buddhist Temple are decamping to quieter (and presumably more meditation-friendly) digs at St. Clair and Bathurst. As The Grid reports, their old building has wound up in the hands of Tribute Communities, which has plans of its own for the site. Assuming the city gives the thumbs-up, Tribute is hoping to construct a 15-storey condo tower with about 20,000 square feet of retail space at the base. Rumour has it that Loblaws is negotiating for the spot. The company remains tight-lipped, but a new location did open in another Tribute property at Queen and Portland just last week (like the new Maple Leaf Gardens location, it has a cheese wall). Local businesses, which would find it difficult to compete with the grocery giant’s prices, selection and hours, are predictably anxious. “I don’t want to see a Loblaws there,” Yvonne Bambrick, coordinator of the Kensington Market BIA, told The Grid. “I think that is extremely bad news for the neighbourhood. I don’t even want to see it being discussed.” It could be argued that independent grocers don’t deserve special protection in a free market, but really—unless it’s going to have four cheese walls and a cheese ceiling, the city probably doesn’t need another Loblaws downtown. Read the entire story [The Grid] »

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