Dave Groff sez, "TONIGHT city planners will be holding a community consultation on the re-zoning applications, this will be one of the few opportunities at which the public can give input to the planners on a project that could profoundly change our neighbourhoods."

Date: **TONIGHT** Thursday, June 6, 2013
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00 pm
Place: College St United Church, Sanctuary / Auditorium, 454 College Street, northwest corner, College and Bathurst

Kensington is the best neighbourhood in Toronto and practically the last one untouched by rampant condo-ization and chain-storification.

Petition: Don't Let Wal-Mart and a shopping mall destroy Kensington Market


    1. **before your edit**

      I’m guessing that you are unfamiliar with Kensington Market. Ye old google machine would help explain why Toronto would/should care about this, even if there are Walmart’s all around the fringes of the Greater Toronto Area.

      1. So anyone who disagrees with you or questions your thinking in the slightest is a paid agent of your enemies? That’s a brilliant life strategy and not at all a symptom of a mental illness.

        1. Not at all evann, but people the people who always show up (without fail) in Wal-Mart threads with 0 posting history to suddenly knee jerkingly (we’ll call that word) defend Wal-Mart are likely astroturfers or spammers of some kind, or have the “mental illness” that you speak of.

          1. You’re wrong about the grandparent having 0 friends on Facebook. He’s just not sharing information about his friends publicly. He’s got dozens of status updates going back at least a year, many of which have comments and likes. He’s also got a spouse listed, and her page has posts and public friends. Could still be fake, I guess, but this is where we play “Which is more likely”:

            A) Wal*Mart cares so much that they spend God knows how many hours establishing hundreds of fake Facebook profiles just so they can post a completely worthless two-word comment

            B) Someone disagrees with you

          2.  My bad. I’m sure he’ll be back to back up that completely reasonable NIMBY comment that people took issue with….

    1. NIMBY suggests that the person wants the thing, just not where they live. If you believe that, you have no idea what kind of neighbourhood you’re talking about.

  1. The proposed development at College and Bathurst isn’t really in the market. If it’s built, I trust that Torontonians will simply shrug their shoulders and carry on supporting the independent shops in Kensington. I doubt the Walmart would have much of an effect.

    1. Thats a lot of trust. With a Loblaws on the northern edge and a Walmart on the western edge, and lot of food-buying dollars are going to be drawn out of he shops in the market. 

  2. Shoppingwise, most people go to the market for fish, meat, produce , and spices.

    Some people go for the 2nd hand clothing shops.

    They don’t go to the market for what WalMart offers: crappy DVDs or toys or gallon jars of pickles or crappy cheap clothes or crappy electronics.

    Wal Mart should be rejected for many, many reasons.  Being over on Bathurst 2 blocks outside Kensington creating some alleged economic threat to the market simply isn’t one of them. 

    1. Walmart sells groceries. So does Loblaws (planned for College, just west of Spadina.) Concerned yet?

      1. A lot of people do their primary food shopping at Walmart, Costco or Target.

  3. “Best neighbourhood in Toronto” – I don’t bloody well think so!


  4. Less sensationalism, please.  The proposed Wal-Mart is not “in” Kensington Market. It’s to be built at 420 Bathurst,St. (where Kromer Radio used to be) which is several blocks away from the Kensington shops. No one says that the stores in Chinatown on Spadina are in Kensingtin Market, and they’re much closer than Bathurst.

    Personally I don’t think sticking a Wal-Mart there is a great idea, but it’s not like they’re planning to plop it down in the middle of Kensington, or even on the edge of it.

    1. Not on the edge of it? Bathurst is the western boarder of the Kensington neighbourhood. You and I understand edge differently.
      My concern is that a big box store which sells food is opening roughly 90 seconds away from the commercial heart a century-old food market.

      1. Calm down. There’s such a thing as other people’s opinions, flaming everyone who doesn’t see it your way is unimpressive. I lived in that area (Markham Street) for a decade and people all around there know that west side of Bathurst is a.) not the market and b.) people who use the market will use the market. 

        Don’t you remember that the parkade was going to destroy the market? That the losing George Brown was going to destroy the market? That the condos were going to destroy the market? That shutting down Spadina for the TTC corridor was going to destroy the market? That the other condos at Bathurst and College were going to destroy the market? That the hospital expansion was going to destroy the market? I do. Didn’t destroy the market, though. 

        1. You seriously don’t think food buying $$ are going to be syphoned out of the market by the presence of a big box store on the perimeter? All those people walking to the market from west of Bathurst, and none will stop at Walmart? Only a minority are foodies you know. Are you equally unconcerned about the Loblaws?

          1. The short answer: no.

            The longer answer: it’s a city. There’s lots of stuff in cities, and people live there to make choices. The market is not a strictly local phenomenon: look at how many cars are in that parkade to find out how many people are coming to the area **by car** (oh irony of ironies). It’s a choice that people make, all over the city, to go to the market. The vast majority of them already pass a walmart or three on their way there. Or a Loblaws or six. Or a FreshCo. Or whatever.

            The issue is much more about the effect on the area it actually is in, the College to Dundas strip of Markham. And that’s not an economics issue.

        2. Calm down. There’s such a thing as other people’s opinions

          You made a funny.

  5. Except it’s technically NOT in Kensington Market. Bathurst, WEST of Nassau st. Kensington adjacent, people! (EDIT) Just read GregS’ comment above mine; what he said!

      1. That’s actually kind of rude, and crazy. There’s no access of any kind from the market to where this thing will be except by going to College or Dundas, thanks to the hospital complex that effectively walls Bathurst off from the market.

        As an ex-Markham dweller, I definitely think this is a bad proposal; markham is an important barrier street whose residential nature needs to be preserved for the integrity of Trinity Spadina’s eastern edge; the way Brock is messed up by the presence of Dufferin Mall (which has a Walmart) is probably what has to be worried about. 

        Dave, your tone-deafness on this issue makes me wish you’d read a little more Jane Jacobs, but perhaps just take a larger view.

        1. Sekou and Greg were nitpicking about borders. Greg went so far as to brand the concern as ‘sensationalism.’  
          The issue is that Walmart A) sells groceries, and B) will draw dollars away from the Market. Walmart and Loblaws must know that their presence here would threaten a unique economic ecosystem.

          1. Your point is that there’s an economic sphere around the walmart that intersects with the market’s physical area: they were more concerned I think with physical boundaries.

            I think that if you put a Walmart next to a mom and pop corner store like the ones that used to thrive on Queen Street you can kill it off, true. But so can a business like Dark Horse Café that occupies the mom and pop grocery that I bought tons of stuff at when I lived on Markham. That was hipsters killing off a valuable local business, and the same thing has happened in the market.

            But the Market is  destination, not just a local shopping area. Locals go there, tourists go there, people from Pape and Danforth go there, probably not too many from Scarborough do…

            So I think that we continue to disagree about the threat economically. But we both don’t want a Walmart…

          2. Agreed that hipster cafes are displacing mom and pop grocers in the market. There are already half as many grocers in the Market as there were in 80’s. Over the same 30 years,  Little Italy’s thriving small grocer ecosystem has been almost entirely replaced by 5 blocks of bars and cafes. A couple of die-hards remain.
            Kensington may go the same way some day, but I would like to delay that future as long as possible.

      2. Hey. Asshat. I SAID I saw above, after I posted. How about you read the entire post before you decide to name call. Also, as  a RESIDENT of Kensington Market, I’m fully intitled to tell people who don’t live here to chill the hell out about a misleading chicken little ‘the sky is falling’ post about my neighbourhood. Have a great day!

  6. If you’re planning to go to the meeting to argue against Wal-Mart specifically, you’re wasting your breath; the City can only control the zoning, not who the tenants are. You could try arguing that the site isn’t appropriate for large-format retail in general, but that might be a bit of a tough sell given that it’s on a main street with some pretty warehousey current uses and, as others have already pointed out, not in Kensington Market at all. Here’s the site:

    It’s also worth noting that his project has already gone through a round of application / rejection / lost appeal, even before Wal-Mart was announced as a tenant. The only thing the City’s going to care about is whether the redesign sufficiently addresses the urban planning issues they raised the first time, not whether you think Wal-Mart is hip enough to be in the general vicinity of the Market.

    1. You seem to know just enough to be an apathetic know-it-all, but not enough to give a shit. Read more Jane Jacobs. Kensington Market still exists because, for decades, people have cared enough to defend it. 

      1. Well, in my thirty five years in Toronto, the biggest destruction of the nature of the market has been its conversion from a place for immigrant groups to get a foothold economically and build community, while remaining connected to the urban core, to a groovy pleasure garden for hipsters who’ve priced it out of the range of those groups. They’re who kept the market going for a century, btw. 

        The market today is great, but so was Yorkville, once.

        And of course the irony is that Walmart will actually in its shitty way do what the market did for a century: provide cheap, low-grade goods to immigrants that the children of good families who practice their juggling skills in the market find distasteful….

        1. Yes, the market is changing, but to this day most of the food stores are run immigrant mom and pop operators.  

          Your comment about Yorkville is bang on, but isn’t that what we’d prefer to avoid? Or at least postpone?

          1. We agree, and of course we do… it would be far and away better to not have a Walmart, I just don’t think that that’s the primary influence that might create a new Yorkville. In fact, if anything, it would move it the area in a different direction. Either way though, I can’t see anyone deciding not to go to House of Spice and choose Walmar instead.

            I don’t have an answer, because I’m not as concerned about the market per se. But Toronto has a terrible disease of economically vital east-west corridors and moribund north-south ones. I suspect that this is because victorian development patterns favoured short blocks on east west streets and long ones going north south in the area below Bloor. (this was to funnel more people to fewer transit lines, and make sure those lines were busy – more ironies – it also favoured narrow lots on n-s streets). If the Walmart could anchor a more vital Bathurst from Bloor to Queen or even King, it might not be all bad. But that neighbourhood would be fucked.

  7.  Kennsington Market is the sort of thing the New Urbanism wishes it could be – vital, bustling, organic, created by residents with shoe string financing.

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