Last year Kensington Market locals protested near the corner of College and Spadina against a proposed Loblaws Grocery Store on the second floor of the College Condominiums. Residents were concerned the big box store would have a negative impact on the smaller independent retailers in the market. The 15-storey condo at 297 College St. has since broken ground with the construction crew working at the site of the former Zen Buddhist Temple. Residents did not oppose the building of the new condo until they learned of the possible new Loblaws coming to the condo's second floor retail space. Kensington Market is known for being fiercely protective of its close knit community and independent spirit. Previously, local residents fought and won against a Starbucks Coffee in the market and they are currently protesting against RioCan's proposed Walmart near Dundas and Bathurst Street. That project has since been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.
Will the new College Condos fit the Kensington Market style? Will its flashy facade create an eyesore for the neighbourhood? The condo which is expected to be completed in spring 2016 gets mixed reviews from around the web: "It's definitely an interesting looking building," says one Torontonian. "But I'm not sure I'd want to live there. It's a welcome addition to that stretch of the strip." Another says, "hopefully this crappy part of College (and nearby intersection) gradually get revitalized;" and "this will be a great addition to College street. Awesome central location too." One commenter said, "K-Market is as commercially appealing as K-Mart was. It's interesting to walk through. This is a great development project and area is great with a lot of potential." Do you think the new condo will be a good addition to College Street?
· With Loblaws a Possibility, Kensington Market Gets Anxious [Torontoist]
· Will This be the Most Hated Walmart in Toronto? [Curbed Toronto]
· Future of Large-Format Retail Near Kensington Market Still Uncertain [Torontoist]