The residents of Kensington Market are letting out a victory cheer today after it was confirmed that RioCan, a real estate investment firm, will not be building a Walmart near Bathurst and Nassau Street. The fight has been brewing for awhile with residents petitioning against the big box retailer in the former Kromer Radio site. The owner of Good Egg, a kitchen store in the market, broke the news via Twitter.
Ding dong the Walmart witch is dead. #kensington— Mika Bareket (@GoodEggChick) February 13, 2014
"We pushed back hard on this," said Councillor Mike Layton, who has advocated against Walmart for nearly two and a half years. "The pressure put on Walmart and RioCan from our community backed them off from putting it in our area." The original plan called for a retail space of 8,800 square metres and the new plan would include a single-retailer and two floors of office space. The news comes following the recent blow that Loblaws is moving into the new College Condos near College and Spadina. Residents have created an online petition called "Loblaws, please don't wreck Kensington Market," in the hopes to stop the grocery chain before its expected move-in date in 2016. In Little Italy, another RioCan fight might be brewing. RioCan along with Allied Properties acquired 491 College St. and 289 Palmerston Ave. for $7.7 million. Let another online petition begin. · Will This be the Most Hated Walmart in Toronto? [Curbed Toronto]
· Loblaws is Moving in (And Pissing Off) Kensington Market [Curbed Toronto]
· Could Another RioCan Battle be Brewing in Little Italy? [Curbed Toronto]
· Developer Backs Away From Plan to Put Walmart in Kensington Market [Globe]