Walmart could open a store on the west side of Downtown Toronto, near the popular Kensington Market neighbourhood. The store would be part of a 125,000 square-foot proposed retail project to be built by RioCan real estate investment trust.
The complex would be three floors, and Walmart would occupy levels two and three. Underground parking for about 300 cars would also be provided.
Many feel the project is incompatible with the small-store feel of the adjacent Kensington Market area. Some have expressed concern that area shoppers will abandon the popular Kensington Market area for the new Walmart-anchored project.
Urban Planner David Fitzpatrick analysed the situation and feels Walmart won’t harm the area. In a nutshell, he believes Walmart and Kensington Market attract substantially different customers looking for substantially different products. He goes so far as to say that business in the Kensington Market area could be improved with more people being attracted to the new Walmart, and the new Walmart’s parking being used for Kensington shoppers. For David’s excellent analysis, click here.
A public meeting on the proposed development will be held by the City of Toronto’s planning department at 7:00pm on June 6th at the College Street United Church at 452 College Street.
On Monday we’ll announce and discuss two American luxury department stores contemplating Canadian retail space. Have an excellent weekend, and thank you for reading Retail Insider.