Stock Yards Village Adds Unique Hybrid Grocery Store/Entertainment Complex [Photos]

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The Stock Yards Village development in Toronto has forged a unique partnership with Nations Fresh Food to bring an innovative grocery, dining and entertainment option to the shopping centre.

Nations, which is an Ontario grocery chain, took over the old Target department store space of about 150,000 square feet and opened last month.

“It really is a new concept shopping experience because it’s not just grocery,” says Meredith Vlitas, director of corporate marketing for RioCan, which operates the Village. “The way that the store is set up there’s a large-format grocery component and a large-format, sit-down food court.

“There’s about 4,000 square feet of playground, 8,000 square feet of entertainment areas and then they have five themed party rooms. So when you go into the property there’s a large entertainment area, a really great arcade.”

Nations Fresh Foods is a multi-cultural grocery store chain which was founded August 28, 2012 in Woodbridge, Ontario. Besides the location at Stock Yards Village, the company has stores in downtown Hamilton and in Mississauga.   

When the Stock Yards Village opened in 2014 on St. Clair Avenue West at Weston Road, it was a unique urban development, intended to become a go-to destination for a wide variety of retail, dining and commercial uses in a vibrant, evolving community.

The property is owned by RioCan and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The open-air lifestyle shopping centre is about 550,000 square feet with 76 units.

Some of the bigger anchor tenants at the Village include Sport Chek, HomeSense, Winners, Roots and Banana Republic.

“In the local trade area, there was a void quite frankly in terms of our offering from a retail perspective at the property. We really feel that Nations is a great fix. We’re really thrilled to have forged a partnership with them to bring a really innovative grocery, dining, and entertainment option to the shopping centre,” says Vlitas.


“Nations with its new concept really helps to diversify our offering and works to deliver on our vision of making Stock Yards Village a go-to destination for the community shopping needs.”

For RioCan, this provides a great example of how it is looking ahead to integrate new format options into the retail mix at its properties, giving customers new reasons to visit the mall.

Jeremy Hurwitz, a leasing representative for RioCan, says the unique property required a unique retailer like Nations to cater to the diverse demographic in the community.

He says there’s still about 20,000 square feet of vacancy scattered throughout the property.

Leasing at the shopping centre has been very active over the past year with many new stores opening up – Snuggle Bugz, Healthy Planet, Unwired. A new Tim Hortons is also opening soon.


The Kids & Company, a 5,000-square-foot daycare, will be opening soon as well.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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