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Monday, 19 December 2011

A look at the new Osborne Street Shoppers Drug Mart


Shoppers' proposed design (source)

The only meeting on tap at city hall this week is the Board of Adjustment at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. (Click here for the agenda.)

The last item is file DCU 176975/2011C "
...to permit the expansion of a retail sales use ... through the construction of an 13,231 square foot (1229.6 sq m) addition for a total of 23,279 square feet (2162.7 sq m)." The property in question is the Shoppers Drug Mart at 43 - 57 Osborne Street at River.

It will likely be a somewhat contentious meeting.
The city is recommending that the new use be granted as it complies with the commercial aspect of the Osborne Village Neighbourhood Plan. So far nine people are registered to appear in opposition.

Safeway Grand Opening
The first Safeway at River and Osborne (1941)

If approved, this will be the last piece of an often adversarial redevelopment plan that began in 1997.

That year, Safeway announced to tenants on its land, Shoppers Drug Mart, MLCC and Toronto Dominion Bank, that the site would be redeveloped. Shoppers was the odd man out and bought the A&W location at Roslyn and Osborne but the owner of the building that housed Vi-Ann didn't sell. In 1998 a shrunken Shoppers opened.

The key redevelopment of the site, the Safeway store, took six stormy years to wind its way though the civic process. A row of homes on Roslyn were torn down and Safeway's site plan ended up with more landscaping, a smaller parking lot and sans the gas bar that were all first proposed. It opened in 2005.

Osborne Village
Village meets Linden Woods

Seeing that Shoppers would take over an existing commercial footprint
for its expansion and that the space is only for the store, the second storey is for staff and storage space, it's hardly likely that there is a landmine hidden in the the process.

Kudos have to be given to Shoppers for not stirring the pot with bad design issues which have plagued the Village of late. There's the stucco box Blockbuster built a couple of blocks to the south and the Linden-Woodsesque strip mall
that houses the TD Bank etc. (above).

This design is built to the curb and features an assortment of facades retaining a bit of a Village feel, (actually, more so than what
Vi-Ann and Movie Village do.)

UPDATES:
Also see Chris Leo's take on the Village's SDM.
Shoppers Drug Mart Expansion Approved CBC News

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fuck Shoppers Drug Mart & all who approve of this blight on my neighbourhood.

mrchristian said...

Lol, the Shoppers has been there for how many decades now ? Sort of like complaining about Polo Park messing up the race track.

cherenkov said...

The design isn't bad, and the second story will add the appearance of more density, compared to what is there right now. The biggest pill to swallow here is the loss of two independent businesses, both of which I went to on a regular basis when I lived in the area. Although visually they're not much to look at it would be sad to see them go.

mrchristian said...

That's true though, in the end,the owners of the two buildings agreed to sell to Shoppers. If they sold to, say, McDonalds or for a small office building it would be a bit worse off in my opinion.