For a neighbourhood of approximately 10000, we have a lot of grocery stores given the small yet dense area of Liberty Village. This certainly holds some advantages for consumers as it offers choices and forces competitiveness in pricing, selection and even service. Will it be a challenge for each business or do they have their own defined distinction? Only time will tell.
Here is a recap of the grocery stores serving our community.
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Metro – 100 Lynn Williams St
With the company’s roots originating in Montreal, dating back to 1947, Metro has been a part of Liberty Village, as the first mainstay grocery store for the redeveloped area. They are a one-stop shop for everything from the basic necessities to a pharmacy, prepared foods section and even a Starbucks. Not to mention the great philanthropic efforts they have made for Liberty Village Cares. In late 2017, Metro opened another location 1.5 km away on Queen St W, with the railway tracks separating the two stores.
Liberty Organic – 171 E Liberty, Unit #122
The long anticipated wait for this store to open had many customers excited when their doors officially opened in late December 2017. Rather than having a corporate feel, this small independent business has a homey feel. Family run and staffed with friendly people. The grocery store has a salad bar, sells organic produce and products and offers a hot take-out section. Still in its infancy, expect more unique things from Liberty Organic (and hopefully a return of the Garden Centre).
While not officially open yet, as the space is still under construction, Longos will be located at King’s Club on King St W. Longo’s slogan is, “a fresh tradition,” and had its original store located at Yonge St at Castlefield. Three brothers, Tommy, Joe and Gus started the chain back in 1956, and now operate many locations and grocerygateway.com, according to the company’s website. Liberty Village can expect a full-service grocery store with some extra services that may include a pharmacy and prepared foods.
Organic Garage – 42 Hanna Ave
A Canadian company through and through, this business began in 1928 with a couple that immigrated from Poland. The first store opened on College Street and has grown to 5 locations in the GTA. Organic Garage aims to provide, “healthier food for less”, while also carrying health and beauty products. This store should be opening soon.
Loblaws – 99 Atlantic Ave
With their head office located in our neighbourhood for their digital division at 99 Atlantic Ave, Loblaws does not have an actual brick and mortar store here. Instead, they have tapped into a common lifestyle behaviour of many Millennials and residents of Liberty Village which is utilizing online services. For this neighbourhood and select others around Ontario, Loblaws provides their click to collect program. It allows customers to order online and pick up their orders in Liberty Village two times a week (Mondays and Fridays from 4pm-7pm).
Too Many Stores or Just the Right Amount?
According to an article published in the Toronto Star by Zoe McKnight back in March of 2016, Ontarians eat later in the evening. The article also states, “Because Toronto is so cosmopolitan, people tend to go to more speciality food stores, they can get fresher spices, higher quality’. Will the grocery stores in Liberty Village be able to support the needs and wants of the community? On a per capita basis, solely looking at the population of the LVRA (Liberty Village Residents Association) as of mid-January 2018, which is 10069, there is one brick and mortar store for every 2517 residents.
We hope all of the businesses thrive in Liberty Village and that the residents are able to support all of them.