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Smart Centre developments

James

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Mountain Equipment Co-op already has a planned location to the north of here on Sheppard. Bass Pro Shop is the type of store that likes to have only a few locations in any market, and they wouldn't locate in a random industrial park like where this site is. Large retail areas only, Like Vaughan Mills or square one, that sort of thing.
Exactly. I think an MEC in North York makes perfect sense but since they've already secured that Leslie & Sheppard location, it's obviously an impossibility that SmartCentre would've had a chance to get MEC at Leslie & York Mills.

Bass Pro simply doesn't need another store right now but I still believe it would've been a success at this location.

It's interesting you describe the site as a random industrial park...because that's exactly what it is, which is one of the reasons I brought this development up. Overall it just seems like an odd development. To be frank, I'm not sure what the highest and best use for this site would be but I definitely wouldn't have speculated a massive Walmart Supercenter!
 

James

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There is also quite a similar hole for Target as well in midtown Toronto. To the west is the Stockyards Target. To the north is the Centerpoint [sic] Target. To the east is the East York Centre Target and to the southeast is the Shoppers World Danforth Target.
Not to get too off topic but I assumed that the lack of Targets and Walmarts in midtown was simply because of the demand (or lack of it) from that demographic. As per one of my previous posts, I don't believe anyone in Lawrence Park is really yearning for a Target to pop up in their neighborhood.
 

innsertnamehere

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lack of available retail space more likely, there isn't a ton of large space retail in that part of the city, especially for Target which is still building its store network. The rich and the poor alike tend to shop at Target and Wal-Mart, they still offer lower prices than elsewhere, and as they say, you don't get rich by spending money. For everyday basics they would still be popular.
 

Skeezix

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There is the whole phenomenon of BMWs parked in the lot at Walmart. I wouldn't assume that there is no demand for Target in midtown Toronto, and I think insertnamehere is correct that absence of a Target in that area likely has more to do with the lack of suitable retail space.
 

Skeezix

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There is also quite a similar hole for Target as well in midtown Toronto. To the west is the Stockyards Target. To the north is the Centerpoint [sic] Target. To the east is the East York Centre Target and to the southeast is the Shoppers World Danforth Target.
To complete the circle, there is the planned Target at Harbour Plaza in Southcore. Although not close to midtown, many midtown denizens work in or near the Financial District, and some will presumably get their Target fix at this location.
 

Bruno Republic

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To complete the circle, there is the planned Target at Harbour Plaza in Southcore. Although not close to midtown, many midtown denizens work in or near the Financial District, and some will presumably get their Target fix at this location.
Indeed. Lack of easy access to certain big-box stores is one of the downsides of living in the core or midtown. I'm looking forward to that Target store opening, and hoping the whole chain doesn't pull out of Canada before it's finished.
 

donoreo

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Agreed, the traffic congestion along York Mills is certainly going to increase. Is that bridge work over the railway tracks also going to include any kind of road work to accommodate the anticipated increased traffic? I also wonder if SmartCentres has any plans to somehow improve ingress and egress from Lesmill Road.
No, the work on the bridge is just maintenance.
 

James

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I still can't believe that SmartCentre on Laird was allowed to be built (I'm kind of jealous of Leslieville in that respects). The traffic on Laird just about tripled and it's a pedestrian's nightmare. Walking across that parking lot in the summer is like walking across the Sahara.

But in the long term, I could see the potential for it to be nice. Perhaps when that area becomes a little less auto-centric, It could somehow see that SmartCentre becoming a sort of pedestrian Mall similar to the new Don Mills Centre if they we're to take of parking space with some boutiques and terraced pedestrian access. I could even become pleasant (gasp), rather than the road rage generator it is today.
So I was thinking about the newly planned SmartCentre development at Leslie & York Mills and couldn't help but reflect on the sentiment when the Leaside SmartCentre was being developed.

Similar to Urbanboom, I also couldn't believe they were really going to put a SmartCentre in Leaside but now that's it's been in place for a good number of years, let's review.

I recall most Leaside locals were opposed to this development. We're seeing and hearing similar feedback from the Bayview-York Mills community today regarding the York Mills SmartCentre.

Traffic on Laird, Eglinton and Brentcliffe has definitely increased. I'd imagine traffic along Leslie, York Mills, Lesmill and Don Mills will increase similarly.

Walking across the lot in Leaside is definitely a long, deserted trek on foot. Concrete wasteland when the lot is empty. I don't think Leaside has gotten any less auto-centric and from my observations, there isn't a lot of people in the neighborhood actually walking to the Leaside SmartCentre. The York Mills neighborhood is one of the least walk-friendly neighborhoods in the city so the traffic around Leslie & York Mills will definitely increase by a large magnitude.

Unfortunately, now that the Leaside SmartCentre is settled in, I don't see this plaza as being "nice" by any standards. It's utilitarian and it is what it is, another SmartCentre big box plaza.

Ultimately, I can only predict that the York Mills SmartCentre will be more of the same. The arguments for both locations are/were that there is nothing beneficial to the community there now, so a large shopping center will only add to the amenities. Is Leaside better off with their SmartCentre? Will York Mills be better off grazing the old industrial low-rise buildings that were on Lesmill before for a new SmartCentre serving central Toronto?
 

freshcutgrass

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There is the whole phenomenon of BMWs parked in the lot at Walmart.
Similar to the phenomenon of Pilipino cleaning ladies sporting LV bags.

Smart!Centres is an oxymoron and it is not inexpensive to shop at Walmart if you have to keep replacing the poor quality junk they sell.
 

Skeezix

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Agreed. There is a significant cost, in more ways than one, when one buys cheap merchandise.

But there is a huge difference between a fancy purse (a knock off) and a BMW. The point being one shouldn't be so quick to assume that wealthier people do not shop at Walmart, Target, etc. Like you, though, I fail to understand the appeal.
 

freshcutgrass

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But there is a huge difference between a fancy purse (a knock off) and a BMW.
My point had nothing to do with knock-offs, and everything to do with acquiring status symbols not in line with our economic status. That's why people buy used 3 series BMWs quite cheaply, and Pilipino cleaning ladies have genuine LV bags, but they will always be the very noticeable monogram ones. People who buy knock-offs are a different story all together.
 

Skeezix

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My point had nothing to do with knock-offs, and everything to do with acquiring status symbols not in line with our economic status. That's why people buy used 3 series BMWs quite cheaply, and Pilipino cleaning ladies have genuine LV bags, but they will always be the very noticeable monogram ones. People who buy knock-offs are a different story all together.
Ok, but what's your point. Some Filipino ladies carry a nice purse. What does that have to do with Target?
 

freshcutgrass

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Ok, but what's your point. Some Filipino ladies carry a nice purse. What does that have to do with Target?
Did you not say you had experienced a "phenomenon" of BMWs in Walmart parking lots (I will take your word for it as I have not experienced this phenomenon) that you interpret as the rich liking to shop at Walmart more than people realize?

I'm simply saying that you cannot judge the income class of someone by observing they drive a BMW (model and year making a huge difference) and using the "phenomenon" of Pilipino cleaning ladies with LV bags as an example.

While I think that there is a significant gap between the average household income of a Walmart shopper vs a Target shopper, I doubt the 1% in Toronto are shopping at either in large numbers (perhaps it's their Pilipino cleaning ladies borrowing their BMWs? ).

But of course, in terms of Target I guess it's all a moot point now, isn't it.
 

Skeezix

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I didn't say I experienced a phenomenom of BMWs in Walmart parking lots. I haven't been inside a Walmart in years, and I can count my lifetime visits with the fingers on one hand. In the 1990s, BMWs in Walmart parking lots was a phrase used in the U.S. as emblamatic of the broad appeal/strength of discount retailers. Sorry that I wasn't more clear. My point was simply that one shouldn't make absolutist assumptions about the demographics of who shops where. I wasn't talking about the 1% or Target vs. Walmart.
 
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