Loblaw Groceteria Warehouse
I was heading to a meeting at Corus Quay last week when the taxi driver decided it would be best to go down Bathurst to Lake Shore. On our way to Lake Shore we passed the old Loblaw Groceteria Warehouse that has been sitting in a state of despair ever since the Daily Bread Food Bank left the premises in 2000. The heritage property has been left neglected for over a decade and it’s noticeable with its broken windows and discolouration. Too many it is an eye-sore, but back when it was built in 1928 it was an art-deco wonder equipped with its own electric tram railway, over sized ovens to bake, drums for blending tea, and 22 thousand feet of pipe that were used for refrigerating along with a bowling alley, billiard tables and auditorium for the employees. Every time I biked by the building I had hope that it would be restored one day. After all Loblaws did a phenomenal job restoring Maple Leaf Gardens and sharing its history.
Well on my cab ride to Corus Quay I noticed that part of the building that stretched underneath the Gardiner Expressway had been demolished. Outraged, I immediately searched the internet for some sort of explanation – and I found out. In my original post I mentioned that I hoped the building would become lofts or offices, because a space like that would be phenomenal and I should know working in the old Toronto Carpet Factory. Well, I was right in away because the current proposal by Loblaw is to keep the façade of the 1928 building and build a grocery store along with two condominium towers in the back standing at 37 and 41 storeys high. A plan, might I add, that has been in the works for over a decade.
According to Urban Toronto the reason the portion that extended underneath the highway was demolished was because it did not have a heritage designation, like its five-storey counterpart, and consultants rendered that portion of the structure irreparable.
For me this is a win and lose situation. I loved the building and believed it should have been kept in its entirety. However, I do understand that its neglect made it challenging to restore and that it technically was not a heritage property. At least we still get to keep part of this magnificent structure and I could care less about the condominiums that will be erected in the back. As long as we are able to experience this building in some capacity I am happy.
Below I have included a link to the original post.
That is Why I Love Toronto
- Urban Toronto
- National Post