A new sign originating with Shoppers Drug Mart in the window of 1860 Bayview Ave now says the drugstore will open in the Spring of 2017. This is the same message that was communicated about Whole Foods from anecdotal sources in the South Bayview Bulldog June 15, 2016. It came from an employee of Whole Foods somewhere in Toronto who asked his superior when the 1860 store might open. The answer was “maybe April 2017.” In the Facebook forum Leaside Community contributor Hailey Eisen made note of the new opening date Sunday. It is the first more or less official — but incomplete — word from the developers, Trinity Inc and/or RioCan, the emerging owner, about the long delay.
PEOPLE DEEPLY PUZZLED
But it is the “Why?” of all this delay that is upsetting people. “Arrrgh!!! Stop playing with me, Whole Foods!!!! For the love of god, are they making their own bespoke drywall or something??” snarls Susan Pratt in a post on the FB bulletin board. In fact, it is clear both by the silence of all the principals, and by the projected delay of a full year, that something serious is going on that none of them want to talk about. It is not unreasonable to conclude that there has been a fairly sharp difference between the property principals and the grocery firm. We do not know what it is, nor do we expect any of the parties to say publicly any time soon. It would certainly be nice if they did. The inside scoop may be leaked by someone inside the organizations at some point.
Many issues related to Whole Foods are known. In the U.S., it continues to deal with historic complaints about prices. And although people in South Bayview are affluent enough to shop at Whole Foods, there is a body of food buyers who don’t want what they sell. Many foods that may be of doubtful nutrition but are nonetheless enormously popular (like Coca Cola, prosciutto and veal bologna) can’t be found at WF. Keen competitors like Metro, Longo’s, Loblaws, Valumart, Sobey’s and Summerhill Market are stocked to the gunnels with these things. The competition for WF will be no bed of roses. Just some guesses on what is going on.