Where is The Grocery Store in The East End of #Guelph?

Today you will find a lengthy article in the Guelph Mercury about the continuing saga of an empty field in the East end of Guelph.

That empty field is owned by Loblaws, and has been for years and years and years.

I’ve been told from Loblaws that there were many factors that contributed to there being no development there yet:  Such as the development of Walmart, the recession that hit us all in 2008-2009 and the over $10 million they dropped into the Eramosa/ Stevenson location.

For many years the East end has been promised commercial development at Starwood and Watson. This is why originally the city built the library branch there to spur on other commercial entities in that zone.

But a desert and mud field it remained.

Fast forward to the last few years now. 

Some of the calculations required to prove to Loblaws (and others) that the population density to support such commercial development could be achieved, had the city continue to approve more and more residential units and housing surrounding the area. With more people it should satisfy the private sector that they have the people now who will be willing to buy their stuff.

And yet still nothing.

Now what’s happened over the last 10 months since I’ve been in office?

I have had more meetings on this issue than any other. I even talked about this issue in my state of the city address. This is a priority for me. Last week I met again with representatives from Loblaws in my office going over their future plans. I can assure you, city staff are instantly ready to help move this project along ASAP. 

I haven’t been saying anything publicly about this because I did not want to give the very patient people of the east end of Guelph any false hope. Somehow the media found out about my meeting last week with Loblaws and I was called on it. So I wanted to give you an update from me personally.

What’s next?

I’m still optimistic. Loblaws people are very nice and I feel they’re trying to make things work. However, until I see actual submitted plans for the area they own, I’m not going to jump for joy. And, I’m certainly not going to announce that it’s going to happen when I’m not quite convinced yet.

What can be done about the lack of commercial opportunities in the east end? 

Well, your ward 1 councillors and I feel York Rd from Watson all the way up to Victoria Rd could be a great commercial corridor. Studies will need to commence and other projects will need to align but it’s time we consider stimulating other areas in the east end of Guelph for these commercial opportunities in my personal opinion. 

My meeting last week with Loblaws finished off with me promising them I’d call them at the beginning of December as a follow up – again.

Lets collectively cross our fingers. Building a city means you can’t leave one area to be ignored. The east end has been ignored too long when it comes to commercial services. The city, your councillors and I are doing everything we can to get this done for you.

Take care,


21 responses to “Where is The Grocery Store in The East End of #Guelph?”

  1. Julie Avatar

    Why are all East end depending on one company to come through. Are you saying that that particular parcel of land is the only one that is zoned commercial. Even a few other strip malls that can accomdate smaller business
    would be welcome. I see no opportunity for small business even if they wanted to set up shop there.
    All residential, maybe we could look at more commercial zoning in that area?

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      Hi Julie, we are doing exactly what you requested! The process to do that was started several months ago with York Rd hopefully becoming another commercial zoned option.

  2. rena Avatar

    Nothing has changed for the last 14 years and quite frankly I DON’T think we will see anything close to a major grocery store in my lifetime in the east end. So sad.

  3. Cam Guthrie Avatar
    Cam Guthrie

    I would hope their intent is to build a grocery store and other mixed commercial uses. That’s why they bought it years ago. It’s zoned for that. I can sense your frustration and I don’t dismiss it. I’d be frustrated too, and I am.

  4. DAvid Avatar

    I’d be interested in what Lablaws intent for the land is? Surely if they bought the land they must have had a planned use for it, unless it’s just a matter of the East end growing at an exponential rate and Loblwas wanting to maximize their investment to the night eventual bidder, which I would see as greedy. I get business, but what is it going to take for Loblaws to do some? What’s in Loblaws intentions / motivations?

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      I think a lot of what you say are questions everyone is asking.

      1. David Avatar

        I know, however we are not in the meetings with Loblaws, you are? That was a question to you to learn what they are saying to you around their intent?

  5. Edward S Avatar
    Edward S

    What’s the word mayor Guthrie?
    I don’t even live in the east end, but feel for them haha.

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      I feel for them too. That’s why I’m working hard for them and discussing with the landowner constantly on getting one built.

      1. Andrew Avatar

        What about an alternative like Fortinos? It would attract people from all over Guelph and surrounding areas as well as local businesses given Fortinos hot food selection! It could make the east end more economically/commercially viable.

      2. Cam Guthrie Avatar
        Cam Guthrie

        I’m sure that would be great but the problem is the Loblaws owns the land.

  6. John Ewasick Avatar
    John Ewasick

    Great Article
    But have been on Starwood since 98 and I’m still waiting.
    The reason we bought here was all the positive signs posted about a Rec and shopping centre. The signs are gone but we are still here. FYI my home will be paid for in 2 years. Maybe before I retire there might be something in its place I can leave for my son.
    Sick of hearing oh the poor South End.

  7. Marion Wells Avatar
    Marion Wells

    Nicely done! Good to have someone who cares about all off Guelph

  8. Mango Avatar

    I can understand how inconvenient can be for people without a car not having a grocery store in the neighbourhood, but we are talking about a really low percentage in this end of town. Driving 5 min. to Zerhs, Food Basic or FreshCo is no reason to be whining about! 1st World Problem in my opinion.

  9. andy Avatar

    Thanks for promoting the east end. We need commercial development to sustain the residential growth. The roads that feed Victoria can be a nightmare at certain times of the day. Long overdue

  10. Steve Hildebrandt Avatar
    Steve Hildebrandt

    Funny…. certain people campaigned against Walmart coming to Guelph, stating that “Guelph didn’t want a Walmart”, yet Walmart knew the truth and knew how many people from Guelph were travelling to Cambridge to shop at the Walmart there. How come Loblaws STILL doesn’t realize how many East Enders WANT to shop at Zehrs and drive 15-30 minutes to shop at their stores in other parts of the city? Loblaws’ arguments don’t hold water for me. There’s got to be a hidden reason they have been holding out on us. My family has stopped going to Zehrs stores in Guelph, and now shop at Freshco, Food Basics and Walmart. Sorry Loblaws. You had your chance, but you blew it.

    1. Kayla Avatar

      I still travel to Cambridge if I need to visit walmart. The location of the Guelph Walmart SUCKS. I take a taxi because I’m unable to drive myself. The cost of a TAXI to the Guelph Walmart costs me upwards of $50. Cambridge Walmart it’s only $30. You know a city has messed up when it’s cheaper for residents to shop out of town.

  11. Claire Jones Avatar

    What about a less expensive option? Why is Zerhrs/Loblaws the only option? Is it possible to get NoFrills or Food Basics or something in that end of town? Or downtown, for that matter? I live in a downtown neighbourhood and find it very frustrating that my only options – without driving to Kortright, Eramosa, or Silvercreek – are Market Fresh and Goodness Me… two of the most expensive grocery markets in town! My mum says that when I was a child, there was a Food Basics in the plaza at Gordon and Wellington. Wouldn’t that be a great thing to see again!

    1. Cam Guthrie Avatar
      Cam Guthrie

      Hi Claire, great question and indeed Loblaws who owns the land and who owns several different style of grocery stores can indeed choose a different style of store to build there.

  12. Guelph citizen Avatar
    Guelph citizen

    Like I said to Dan Gibson once, it’s exciting to see things are positively brewing for the East end but I’ll be sad to loose my spot to fly my radio controlled helicopter.

  13. Derek Avatar

    Thanks Cam, we have been here a long time and where really hoping for a grocery store closer to us. Hopefully in the near future it will happen. But like you said it will be awhile and we should keep keep positive and our fingers crossed.

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