Wal-Mart wants more.

Less than 4 months after their grand opening, the plans for an expanded Wal-Mart are available for review.

6 & 7 Developments (developer of choice for Wal-Mart in Canada) originally submitted an application to build a regional power centre in Guelph in 1995. There was considerable public discussion on whether the corner of Woodlawn Road and Woolwich Street was the appropriate location for a big box retail mecca.

After a decision by the 2003-2006 City Council and Mayor and a protracted Ontario Municipal Board hearing, approval was given and the bulldozers moved in.

Now Wal-Mart wants to get bigger. Plans have just been released showing the application for the expansion.

What do you think? Should the Wal-Mart store grow? If so, should it be a “green building”? What should the expansion look like? Do you want the expanded Wal-Mart to sell groceries? How many more big box stores do you want in that location? How is the traffic in the area?

Wal-Mart’s Expansion Plans

We invite your comments here on what promises to be a much debated topic.

0 thoughts on “Wal-Mart wants more.

  1. I think if there is demand for it, they should be allowed to expand. And I would *love* it if Wal-Mart would start selling groceries! Or rather… to explain.

    In the north end right now we only have low-end “discount” grocery stores like the Food Basics and Food Value – and the Zehers is perfectly horrible – In my opinion, none of these stores have decent produce or meat departments.

    Currently I do much of my grocery shopping in a lovely brand-new Dominion near my office in Toronto. Their produce and selection is top notch – and in the summer I also frequent the local farmer’s market for the best and freshest produce.

    I suppose I’d rather have a good Dominion here where I can shop locally, then shop for groceries where I can also buy socks and get my oil changed – but I will go where I can get the best product. If that is Wal-Mart, or a downtown Toronto Dominion, then the other local grocery stores should take note and improve their quality.

  2. Two things come to mind.

    First of all, someone should point out to Walmart that when Residents for Sustainable Development raised the issue who whether or not the city wanted to see a Big Box development at the corner of 6 & 7 at the Ontario Municipal Board hearings, Walmart’s lawyers repeatedly said that there was no reason at all to assume that letting a Walmart store be build would lead to a larger development. So it strikes me that just because the Walmart is there, there is no reason whatsoever for the city to allow anything else to be built there. The new development must be based on its own merits.

    Secondly, it is important that any new development must follow the same standards as the existing store when it comes to site remediation vis-a-vis St. Ignatius. (This was part of the out-of-court settlement that was signed last summer and is non-negotiable.) This means that the new development cannot be either seen or heard from the retreat centre—-which would probably mean a large berm, a living wall and planting a row of mature trees.

    The Walmart store is an enormous cash cow and I would suggest that the city extract whatever value it can from this corporation.

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