Starbucks to come to 3077 Dundas Street West? The old Handyman Shop, Junction Residents Association.

A commenter on the blog has recently commented that the new building on the South East corner directly across from Crema may be housing a Starbucks store.

While the blog has been unable to confirm this, this author wonders what the general feeling towards this possibility would be in the community?

83 Comments

I used to always tell my friends what i loved about the junction the most was that it was almost exclusively independently run businesses and most importantly we didn't have a starbucks to clutter our independent streetscape.

I still love the junction but it'll be a sad day when the starbucks opens.

I for one will still be supporting crema and good neighbour everyday.

My precise sentiments, Badur. What I like about Toronto is that we have all these distinct neighbourhoods and we're not just one large, homogenous urban zone. I don't particularly like that this brings Toronto's neighbourhoods one step closer to being interchangeable.

I understand that Starbucks just wants to do business and obviously have the right to set up wherever they want. But there are already multiple Starbucks within walking distance of me, and many neighbourhoods more appropriate to Starbucks (Bloor West, for example). A lot of people are attracted to the Junction precisely because it DOESN'T have a Starbucks (or Gap, a Firkin Pub, etc.).

I can see how this move might seem tacky to some but based on what I've heard in other areas, a Starbucks will likely increase the business to Crema. As the CremaTO twitter account said last night, "It's not bad for business, it's bad for my 'hood."

there was a great deal of controversy when a starbucks opened in leslieville a few years ago, but Mercury is still doing fine and many new independent coffee shops (and a number of other independent shops) have opened up in leslieville since then.

I'll still buy my coffee at crema.

Even if we see an evolution towards chains, there are still so many abandoned or underutilized storefronts on Dundas towards Runnymede and east of Keele. We'll have independent retail for decades in the Junction. The supply of retail spaces is huge, and there are always second floors which can be used for business.

I agree and I think Crema will be fine, but to me there is more to it than that. The Junction is a unique neighborhood with great independent stores that are very conscious in their business philospophies. I would be a real shame to have a corp giant like that come in and start a shift in the wrong direction towards chains, uniformity and higher rents that force out the little guy! Plus it is a typical shitty move by a giant corp to move in right beside an independent. It shows a lack of business ethics, is that the kind of retailer we want in the Junction. I am all for channeling the kind of energy the people in Kensington Market showed when they kept them out of there!

I wish Starbucks would open up in the Galaxy Donuts building at Keele & Dundas rather at the Handyman Store location. That'd be great for the neighborhood.

I can only hope that Junction residents will continue to support the independent businesses in the neighbourhood (as I hope residents of other neighbourhoods do). And also write to Starbucks head office to express their opinion. It irks me that a business only opens up once a community begins to thrive and become "popular" – Starbucks seems to have proven that this is their business model. I will continue to spend my money at places like Crema that showed a commitment to the neighbourhood early on and continue to do so.

http://www.slate.com/id/2180301

"Strange as it sounds, the best way to boost sales at your independently owned coffeehouse may just be to have Starbucks move in next-door.

hat's certainly how it worked out for Hyman. Soon after declining Starbucks's buyout offer, Hyman received the expected news that the company was opening up next to one of his stores. But instead of panicking, he decided to call his friend Jim Stewart, founder of the Seattle's Best Coffee chain, to find out what really happens when a Starbucks opens nearby. "You're going to love it," Stewart reported. "They'll do all of your marketing for you, and your sales will soar." The prediction came true: Each new Starbucks store created a local buzz, drawing new converts to the latte-drinking fold. When the lines at Starbucks grew beyond the point of reason, these converts started venturing out—and, Look! There was another coffeehouse right next-door! Hyman's new neighbor boosted his sales so much that he decided to turn the tactic around and start targeting Starbucks. "We bought a Chinese restaurant right next to one of their stores and converted it, and by God, it was doing $1 million a year right away," he said."

I agree with most of the sentiments here. I won't set foot inside a Starbucks, choosing instead to support the new independent cafes that have opened up in our neighbourhood: places like Crema, Cool Hand, The Beat and most recently, The Good Neighbour.

We should all be good neighbours and support local businesses.

On a positive note, doesn't 3077 look great? They've chosen a really nice looking brick that fits in well with the neighbourhood. Rustic, without looking fake-rustic.

I agree entirely about the brick, JP. So far it looks like they're doing an excellent job there and the new building should, at least architecturally, fit in very nicely along Dundas.

I, too, will still frequent Crema. They make such great coffee (and if you get a latte, you get the added bonus of a piece of art drawn in your foam) their pastries and other goodies are delicious and fresh and they are so friendly. I like the atmosphere too.

I think it would be great if Starbucks came to The Junction. I think there are enough coffee drinkers to sustain all the coffee shops, but an even better location for Starbucks, instead of being two feet away from a great coffee shop, how about Starbucks replacing Concourse Restaurant!?!?!

The Concourse Restaurant's future must be in doubt. They've made no attempt to put-up fixed signage on the building. Also, after the recent refurbishment the owner must be looking for a tenant with deep pockets.
I suppose if Starbucks insists on moving into the neighbourhood, this might be a good location. Still, I think we're better off without them.

People who don't like Starbucks and voting with their feet is fair enough, that is their choice.

But the ones who are trying to stop it opening eg.the facebook page leave a bad taste in my mouth. What happened to freedom of choice? The reasons they gave are all their opinion, they are not facts.

I don't like Crema (which I know is a very unpopular opinion to have) but I am not sprouting off all over the internet about my dislike and opening up facebook pages for it shut down.

I have a question, if Starbucks opens, how will it effect YOU in a negative way? If you hate it so much don't go, ignore it, pretend it isn't there.

Hi Dave, There are over 1100 Starbucks in Canada, 215 in Toronto and 97 within a 10km radius of the Junction with at least 4 on our very doorstep. For those that are looking for a Starbucks they are not lacking for choice. Do we really need another location of this or another big chain at the expense of a local, independent retailer. My idea of choice is not 1000 locations of the same thing. Granted, the Junction is very slowly revitalizing but I would say in the last 2 years the pace has picked up considerably. But more than that we have seen a trend towards interesting, independent shops that are for the most part quite conscious in that they are fair trade, organic and local. I would hate to see the trend turn towards same, same chain retailers that can be found all over the city and offer nothing unique to people that live in the Junction or draw people to the Junction. Do you think someone would come across the city to go to a Starbucks or to go to a unique local business such as Delight or the Sweet Potato?

I agree with Dave. There is room for independent and commercial things in life. I would rather this 'hood not turn into some snobby Beaches sort of vibe. Those that like Crema can still go there…and competition is good (isn't The Good Neighbour just down the street?). I'm not saying that I want to see a commercial store orgy like what has happened to Queen West, but there is such thing has having a good balance. There's probably people that don't like the fact that there's a No Frills nearby, and I think its great. Things need to be affordable, everything can't be high scale.

I remember I used to go to a mom and pop coffee shop 5 years ago on King West and one day a Second Cup opened next door. The owners were worried like crazy about the sustainability of their business. Well guess what? 5 years later they're doing great. The locals that were drawn to them before still go there (cheaper prices may have something to do with it) while the Second Cup is filled to the brim with customers all the time. Everybody wins.

I have no objection to a Starbucks in the Junction, but would rather see it further east. Ahem, like where the Concourse Restaurant is.

I lived in Ronces when the Starbucks came into the old TD (or was it BMO?) building. None of the mom and pop shops went under, and its a great road of mixed businesses.

I actually like Starbucks coffee and am quite happy they are opening in the neighbourhood. Like Dave I too tried Crema and didn't really enjoy my coffee, the people were nice but I just didn't like the coffee.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Espresso Mi Vida –
In my opinion, best coffee in the junction. It wouldn't matter what open in the neighbourhood – I would always get my fix there.

Want to see something VERY contradictory:
http://junction-parents.blogspot.com/2008/10/free-stroller-fit-classes-in-high-park.html
and a Starbucks coffee at the end of the last hill at the Bloor/Ellis Park Rd location 🙂

and a post on Friday about Starbucks:
http://junction-parents.blogspot.com/2010/06/starbucks-is-coming-to-junctionunless.html
Starbucks is coming to the Junction…unless we can do something to stop it?

Those 2 posts are coming from the same individual who is also a member of :
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129429193749367

Starbucks might be good for my business (Wise Daughters, directly across the road), and it would almost certainly drive more business to Crema, but the thing is… coffee is NOT coffee. Fair trade and direct trade coffee is hugely important to me, and to many others who prefer to make ethical consumer choices, especially when they purchase something every day. For some background, a good place to start is http://transfair.ca/.

There are major differences in the taste of coffee which are the result of different roasting and grinding methods, as well as the origin of the beans.

I'm not sure that I'm opposed to Starbucks existing in my community. All of us who love Crema will still go there. Starbucks will likely encourage others to stop in the 'hood, and maybe some of them will realize that there's a great independent coffee shop across the road too.

Starbucks coming to the Junction should not represent the demise of the neighbourhood. It's a sign that the neighbourhood is awesome, and as such, Starbucks wants to be there too!

At the expense of a local retailer? I don't think so. There are plenty of vacant storefronts for local retailers to set up in if they want to.

For me personally there isn't one on my doorstep. I don't drive, so it is at least a bus ride or a 30 minute walk. You have your 'wonderful' Crema coffee and for the people that want Starbucks have that as well. Isn't that a win-win situation?

Wonderful news!
Finally, a place to go and have a coffee in the Junction after 7:00. I am assuming they will be opened late like their other locations. (9:00pm or later)
The Junction has great coffee shops, unfortunately, they all close early.
Agora is my favourite
I usually have to meet friends for an evening chat and coffee in another neighnourhood.

Sounds like a lot of the protective coffee house types have navigated their ways to this discussion.

Why not offer to let Starbucks in on your little coffee passport campaign guys?

That would seem to be a natural location for a Starbuck's – a corner with both street traffic and transit stops nearby. Although it would replace the Concourse, it would also put the Galaxy Donuts out of business and put a dent into whatever profit that coffeshop/internet cafe on Dundas makes from coffee. Net gain or loss? I'm not entirely sure.

I always feel embarassed ordering Coffee from starbucks… I hate the names of the sizes "uhhh can I get a Venti.." Just call it small/medium and large. And then I never know what coffee is available so I'll say "something dark".

Them opening doesn't bother me…. did Blockbuster kill Big Daddy's Dvd store? No.
Does No-Frills or Metro kill the organic stores on Dundas? No.
Does McDonalds or Harveys kill Jumbo burger? No.

If anything it will be a familiar spot to get a coffee for those passing through. A spot open after the early hours that a lot of small Junction Coffee shops keep. And it will force some places (I'm looking at you Cool hand of a burnt coffee) to step up their quality and offer some deals on coffee.

From my undserstanding Crema is a chain as well with independant owners of each location – Baltimore, San Jose and many other US cities all have Crema coffee houses. Much like a franchised higher end Tim Hortons. Also I have been to Crema and the first time I visited although very good reminded me of a "grunge" Star bucks rip off. So really support which ever one you like best. If a Starbucks does show up at least they have a great corporate conscience. I think the Junction is awesome and Starbucks or no Starbucks it will continue to be.

I'm pretty sure that Crema in the Junction is not related to those Crema locations in the US (actually, a quick look at the websites of the Baltimore and San Jose stores seems to indicate that they're not related to one another, either).

Crema is a mini-chain in Toronto though, they've recently opened a second location near Yonge & Bloor.

Although I am no fan Starbucks and wish that the area could remain a collection of independent shops, I don't think it will have any negative impact on Crema or the Good neighbor. Dominoes Pizza certainly hasn't hurt Visuvios. Having been here for nearly three years and watched from the sidelines for the past 20, I feel confident that this area will remain full of independents.

It is a difficult area to get to, there is no parking and the railyard effectively creates an insurmountable northern boundary. For those reasons I don't think it will be much of a destination for people outside of the immediate area, and therefore, not generate the traffic required by many chains.

I happened to speak with the owner of the handyman building the other day and in the course of our conversation a woman came up to him and asked, "why did you get such ugly windows"?

Now, there are things I might have done differently with that building. Nevertheless, as anyone who has observed the state of building in Toronto over the last generation or two will note, much more money and effort were spent on that building than is common.

To his credit, he did not point out that shedding a few pounds and pulling a brush through her hair would do her appearance a world of good, but briefly defended his choice POLITELY and went about his business.

While I do love this area, one thing I would wish for is the disappearance of people like her and the others of the self-righteous mob who feel that by virtue of their tenure here they have the right say whatever they want to whoever they want as hurtfully as they want.

While there are people who came here many years ago- like Pat Schnurr, owner of Picture It Framed, who put up with a disgraceful amount of abuse from said mob – much of the improvements have come about in the last five years if not less, which is to say by new people. And almost certainly whatever, positive changes occur in the future will also be by newcomers – in conjunction, of course, with those pioneers who accept that change will come and will seek to bring it about in a respectful and positive way.

I

That's your prerogative, Dave, just as it's mine to express an opinion. I realize that what I want as a member of this community may occasionally conflict with what's best for my bottom line. So be it. BTW, if you're going to refer to me in a blog post, my name is Mary Breen, not "that woman".

I am not opposed to Starbucks at all. Crema (my fave) should take it as a complement, and I can't imagine Crema losing customers to Starbucks. The more the merrier, there's plenty of vacant retail real estate on Dundas. The presence of Starbucks is a good thing, whether you prefer their coffee or not.

As for anyone boycotting storeowners in favour or indifferent to SBX, shame on you. There are real problems in the world and real businesses out there doing nasty stuff. Focus your energies there, or enjoy a cup of "shut up" instead of a Starbucks coffee.

not sure the quick and fearful jump from sexist undertones to overt sexism has a place in posts about starbucks has a place here, but having grown up in an ultraconservative, authoritarian household, i am familiar with the reasons one might deflect and turn the conversation to something they feel they can control….

dave, you say in an earlier post that "I don’t like Crema (which I know is a very unpopular opinion to have) but I am not sprouting off all over the internet about my dislike and opening up facebook pages for it shut down" and yet, here you are, dare i say "sprouting" (sic) about your dislike and boycott of wise daughters. your logic throughout your posts is somewhat flawed.

i'm with mary. what is wrong with wanting something better for your community and by extension, other communities and the community at large by supporting fair trade/organic businesses? what is wrong with aiming high? i get that we may not always be able to maintain such a standard, but if we only ever aim at mediocrity…………??

"Missy"? You've got a bloody cheek.

I'm sure that it will sting Mary to her very heart to hear that a couple of you will no longer be patronising her store (as well as not patronising her, I can only hope), and that instead you'll be dropping by Starbucks for your vente soy-chocca-mocca-latte-with-foam while you leave your SUV running outside. But surely, you could stay in Bloor West Village for that.

Starbuck in the Junction – YES BRING IT ON! While politically I may not support Starbucks, I'm sick and tired of the bums, vagrants, prostitutes, mentally ill freakshow people who maraud the Junction Streets and expose themselves indecently in front of children (yes I recently had to explain why some nutjob lady was pulling down her pants in the middle of the sidewalk to my kid – not easy) . They can't afford Starbucks. So please Starbucks come to the Junction. Corner of Keele & Bloor where Galaxy donuts is – please.

Experience tells us that the folks who prefer Starbucks to Crema are probably doing their gift shopping at Walmart anyway. I'm calling bs/empty threat on the boycott.

Losing the Troubadour and gaining a Starbucks? That is one grande crappy deal.

It makes me laugh to hear about all these business owners who think that having a Starbucks in the neighborhood will miraculously increase the Junction's cache and entice hordes of people to start shopping in their stores. I'm sure they'll be delighted when other corporate chains start following, giving the green light for property owners to raise their rents so much that they can't afford to keep their businesses in the neighborhood anymore.

I really think that businesses no matter how big, small, corporate or not should be welcome to fill the empty storefronts and we should be patronizing them if only for the fact they are investing in our nieghbourhood.

Your argument that it's "giving the green light for property owners to raise their rents" may happen one day, but it probably won't until the empty stores have been rented, not to mention many of these "property owners" are also small businesses.

Three things are obvious from the many comments posted to these blogs:

For starters, taste for coffee appears to be as eclectic as the Junction neighbourhood itself. Some like Crema, some like The Good Neighbour, some Agora and so on. Some too will like Starbucks (or at a minimum, the hours they keep) and all can live happily ever after. Afterall, Starbucks, Timothy's and the Second Cup along with some locals have all played well together in the sand box in many other neighbourhoods. I, for one, will allows struggle between Crema and The Good Neighbour and will likely never set foot in Starbucks. Having said that, I will still welcome them to the neighbourhood.

Secondly, is your coffee cup half empty or half full? We should be more appreciative of the new owners of the Old Handyman building. This corner building has sat vacant in our neighbourhood for a number of years now and someone has finally rebuilt it, clearly taking a great deal of care and no doubt at great expense, maintaining much of its orginal character. How fortunate are we for that!

Finally and most importantly…Petitions!! Protests!!! Blogs!! If you truly care about the Junction, devote your time to protecting it from something that truly matters and really does denigrate the area – The Sunshine "Health Spa" (aka Happy Endings) – or perhaps you consider that "fair trade" – and the owner of that building for renting it to those tenants (with its lovely neon sign and fancy blinds). Far worse things then Starbucks are clearly still going on in our fine neighbourhood. Expend your energy on that or perhaps you all need a coffee to get you going!

It all comes down to the independent owners fears that Starbucks will hurt their bottom line. Coffee ideology aside, its about money and how they're going to make less of it. Welcome to the free market guys.

deadly. back in the USSR much? calling someone a young lady is now sexism…. holy delicate sensibilities batman!

Great over generalization NoStarbucksIntheJunction! I guess the same could be said for you picking up your earth saving cup of joe after you re-wax your dreadlocks and finish your organic herb gardening?

"If you truly care about the Junction, devote your time to protecting it from something that truly matters and really does denigrate the area – The Sunshine “Health Spa” (aka Happy Endings) – or perhaps you consider that “fair trade” – and the owner of that building for renting it to those tenants (with its lovely neon sign and fancy blinds). Far worse things then Starbucks are clearly still going on in our fine neighbourhood. Expend your energy on that or perhaps you all need a coffee to get you going!"

Great comment! (too bad logic gets no traction around here Jen… but well said)

Talking to the owners about 2 months ago, they said that they were and continued to be approached by many individuals for the retail spaces. Tatoo Parlours, "Adult Art", and a whole bunch of other businesses to which they politely turned down because they are proud of the neighbourhood and the building and only want a "suitable tenant". They originally tried to keep the handy man shop but it was not possible due to its structural condition. So they build a new building with the old one as inspiration. I always have gotten the feeling that they do care abut this project and are in it for the long haul. One owner had said that they are about 35% over budget but they wanted to do it right and that it was like a passion project. They seem to be sensative to the families in the neighbourhood and want a tenant(s) that will only continue to help the junction in it's growth and prosperity. It's in the neighbourhood's (and their) best interests. Reading some of the comments makes me feel that some individuals are scared to have a successful, eclectic, enveyed neighbourhood.
There still is a lot of work to be done in the Junction
Many empty, ugly looking store fronts.
Questionable business – Happy endings and all.
The trains using coal etc.
This building in my eyes seems to be one of the big positives in the neighbourhood and I have actually thanked the site manager for having undergone such a project. Not everybody would of touched it..

I don't think that Starbuck's would have a negative impact at all. As mentioned inother posts there are already at least 4 other spots to get your coffee fix and they all seem to be doing well. The owner of Crema (who has other locations as well in the city) is not scared a bit, nor should he, People will be loyal to their favorite brand and those who don't care will grab a coffee where it's less busy. Which means everyone should be doing well.
ALL GOOD I SAY.
I'm just glad that their won't be music blaring from that space at 2:30am while people are having their tatoos done! Try selling childrens clothes acroos from that.

While I'm not opposed to further "gentrification" of the Junction, I don't agree with Starbucks' choice of location (right next to Crema?!?). I'm pretty sure Crema has Dundas & Quebec "covered" when it comes to coffee! Starbucks setting up shop right next door screams "we want to steal your market share!" Not very nice. Mean companies suck.

As read in earlier posts, a much better location for a Starbucks would be at the corner of Keele & Dundas. Besides, with the new condos being constructed just north of this location, it's perfect for condo dwellers to get to on foot and really helps to make that corner "less sketchy". Not to mention, the tons of business Starbucks would get from this high traffic area, especially since there's no other decent coffee shops in that location. Most importantly, it will service customers in a way they wish to be served: via a convenient and non-canibalizing location.

While I'm not opposed to further "gentrification" of the Junction, I don't agree with Starbucks' choice of location (right next to Crema?!?). I'm pretty sure Crema has Dundas & Quebec "covered" when it comes to coffee! Starbucks setting up shop right next door screams "we want to steal your market share!" Not very nice. Mean companies suck.

As read in earlier posts, a much better location for a Starbucks would be at the corner of Keele & Dundas. Besides, with the new condos being constructed just north of this location, it's perfect for condo dwellers to get to on foot and really helps to make that corner "less sketchy". Not to mention, the tons of business Starbucks would get from this high traffic area, especially since there's no other decent coffee shops in that location. Most importantly, it will service customers in a way they wish to be served: via a convenient and non-canibalizing location.

I'm a little embarrassed The Junction is being represented in the local media by these "anit-Starbucks" people. And that Facebook page is ridiculous, calling the Bloor West Village "Bland West Village" Sounds like something a 13 year old would say.

I have to agree, who appointed these people as official spokespeople for the Junction?

Proving yet again that whiners always get there way!

Those who speak up tend to get noticed. I was embarrassed as a Junction resident and Torontonian by the woman on the news who said she moved here because it was like a small town. Newsflash: big cities can be very pleasant places to live; we don't have to pretend to live in villages.

There are so many empty storefronts west and east of the current commercial hotspot of Dundas between Keele and Pacific. It's time to truly leave behind the abandoned storefront era towards actually filling the whole strip from Annette to Runnymede with commercial activity. Dundas and Keele was once high-rent and desirable. The impressive architecture reflected that, like the Carrere and Hastings bank on the NE corner of Dun + Keele, or that large Victorian blow on the NW corner. Let it recover.

Also, what happened to this blog? Lafarge is doing a massive renovation of that prominent silos property and not a word about it?

sorry A.R. the hosting company was having SQL database problems all week, will get over to the silos Sat, sorry

I believe you meant Dundas to Runnymede. I agree, I would love LOVE to see the Junction bustling with good businesses that attract patrons to the neighbourhood, its good for everyone!

What's wrong with Galaxy Donuts, it's got a regular client base and the people work hard there just like everywhere else…

What's wrong with the Concourse? it has a thriving client base and the people work hard there too……The Concourse and Galaxy Donuts don't oppress anyone, thinking they should go is another type of homogenization of the neighborhood. Those businesses have been here longer than any of the coffeeshops mentioned above, and have the right to be here as do their clients. Starbucks is union busting, greenwashes their products, is invasive and homogonizing…this is not the case with the Concourse or Galaxy…

This is a world full of diverse people who all have the right to be here no matter what their states of mind or ways of earning money. People with mental health issues are grossly neglected in this society and often fall into poverty and suffer extreme persecution. I prefer to live in a neighborhood where everyone is respected, accepted and considered worthy of staying. If we examined anyone's life with a microscope you would find disagreeable aspects; many of us work at jobs that seem "normal" but actually contribute to misery in the world…that can't really be said for the sex trade which only affects the people doing it.

Bla bla bla.

Do you really think Sex trade workers only affect the people that are doing it? Really? What about drugs and disease?

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