Health food grocery store “front-runner” to move into SmartCentres plaza in north Oshawa

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Published April 12, 2022 at 10:14 am

A Nature's Emporium store in Vaughan

An upscale natural and organic grocery store is “the current front-runner” to move into a SmartCentres plaza in north Oshawa, providing the real estate giant can win a zoning amendment from the City to approve it.

SmartREIT (Oshawa North) Inc. is “in discussions” with Nature’s Emporium, a small chain of “boutique” health food grocery stores located in Burlington and York Region, to put a grocery store in the old Home Outfitters location on the south side of Taunton Road, just east of Harmony Road, and across the street from a Real Canadian Super Centre grocery store on property also owned by SmartCentres.

An amendment to allow a grocery story as a permitted use is needed because when the plaza on the south side was built two decades ago there was a stipulation that no grocery store could be located there – a requirement fought for and won by SmartCentres themselves to reduce potential competition with their Super Centre store across the road.

Several local residents from a neighbourhood just south of the plaza spoke out against the application at a public meeting Monday evening on the grounds a grocery story would attract animals to the garbage bins out back and because of the noise of nighttime pickups of those same bins.

The plaza is currently home to numerous stores, banks and restaurants. As the potential supermarket would occupy existing commercial space minimal construction would be required.

The application will go now go back to staff before being presented to Council for approval.

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