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LCBO future

Thu Aug 3, 2006 Miss Vicky 

So I heard through the grapevine that the LCBO folks haven't heard much from the community on the future of the Wellington St location. So I decided to send in my two cents to the LCBO's director of corporate affairs:

Dear Mr. O'Brien,

For the last several months, rumours have been flying around our commuity about the future of the LCBO on Wellington Street West in Ottawa. In my discussions with Hintonburg and West Wellington residents at various community events, I've heard a lot of anxiety and dissatisfaction about the prospect of losing the store to the new LCBO location on Richmond. Many people who live in these neighbourhoods love the pedestrian feel of our mainstreet - easy access to key shops and services is one of the things that make this area distinct. With its handy location near the Parkdale Market, banks and neighbourhood drug and hardware stores, the liquor store is a vital part of our community. Add to that the nearby grocery, bakeries, butcher and other destinations - the LCBO is a regular stop on many residents' "Wellington Shuffle", allowing many of us to keep our shopping sources local, without having to resort to more big-box options or use our vehicles.

The new location will serve the Westboro and commuter communities well, but the loss of the Wellington West store will leave a huge gap in our community and our mainstreet. I hope you will consider leaving the store open despite the presence of the new location down the road.

Some people were moved to reply

Matt Aug 4, 2006 10:01 AM said:

I wouldn't mourn the loss of the Wellington St LCBO. I would rather see the space put to use as a restaurant, market, or sub-divided into a couple stores that would inspire people to linger in the neighbourhood.

Miss Vicky Aug 4, 2006 10:08 AM said:

Well, it would be a good spot for another gathering place, especially with the GCTC coming. From what I hear, though, the rent the landlord charges on that space is premium, which might make it difficult for small, local businesses to set up shop. Larger chains like Starbucks might be prepared to pay the price to enter a new and emerging market - but is that what we want?

amckay Aug 4, 2006 10:37 AM said:

I'm at odds with myself about this LCBO. The selection isn't terribly great. Actually, it's terrible. But the location is very convenient. And my experience with the staff has been mixed. I once bought a bottle of mead there - the last bottle. Several times after that I asked whether they'd be carrying it again, and had several different employees insist they'd never carried mead. Some didn't even know WTS mead was. And once I grabbed a beer out of the little coolers they have up by the cash, only to have the cashier accuse me of taking it out of a 6 pack, and tell me that don't sell those in singles. I showed her where I'd gotten it, but she didn't believe me and took it out back. I guess that probably went home with her that evening, is all I can figure. "Damaged Goods"?

Personally I go to the Beer Store on Scott for my beer. Far better selection both of Ontario Micros and of imports. I only go to that LCBO when I want to pick up a surprise for liss76.

Oh, and Starbucks would be a lot better than a Timmies, at least. Product line far better across the board, and they treat their employees a lot better, too. They have a health plan, for one. There is a reason they've make the list of top 500 (100?) employers in the US every year they've been in business.

QUADgirl Aug 4, 2006 12:34 PM said:

I like Starbucks coffee... but I have a problem with their aggressive stategy of market expansion which tends to simultaneously take out their competitors. Does anyone remember that wonderful independant coffee shop that existed briefly at the corner of Fairmont and Wellington over 10 yrs ago? That's my coffee shop ideal.

Miss Vicky Aug 4, 2006 01:05 PM said:

I seem to recall someone mentioning that Francesco's is looking for a new location ... or maybe Collected Works could expand and have some seating in their coffee area - but the problem is really cost. High prices at a trendy location across from the new GCTC are going to make it unaffordable to many small, local businesses. Look at the Glebe, or Queen St W in Toronto, where Starbucks and other large chains like Roots, Body Shop, etc, have taken over. Not exactly the "neighbourhood" feel we have right now, where interesting shopping destinations are sprinkled with key services. We lose the services, we lose a key part of our walkable mainstreet.

adavidso Aug 4, 2006 01:35 PM said:

Seeing as the LCBO is a monopoly, we'd be losing the opportunity to buy liquor at that location permanently - although a coffee shop would be good, I'd rather see one further East on Wellington. On another note, I'm encouraged by the new building on Preston that's advertising 30,000 square feet of retail space. There was a rumour a few months ago that there would be another new LCBO there.

knitnut Aug 4, 2006 03:33 PM said:

I personally will miss the liquor store. It's a 25-minute walk from my place,which makes it the only convenient liquor store in my world. If it moves to the Super Store, it will no longer be in my world and I will be forced to give up drinking. I don't WANT to give up drinking!

QUADgirl - I STILL mourn that coffee shop at Fairmont and Wellington 10 years ago. They had great coffee, fabulous desserts, board games and a cozy ambiance - and they gave my son a part-time job posting flyers.

andrea Aug 4, 2006 04:48 PM said:

The LCBO should morph itself into a vintages... a.k.a fine wines only. Now wouldn't *that* be great!

liss76 Aug 5, 2006 11:39 AM said:

I was a little surprised that the one going in by the Superstore won't be a vintages. It seems a better fit for that neighbourhood and would allow us to keep our meat and potatoes LCBO.

I like our LCBO. It suits my needs as a consumer and if I need anything particular that they won't have, I go to the one downtown on Rideau where I am pretty much guaranteed to find what I'm looking for. I'm not a beer geek or a wine geek. I'm happy if I can buy my cider (Blackthorne), beer (Corona, Tsingtao, Guinness), assorted others (rum, tequila, vodka, etc), and some wine. To be honest, lately I've been buying whatever will give me the most airmiles! Adventurous! :)

My tastes are fairly pedestrian.. and that is exactly the way I want to keep my neighbourhood! That's the way I like it. :)

Miss Vicky Aug 10, 2006 01:51 PM said:

I just got this from the Hintonburg Community Association:

The Liquor Store at 1224 Wellington ( at Hinton) is going to be moving to the Loblaws lot in Westboro this fall or just after Christmas. They may be able to sublet the premises here or they may pay out the lease ( 1 or 2 years) in which case the store will be empty. Apparently there have been enquiries about subletting.

This is an anchor store in our community - and it is a success. We have heard that It has the highest per square foot sales of any LCBO store in the city. Because it is so busy LCBO wants to move to a different location. But that will really hurt Wellington Street which is finally starting to thrive again. This is also a walking community - walk to shop. We know that many of the customers walk from Tunney's Pasture and Holland Cross to this store.
If this store remains open, the new store location would not affect sales greatly - it would be more likely to draw customers from Hampton Park. But if this store closes, it will be a real loss to this community and the many residents and workers who shop there.

If you support keeping the store at this location please send e-mails to LCBO - we need a ground swell of support to convince them to keep this store here.

barry.o'brien@lcbo.com his phone number is 416-864-6821 and he is Director of Corporate Affairs and says he is the right hand man of Philip Olsson who is Acting Chair and CEO of the Board. It is the Board who makes the decision based on staff recommendations.

and copy the e-mail to
Richard Patten - rpatten.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Jim Watson - jwatson.mpp@liberal.ola.org
Dalton McGuinty - dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.o rg
Shawn Little - shawn.little@ottawa.ca

Please pass this on to anyone you think would support this.
------------------------------ ------------------------------ ------------------------------ --------

Hintonburg Community Association - 798-7987



amckay Aug 10, 2006 03:52 PM said:

that LCBO email address cannot be correct with an apostrophe in it ...

Miss Vicky Aug 10, 2006 04:17 PM said:

too true. I just cut and pasted.

it is: barry.obrien@lcbo.com

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