loblaws-entertainment-district Photo: Josh Sherman

Downtown Toronto condo dwellers rejoice — what could be the largest grocery store in the city’s Entertainment District is set to open its doors next week.

An Independent City Market at 111 Peter Street will begin serving shoppers on Friday, March 18th, at 8am. The date, previously not publicly known, was confirmed to BuzzBuzzHome News today by an employee who answered a call placed to the phone number that the grocery store listed online.

Independent City Market, a Loblaws franchise chain, has had a presence in Toronto since October 2014, when a location at King and Shaw opened in Canderel’s DNA3 building.

The location is opening in an area of Toronto’s downtown core that has seen rapid high-rise residential development but offers relatively few options for shoppers looking to stock their fridges. According to BuzzBuzzHome data, there are 3,709 homes under construction in the Entertainment District, with 1,985 homes scheduled for completion this year.

“The Entertainment District’s residential population continues to grow rapidly, and we can expect grocery retailers to follow,” Craig Patterson, editor-in-chief of Retail Insider, tells BuzzBuzzHome News.

“It’s surprising how ‘late to the game’ grocery retailers have been in the area, considering the existing population and the fact that grocery retailers have known in advance how densely populated the area is/will be,” he adds.

As for grocery options currently available to area residents, The Market by Longo’s operates in two locations in the Financial District while a much larger megastore opened in 2010 in Maple Leaf Square. Loblaws, Metro and Sobey’s all have locations near the Entertainment District, but with the exception of Metro, all are located outside of the traditional boundaries of the neighbourhood. Several smaller chains, including Rabba and Fresh and Wild, also operate in the area.

loblaws-entertainment-district-rendering Rendering: Colliers Canada

The Peter Street Independent City Market — which has leased approximately 8,000 square feet, according to a 111 Peter Street retail listing — should help change the area’s reputation as a food desert.

The store will boast a bakery, deli-and-cheese counter, florist, fresh meat counter, juice bar, dairy and fresh-made soup and sandwiches, among other offerings.

The new Independent City Market will occupy the base of the nine-storey commercial building, which is currently undergoing renovations and also features office space.

Store hours are listed as 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.

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