‘Handy’ downtown Canadian Tire closing

By Julie Hawrishok

City officials have approved a plan that will allow construction of an 18-storey office building and retail complex on the site of the Canadian Tire department store on the corner of Kent Street and Laurier Avenue.

Local developer Doug Bridgewater filed a site application plan on Nov. 29, 2001 for the building, which would also include underground parking.

When the plan goes through, Centretown residents may no longer have a hardware store in the downtown core. Representatives at Canadian Tire declined to officially comment on the issue, but have said they would like to keep the store at the same location if possible.

Regardless, the 15 auto service bays will be demolished; the required 11 loading bays will be reduced to eight, and the allowed building height will be increased from 492 feet to 509 feet.

While Bridgewater was out of town and not available for comment, some residents and area shoppers share some common concerns.

“I don’t really like the layout of this store; it’s not a super-centre like the others,” said customer Ben Mercer. “But it’s handy to have here. It does make more sense to have a more diverse commercial building here though.”

The property, situated at 178 Kent Street has been zoned as a CB zone, meaning it is a Central Business Commercial Zone.

Developers must ensure the area continues to be a place for employment and shopping. The zone must also facilitate intense development while at the same time maintaining an active, pedestrian-oriented environment at street level.

“It’s nice to not have to spend an hour on the bus just to get to a store,” says Matt Davis, a resident of Bronson Avenue. “And I break stuff all the time, so I’m always needing tools and screws and glue and stuff. It’s convenient, they’ve got everything I need. Where am I supposed to go now?”

Lucky for Davis, it appears he and his neighbors will still have ample time to shop at the store.

There has yet to be any indication of building pending and no plans have been finalized.