If I Write About Safeway Again Will We Get Another Hundred Comments?

Because that’d be awesome.

And just so you know, the architects of the 13th Ave Safeway redesign have been paying attention to those comments.

I know. People reading the Dog Blog. Crazy, right? But that’s what one of them told me at Tuesday’s community engagement meeting.

It was certainly a worthwhile night out. The meeting wasn’t as well attended as the first one Safeway put on but what it lacked in people it made up for it in attitude. Everyone who rose to ask a question was clearly aggrieved over one element of the design or another — or the whole package — and the loudest bouts of applause were for comments of the “why don’t you just leave it alone and get in better produce” variety.

Beyond that, there were many interesting tidbits of info revealed at the meeting. Here are a few things I learned….

Why Safeway is doing the redesign. Turns out the 13th Ave Safeway is losing business to bigger grocery stores. In fact, it was mentioned that it is “vulnerable to pressure” from the Grasslands shopping centre and that Walmart is cutting into their customer base. I spoke with John Graham, Safeway’s Public Affairs Manager in Saskatchewan, and while he wouldn’t reveal any specific numbers, he did say that 13th Ave has been losing customers even to other, larger Safeway’s in the city and so head office wants to increase the size and selection in Cathedral so they can recapture some of the local market that is driving off to larger stores.

Basically, they claim, embiggening the 13th Ave Safeway makes it viable and profitable far into the distant future. Leaving it as is means it will probably, eventually, someday maybe wither and die. And reopen as a carpet store. (He didn’t say that about the carpet store. That’s me, the pessimist, imagining the worst case scenario.)

I can’t say I’m surprised by any of this but the comments about Grasslands and Walmart did make me snap to attention because when Harvard was selling the city on the idea of Grasslands we were told categorically (and I was told explicitly) that their shopping centre would not impact local businesses in surrounding neighbourhoods. The city is short a million square feet of retail space, they told me.

Of course, I suspected they were shitting me at the time. (I mean, if we were short a million square feet of retail, that former-future-Zellers wouldn’t be sitting empty today, would it?) But still, I didn’t expect to hear that my local grocer was feeling the Grasslands pressure so soon.

The Robert Boyer mural can’t be saved. Well, it could. But according to P3, the architects on the project, it will cost around $300,000 to preserve it and that figure doesn’t include restoration costs afterwards, as damage will inevitably be done to it during construction.

What they were kind of hoping to do was to take high quality images of it and then have a reproduction of the mural painted onto the new store. They approached Boyer’s widow with this option and she said no, she’d rather the painting go than be copied by someone else.

Which is too bad, but fair enough. It’s her call.

Also found out that when the original painting was done, the agreement was to use paints that would fade away within five years, but that the paints have held up way better than expected. So, basically, the deal from the beginning was for that mural to be disposable. Kind of like the Safeway building itself. (Wait… did I type that last bit IRL?)

Anyway. It is tragic but the Boyer mural looks to be up for the chop. It was suggested though that it might be nice to commission another artist of similar stature to paint a new mural on the building. Maybe on the east wall which is in the current design kind of blank.

The east wall is blank because…. They were talking about virginia creeper or something like that to liven up the building on the east side, but can’t do that, they claim, because the trees along there would block the sun.

There were a lot of complaints about that side of the building being unsightly. The architects and even the Safeway reps seemed to take note of this and agree. My guess is, if we end up seeing any changes to the building, it’ll be here.

Safeway is a big, immobile bureaucracy. Most telling question of the night, I thought, was couldn’t they make the building design “more unique”? The point being that the architects had made this effort to adjust Safeway’s usual building design by incorporating elements from landmarks in the neighbourhood. That’s why the latest drawings include things like arched windows and brickwork. This, apparently, will be a “unique” Safeway design when it’s all done.

The desire for something “more unique,” highlights I think that what a lot of people are having trouble with are all these gestures toward nostalgic, traditional design when they’d actually be much happier with something that pushed artistic boundaries and was a real showpiece location.

The architects, from the sounds of things, would really like to be able to cut loose on the project but they have a list of requirements they have to stick to. Ultimately and unfortunately, Safeway isn’t willing to put the kind of investment into this Safeway that would make a cutting edge, showpiece possible. They have a design and a brand that they want to stick to and P3 had to fight to make the design changes they’ve made so far.

According to Graham, it is very unlikely that any significant changes to the design will happen at this point.

Thing is, the 13th Ave Safeway is a smallish store for them and the neighbourhood doesn’t have the density that would justify putting up a showpiece building.

Most of the windows are fake windows. On the image above, the centre three banks of windows are all fake. Only the windows around the entrances are real. The windows along the west wall are also fake. Reason for this is Safeway apparently does this “stage lighting” thing in their new stores where they “light” their products with overhead lamps to highlight them and make everything more… I don’t know… cozy and dynamic??

Also, apparently, because this store is small, to maximize the shopping space, they’ve pushed all the “backstage” stuff — washrooms, storage, meat cutting, bakery ovens, offices, those sorts of things — to the fringe of the building. And I guess they want to keep all that hidden.

Anyway, there will be dramatically less natural light in the new building. And there won’t be a big lovely curtain-wall of glass looking out over a parking lot and bleeding off heat. (Yeah, yeah. I know. Glass curtain walls are one of those marvelous characteristics of mid-century modern architecture. Natural light. The invisible building. I know. I can read. But they’re also inefficient as fuck and hard to maintain over the long term. Peak oil is coming. And many of the elements of modernist architecture are going to be impractical when it does.)

A lot of the people at the meeting were very upset about this. But it’s something Safeway seems unwilling to move on.

The new sign is same as the old sign only different. The plan is to remove the neon “Safeway” on the sign in the parking lot and put up something backlit. And the “S” logo at the top will be changed to the new “S” logo that Safeway is using. (The new logo is same as the old logo only the colours are reversed.) The “Delicatessen” part of the sign will be changed to read “Pharmacy” because that’s a more important part of the business now.

Again, people wanted to keep the neon. But the architects pointed out neon is really energy inefficient and hard to maintain. People countered they’ve never seen the neon on the sign needing repair. Things ended at a rhetorical stalemate. Again, I suspect Safeway won’t be changing their mind on this.

There is no Giant Tiger moving in but about that Giant Tiger…. So I was standing around talking to a P3 architect and a Safeway rep. And as I alluded to above, the subject of the Dog Blog and all the comments that we got on that Safeway post came up. “Oh, you read the blog,” I said. “Well, I try not to but someone said I really should in this case,” said the architect. Then we started talking about all the crazy comments we got. “Ha ha ha. They said we suck,” laughed the architect. “Oh, ho ho ho. They said we suck,” the Safeway rep chortled loudly. “Oh, ha ha!” I guffawed, “They always say we suck!” And we’re laughing and laughing, good chums that we are, and I’m like, “And then, ha ha ha!” tears streaming down my cheeks, “they said a Giant Tiger! wants to move into this location! Ha! Ha!” I’m bent over, holding my side and slapping my knee from the hilarity of it all.

And everyone else is quiet like I just spilled my drink on a recently deceased grandmother. The architect excuses himself and walks away.

“Wait. Guys. It’s just a joke, right? There’s no Giant Tiger,” I said. “Right?”

Okay, so the Safeway rep — John Graham again, as if you didn’t know — says that there have been expressions of interest from various companies about that location. And he would not confirm that Giant Tiger is one of them. And wouldn’t disconfirm it either.

What he did say is that Safeway has no plans to dump that location now or in the forseeable future. It’s still a profitable grocery store.

But! He pointed out that it is Safeway’s policy not to sell or lease a location they vacate to another grocery store or to a business that would compete with their grocery stores. So, if they were to bail on Cathedral, there’d be no Extra Foods taking their place. No Dollar Store and no Giant Tiger either.

The carpet store I raised earlier is a more likely outcome.

You can still have your say. According to the reps from the city, the Safeway expansion and redesign will be going before Regina Planning Commission very soon. I don’t recall them giving a date but next week isn’t out of the question. Those meetings are at 4:30 in the afternoon and you can just show up and sign up to speak. It will subsequently go before council and to speak there you will have to submit a written version of what you plan to say the Thursday in advance of the meeting. Those happen on Mondays at 5:30.

Plus you can always contact your councillor. If that’s Fred Clipsham, you can find his contact info here.

And, that’s it. There was a lot more ground covered but I have to go make lunch and my laptop battery is about to die. Comment away. And if you have questions about the meeting, I can try to answer them. And I’m betting many regular Dog Blog readers were there and can give a different perspective on things.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

38 thoughts on “If I Write About Safeway Again Will We Get Another Hundred Comments?”

  1. Small clarification. The agenda for next week’s RPC meeting is already posted on the City’s website. The City is accepting comments until Nov 30, if I heard the city-planner correctly. That means that the earliest RPC meeting is Dec 12th.

  2. Oi. That first tidbit sounds threatening. Trust me, you don’t want an Extra Foods moving in there. Extra Foods is ALWAYS a bad time. I would take a big box Safeway over Extra Foods any day, and since my dream of returning to Hillsdale’s been put $50K out of reach for the foreseeable future, I may be living near this grocery store by next year. Right now my nearest is an Extra Foods, and it feels like no grocery store at all. BTW, if you don’t sell Dairyland you suck.

    I was saddened to see that Saskatoon McDonald’s are renovating their classic designs. This brown and beige version above really is sad, but like I said, better than EF. Grasslands is a time sink. F*ck that place. Let those who grow up there define it.

  3. I’ve always disliked stores that make it their policy to not sell or lease a location they vacate to their competition. It’s like salting the earth, poisoning the well, and saying ‘screw you’ to their former neighbourhood.

    If the 13th Ave Safeway closed, I’m not going to another Safeway in another part of the city for my groceries. That’s just plain stupid.

  4. Maybe Safeway has no model for this, but why don’t they build a nicer, smaller store like Lakeshore Sobey’s? If Safeway needs to go huge on 13th Avenue, then there’s little chance we’ll ever see a mainstream grocery store built downtown. Today I was in Lakeview Fine Foods, which would work well for a downtown store if you added prepared sandwiches, soups, salads, and chickens into the mix, but their prices on some things are astronomical. I’m not even sure how they survive, but it’s probably because they’re more niche’y than Safeway. I kind of wish we could live in a world of less choice and less competition, so I didn;t have to betray my fave stores just because I know if I go to Extra Foods I’ll save $1.25 on the mixed greens.

  5. So basically unless there is a revolt, this is the Safeway the cathedral will be getting. Seems like an upgrade to me, but then again I don’t have a hard-on for outdated, non-sustainable 70’s architecture. But that’s just me, bro.

    (btw imagine a nicer, smaller Safeway would have astronomical prices that still wouldn’t make economic sense for the company)

  6. Lakeview Fine Foods (and the former Tomboy Foods that preceded it) has been around for decades; it’s kind of an area institution. Their prices are in line with a typical grocery store of its size and you can on occasion find Co-op and Safeway branded items that are even less expensive than you’d find in the respective brand’s stores. So yeah, if you’re looking for cheap toiletries probably not the best bet, but they do have a great meat counter. If you need to grab a few things and be in and out in under two minutes, it’s bloody brilliant.

  7. I haven’t been paying too much attention to the forums, but are they really putting a Starbucks in this one? I know that most of them do have this, but that is DIRECT competition with the great specialty coffee shops and cafes that the Cathedral is rocking. I know I would much rather prefer a 13th Ave Coffee House latte, but if Starbucks is right there, how many people are going to make the extra walk down the street? Or even across to Orange? Scary thought.

  8. “but if Starbucks is right there, how many people are going to make the extra walk down the street? Or even across to Orange? Scary thought.”

    Well first of all, 13th Ave Coffee House has gone straight downhill since it changed ownership a while back, so if a Starbucks moves in it will be a welcome sight.

    Secondly, and perhaps you’ve never actually been there, but Cafe Orange is a Japanese/Korean fusion restaurant, not a coffee shop. You go there for sushi, sake, and dolsot bibimbap, NOT for an iced cappuccino and a biscotti. I fail to see how they would be in “direct” competition at all.

  9. Amber, if you pay close attention to Orange, you’ll note that’s it’s also a coffee shop where you can get specialty coffees, along with the fusion cuisine.

  10. @Amber: I’ve been to 13th Ave. twice since it changed ownership and had veggie burgers and coffee. Seemed yummy as ever to me. But maybe we should sic Aidan on ’em and get a definitive review.

  11. Thanks for the reportage, Paul.
    Now, in re: glass, did I not say, many posts ago, that the glass foyer at the Central Library was an energy pig, and got brushed aside? Is no one following the information being put out as to the legion of problems with glass walls in condominiums? Make the ecologically sound choice, folks, or be forever remembered as hypocrites.

  12. “Amber, if you pay close attention to Orange, you’ll note that’s it’s also a coffee shop where you can get specialty coffees, along with the fusion cuisine.”

    Right, and you can get a decent Americano at Crave but that doesn’t mean it’s stealing business away from the Atlantis across the street, or vice-versa. If I was walking down 13th Ave, hungry and wondering where I should have supper, I wouldn’t be tempted away from Cafe Orange by the Starbucks.

  13. @#6 Bronymous: What the fuck? Don’t you know anything about Sobey’s? Same store, same chain, same flyer, same prices at big Sobey’s and boutique Sobey’s alike. Too dumb for words, bro?

  14. (To clarify, I meant that use of the word “forever” might be construed as overkill. But as for me, instead of being merely remembered for my hypocrisy, I wanna be CELEBRATED, gawldarnit.)

  15. Up until this point I have kept quiet about this as I feel that my opinion is not a very popular one. I think Paul makes some great points about keeping in mind the sustainability of the building. I hope Safeway keeps this in mind with all of it’s building and design choices(ie no open refrigeration section). With that in mind it is crazy to me how upset people are about this expansion. Consider the Cathedral area without this store. What was a neighbourhood with a great pedestrian lifestyle would change dramatically. As much as it would be nice for everyone to be able to afford to shop at small independent grocery stores, within walking distance, that is simply not a reality for the majority of people. I would much prefer to see a store that is both interesting to look at and sustainable but that is a rare thing in even the economically viable locations. I think this store plays a key role in keeping this neighbourhood vital by helping to bolster traffic for other smaller businesses and providing the ease of a pedestrian lifestyle we all enjoy as residents.

  16. Spending $300,000 to save a mural that was specifically made to be temporary seems like a really poor use of time and money. But I think that if the neighbourhood preservationists calmed down long enough to acknowledge this, they would have to relinquish one of their arsenal of grievances, and they are far too swept away in this “US versus THE MAN” melodrama to do that.

  17. I find it telling that even for proponents of the building plan going ahead as is, not one person has come out to say how great the new design looks.

    I, for one, do not think I have an “arsenal of grievances”. What the hell is so wrong with wanting to see a building that fits in the neighbourhood?

  18. “not one person has come out to say how great the new design looks.”

    That’s because the new design doesn’t look great. The current building is elegant and streamlined while the new proposal is primarily utilitarian with a few incidental nods toward aesthetics. Anyone can see that, even people who support the renovation. But the expansion isn’t about looks, it’s about functionality. These are drearily pragmatic times we live in!

  19. Anonymous #17: From what I’ve gathered, most people aren’t upset by the expansion, and I think everyone understands or appreciates the role that a good full-service grocery store plays in the Cathedral neighborhood. The issue, I think, is more about the input that neighborhood residents have in the process. More services are great, but the original proposed design demonstrated that Safeway and P3 hadn’t really thought about the neighborhood that they were presumably serving. The pushback was a lot stronger than they had anticipated.

  20. # 22 oh, right that’s me.

    I ‘m not gonna dis S’way too much, but not Saving any of the old Ways,now known as recycling is….bad business.

    300k to salvage the mural?
    I’ll do it for 150.K.

    You want to stand out S’way?
    Don’t lookas ugly as every building I avoid in Regtown.

    Preseve a brand? How? when you all are cookie cutter shapes and designed by ?, I won’t go there.

  21. i’ve been wanting an expanded safeway with more selection for years, and safeway’s statement that this store has been losing business to other stores is, to my mind, a direct result of that. i shop elsewhere when i don’t want the standard same old same old.

    safeway has reworked their original design somewhat, but they need to try harder to work with us; they don’t understand (appreciate?) cathedral’s esthetic values. it’s still very much a generic design; the retallack st side, for example has been completely ignored detail-wise. if they’re not going to expand on the existing design, they need to put more architectural integrity into this design….and trashing the neon sign???…nossir!!!!!!! i don’t buy that. i don’t buy the arguments of costly repairs and energy efficiency. i’ve lived 1/2 block away for over 25 yrs, during which time it’s needed few repairs….and energy efficiency? come on, it’s a beautiful neon sign, for christ’s sake!

    what i’d like to see is a ton of people show up at the city planner meeting and demand that they respect our wishes, and force safeway to negotiate more with us. it’s our neighborhood… what we want is very much a part of this issue.

  22. So, if Safeway decides to leave 13th Ave, can we turn it into an indoor farmers market like the one in Saskatoon? Or has anyone thought of that already for the old Gordon Block building off the downtown plaza?

  23. even if they do go ahead with the proposed plan, i think it would be a friendly gesture on the part of safeway to at least comprimise on the neon sign issue. i mean, this isn’t the vegas strip – it’s the word “safeway.” it’s a pretty low commitment to neon. and i’m assuming that there would be an expense involved with taking down the current sign and fabricating & installing a new one, so logically the money they will save NOT doing all of that can be put into maintaining the neon. because from most accounts, it doesn’t seen to have required THAT much maintenance over the years.

    i think there’s a real benefit to saving the sign that goes way beyond just trying appease the demands of the outspoken cathedral residents. having a visibly vintage sign conveys the message “we are an established brand, we have been around forever for a reason, you can rely on us the same way your parents did.” which is something the flimsy new plastic signs over at grasslands can’t do. the neon sign is a familiar, welcoming beacon for many regina residents – most retailers would do anything for that kind of iconic visibility.

    a&w did something similar a while ago when they reverted back to all their vintage brown and orange 60s colors (ditching the 80s turquoise and pink update) in an successful effort to capitalize on their own history and the public’s sense of nostalgia that is attached to it. and if a mediocre fast food chain can exhibit this kind of business savvy then why can’t safeway?

  24. #14 Stewbro, I admit I’m not too up on my Sobey’s, barely ever shop there, but isn’t a general rule the smaller/more boutique-like, the higher the prices? That’s what I’ve noticed at grocery stores across N.America. Evidence to the contrary would be appreciated.

  25. Bronymous #6
    The residents get 3 more “kicks at the can” on the Safeway proposal when it is presented at: 1) Regina Planning Commission 2) City Council 3) The Province.
    Also, we still have until Nov 30th to submit comments to the City.

    Based on how some other large developments with local opposition have been treated by RPC, it is believable for RPC to send the proposal back for additional work if there is credible opposition with reasonable expectations.

    Seeing that the proposal requires a change to the official community plan (section J “Cathedral”) it is a significant deviation from the intended use, and therefore should provide significant benefit to the community in exchange.

  26. regarding the farmer’s market: what i’m led to believe is safeway will not allow renters to put in a store that is in any way competition to their business. that being said, i doubt that they would close the store. i think they know the potential sales they’re missing here, but just want to instal the standard ‘lifestyle’ store, because that’s what they do.

  27. “In fact, it was mentioned that it is “vulnerable to pressure” from the Grasslands shopping centre and that Walmart is cutting into their customer base.”

    Okay. I think we’re running into a bit of a spin, here.

    A few years ago, I spent a year immersed in the world o’ Walmart (I make documentaries) and learned a lot about Walmart and the grocery market – this is something that’s well-established in the US.

    Walmart Supercentres do affect the bottom line of smaller stores. However, the most successful strategy against this is to find a niche that Walmart doesn’t fill.

    13th Ave. Safeway already does that. The majority of their customer base doesn’t go to Walmart much, and not for their grocery shop. Different demographic. There may be some effect, but for a niche store it will be minimal.

    What you have instead is the corporate regional office noticing that a new ‘burb has sprouted on our west side and that many of them are using 13th Ave. as a corridor on their way home from work – rather than have them stop at Walmart.

    What they’d like is to capture more of that traffic. Makes business sense. But it’s not about the store as it currently stands not being viable, and they risk alienating their current customer base in a gamble to attract Walmart shoppers.

    I’d argue that they can still do that with some thoughtful expansion and a better design.

    So what’s being said isn’t technically untrue – there’s just a lot being omitted.

  28. If you had a government acting as bureaucratic and as stuck in its philosophy, and as unable to ‘think outside the box’ to meet public wishes as Safeway is right now over the 13th Ave. store, John Gormley and the Leader-Post would be in full force mocking mode …

  29. Here’s one letter – deadline is today

    Dear City Council

    I wish to add my opinion re the development of the Safeway on 13th avenue. I am all for expanding the store, and improving service at the Safeway. However, it should be done in a way that respects and supports the neighbourhood and it’s identity, and this plan clearly does not. I live in the area and put a lot of money into this store feeding our family, and do want better choice and service, but also want any expansion to be something we do not regret later.

    It would appear from the information we have, that the key role of the expanded Safeway and parking lot – and driving force for this expansion – is to capture traffic on its way to the suburbs, especially Harbour Landing. While that is an admirable goal, to ignore the identity of this unique community to do so is simply not acceptable.

    The revised plan has only cosmetic changes and does not address the main concern. Cathedral is unique in Regina, it is the only walkable neighbourhood that has a street festival, artwork as part of its appeal, and a thriving group of small businesses. Any design should fit the aesthetic, size, and walking nature of the community.

    The current plan – because of its logic – is far larger than will fit the community. It involves levelling four character houses in a city with less than 1% vacancy. The size and scope of the expansion would be fine for a big box outskirt area, but way too big for this compact, walking community. Building into the other side areas is fine, and expanding back somewhat would be OK, but this is just too large. The expansion logic of a bigger bakery and butcher shop could negatively affect our existing bakery and butcher shop – local established businesses. A business impact assessment needs to be done before approval.

    The current design looks just like a Holiday Inn – not like anything else in this community. They can do better.

    If this development was on an open space, or in an industrial mall where expansion did not affect the community I would wholeheartedly support it. More choice is always good. But this is the anchor in a vibrant community and needs to be refined.

    At a minimum this council should ask for traffic and business impact assessment prior to any plan being approved, and a revised plan that helps build this community, and supports the existing businesses. It can be done, but this plan will not.

    City council must make a clear choice – support Safeway’s business model over the health of this unique community, or ask them to do better – and help to build this community. Other cities have asked for improvements and revisions that went on for years until it was right, because they were worth it. At the least we should start down that path and say our city, and our community is worth taking the time to do it right.

    Thank you for taking input.

    Best regards,

    Leif Kaldor

  30. What’s eating my craw today is the subversion of local democracy, i.e. that bylaw change, followed closely by the taking out of four family dwellings at a time when there’s a housing crisis in the city.

    P3 is an excellent architectural firm, imo. I’m pretty sure they’re responsible for The Terrace at the U of R. It’s a gorgeous building. I’d like to see their unfettered redesign/repurposing of the site. It’s sad, really, that Safeway doesn’t have the courage to let that creativity loose. I suppose The Corporation fears it might lose control of its brand, eh?

    And to those who are concerned that Safeway might leave the neighbourhood, who fear we won’t be able to solve the grocery store problem if they do, I want to leave you with one of my favourite quotes. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead

  31. #31 Leif, I hope yer running for Mayor, or councillor, 1 vote here.

    #29er Agree.

    I used to apartment live in Hillsdale.

    The IGA / sOBEYs , change-over was not as awful as I thought might become.

    Removing the Shell was worse.

    Sby’s Hdale does have good choices. Sure a bit more upbeat than IGA, but also a bit too upbeat. Starvin students,bus it to Broadway.

    Make 13th and Elph a 4way light, that lasts longer than 32 seconds, each way.
    Lefty turners need a hand.

  32. @ #26 Bro, evidence is Sobey’s just as I said. Prices at boutique Sobey’s the same as big Sobey’s. Only thing that doesn’t work about any Sobey’s are the snobby, lazy-ass workers there, esp. Lakeshore.

  33. If Safeway gets its new giant store on 13th, it’s going to make a lot more money and many more people from all over are going to travel to it.

    That’s why I was stunned at the public meeting when the subject of increased car traffic was raised and quietly ignored by the city & Safeway reps.

    With a new super Safeway directly on the way for downtown office workers to their homes in the west ‘burbs, I’m guessing traffic turning off Albert onto tiny 13th will triple from 3-6 each work day.

    To get into the Safeway parking lot, the ever-increasing number of drivers attempting to turn left (south) onto Retallack or Robinson will grid-lock the one-lane west-bound traffic of 13th back to Albert.

    Once they have their groceries, the Safeway shoppers will exit the parking lot onto Retallack or Robinson to find themselves frozen in a huge line of cars at the stop sign, all attempting to turn left onto 13th, to break into the continuous stream of westbound cars.

    Do you think full traffic lights, with turn signals, would work on 13th & Retallack?

    I’m looking forward to shopping at the new Safeway. It’s the traffic down our little 13th is what I’m concerned with; that’s what I think is the biggest threat to our neighbourhood.

  34. I still cannot figure out why Safeway (or Superstore) can say that there cannot be a food store where their store once was… Or why a City and its urban planning department would allow that!

    A food store is a necessary part of a neighbourhood — should not an urban planning department encourage commerce to exist where it is needed, so that people can walk to a food store, to a school, to a library?

    It still baffles me that there are no longer food stores in North Central, when once there were many stores. The critical mass is the same, the houses are still there, it is a lively neighbourhood. When Superstore came to Dewdney and Albert, did the smaller stores go out of business? When Superstore left, and insisted that no food store could go there…. it threw off the balance of the neighbourhood and the city’s own urban planning (or rather, it does not allow a city to plan anything, if commerce is allowed to dictate what can go where).

    It seems to be a weird situation to me. Is this normal in Canada?

    Does Safeway OWN Giant Tiger? Is that why we are hearing that name?

    Comments to the City by Dec 2nd, by the way…..

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