Small Business

Winning team— Toronto


A former sporting arena has been reborn in the centre of Toronto as the flagship store of Canadian supermarket Loblaws. The city’s traditional home of ice hockey now houses fresh produce. Monocle went to see if the crowds still come.

Food, Landini Associates, Loblaws, Organic, Toronto

Why it works

  1. Reusing character: Subtle references to the building’s past – such as reusing the font from the arena’s seats for store signage – gives a sense of place.
  2. Committed cooks: Executive chef Mark Russell cooks up restaurant-quality cuisine suited to the clientele, constantly evolving.
  3. Embracing variety: Specialist ingredients usually designated to “foreign” aisles are integrated instead, reflecting a clued-up, international customer.
  4. Reversing the layout: Customers are invited in by cafés and fresh produce, instead of rows of checkouts.
  5. Knowing their stuff: Speciality counters and shop-in-shops have staff who know what they’re talking about.

Monocle 24

× The Pacific Shift


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