Fight the Proposed Walmart on Bathurst St

  • Fight the Proposed Walmart on Bathurst St
  • Fight the Proposed Walmart on Bathurst St

“We are seeking to have Torontonians build Toronto, and not the OMB or Walmart,” Councillor Adam Vaughan, Ward 20. Please help us, the Friends of Kensington Market, crowd-fund to pay for traffic and market impact studies as well as legal representation at the OMB to keep this out of scale commercial development out of our neighbourhood.

For those that haven’t been following the story about the proposed Walmart-anchored mall, two months ago Toronto City Council, working with the city planning department, enacted an Interim Control By-law (ICBL) on Bathurst St., meaning that there is now a one-year freeze on all development applications in order to study the Bathurst corridor and create guidelines for development that is appropriate for this street. 

What happens next?

RioCan has just appealed the by-law to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), which means their entire proposal could be decided at an OMB hearing in the next four or five months.  RioCan is challenging the ICBL, saying it is inappropriate.  They’re also asking the OMB to allow re-zoning of 420 Bathurst St., which would enable a 65’ high, 129,000 sq ft shopping mall, anchored by a suburban-sized Walmart to be built in close proximity to Kensington Market and directly adjacent to dozens of homes.  Did we mention that the development would include a 300-car parking lot and a large four-bay loading dock?  If you’re familiar with the area, you know that traffic is already a nightmare most of the time.  Just imagine what it would be like with cars and trucks going in and out of a shopping mall all day.  

This huge concern, multiplied by the crippling effect Walmart and other big box stores will have on nearby independent businesses, including those in Kensington Market, has left us with no choice but to take action and fight this development.  As the Friends of Kensington Market, we are teaming up with the Kensington Market BIA, the Kensington Market Action Committee, the Bellevue Square Park Residents’ Association, the Markham Street Residents’ Association, the Church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields, the Kensington Market Historical Society and the countless residents and business owners who will be adversely affected by this development on Bathurst St. 

But this whole thing is more than just about one Walmart.  This development, if passed by the OMB, will set a dangerous precedent for neighbourhoods across Toronto.  If it can happen in our iconic Kensington Market then it can – and will – happen in any neighbourhood.

What you can do:

This is a call to action.  We need your help to fight this development at the OMB.  RioCan has deep pockets.  They have high-powered lawyers and they’ve commissioned several studies, including traffic and market impact reports.  These initial reports claim that the development, including Walmart, will have no adverse affects on the surrounding neighbourhoods and shopping areas. Those of us who live, work and visit Kensington Market know that this can’t be true.

That’s why we need to get our own studies done and we need your help to do it.  If we're going to stand a chance of saving Kensington Market and surrounding neighbourhoods at the OMB hearing, our community needs to present the OMB with proven data and strong arguments made by experts. With your support, we will commission our own independent traffic and market impact studies and our own legal support to counterbalance the huge amount RioCan will be spending.

Come on, Toronto.  We can do this.  If each of us who signed the petition gives just $2.00, we'll reach our funding goal and have enough to pay for our own independent studies to protect the neighbourhood.

Lastly, let’s be clear: we are not anti-development.  We believe that smart, contextual and supportive development can greatly enrich urban communities.  But this proposal is entirely out of context to the surrounding neighbourhoods.  It is a lost opportunity for the redevelopment of Bathurst St and it sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of the city.

Thank you for fighting for your city!

Friends of Kensington Market

We are now offering rewards in exchange for your kind donations!  If you donated before September 19th and would like to claim your reward, please contact

As the leaders of this campaign, the Friends of Kensington Market is enormously appreciative of the support provided by the Kensington Market Action Committee (KMAC), Kensington Market Business Improvement Area (BIA), Bellevue Square Park Residents Association, Kensington Market Historical Society, Church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields and all of the people who love this extraordinary neighbourhood.   


Sponsorship Info

How could we reach our goal?
12,000 sponsors giving $10
1,200 sponsors giving $100
600 sponsors giving $200
240 sponsors giving $500

About Friends of Kensington Market

Friends of Kensington Market

We love Kensington Market and want to preserve its unique character and place in the fabric of the city.

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