Following months of closed doors and questions, renovations to Rocca’s No Frills are finally underway.
“We are happy to report we have received the required City permits and have begun renovations to Rocca’s No Frills,” said Kevin Groh, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Loblaws Companies Limited – the parent company of No Frills – in an emailed statement.
The preliminary zoning review from mid-August, obtained by Beach Metro through a freedom of information request, notes that the approved zoning certificate involves a total area of 36,340 square feet – 20,370 square on the main floor and 15,969 square feet in the basement – cleared for renovation at the Coxwell Avenue site.
However, a lengthy wait between the abrupt closure and news of Vi’s No Frills in the King and Jameson area closing without notice in December has caused concern about the possibility of the doors remaining permanently shuttered, with some even speculating that a condo would be erected in its place.
While these rumours appear to be unfounded – Home Hardware, which is in the same development row as the No Frills, confirmed they had never been approached by developers, and Loblaws insists on its intention to reopen as a No Frills – the lack of movement witnessed by the community on the site until recently has done nothing to dispel the chatter.
While they did not provide details with regards to a date customers can expect to see it reopened, nor specifics on what the store would look like inside, Groh did state that their “goal is to open a much-improved store as soon as possible to provide our customers with a better shopping experience.”
According to permits, the scope of work includes alterations to the interior and exterior of the No Frills store including the installation of a new floor, new exterior walls and some minor site alterations. An elevation drawing provided by Loblaws sheds some light on the plans for the grocery store, showing a revitalized exterior with large front windows and a larger yellow sign.
The work outlined in the permit is also consistent with a statement given to Beach Metro by a construction worker on site, who explained that they are not demolishing the entire interior, but rather are tearing down some walls while working to retain others.
Groh also confirmed that they will continue to offer a shuttle bus to Dave and Charlotte’s No Frills until Rocca’s No Frills re-opens.
The No Frills closure continues to draw a wide reader response at beachmetro.com. Here is what some of our readers are saying:
“This closure has been very difficult on my mother, who is a senior with mobility issues. Visiting this store for her served the dual purpose of fresh food at a reasonable price, and a short pleasant walk with her buggy for exercise.”
“We really need this opened soon. I have been bugging them about a date with no one saying when. It’s nice that the bus takes us to the other one, but someone like me in a scooter can’t go. We can’t take anything that we can’t carry on the bus. “
“When is No Frills reopening? The shuttle bus is a hassle and many elders in the area are going without fresh fruits and veg. Loblaws needs to provide updates.”