By ALANNA RAYMAN
The cannabis retail shop that moved into the site of the former iconic Randall’s Stationery store on Kingston Road will be officially opening its doors for business on Friday, Feb. 14.
Sessions on the Beaches’ grand opening celebrations on Valentine’s Day will commence with a ribbon cutting and speeches at 9:45 a.m., and the store will be open for customers at 10 a.m.
A large crowd is expected for the opening, said Sessions on the Beaches co-founder and CEO Stephen Fry.
He said he is excited to bring this concept to the Beach area and that the Sessions cannabis shop concept is already working well in Collingwood.
The Kingston Road shop will be Sessions Cannabis’ second store to open, and plans are also in place to open in Hamilton and Cambridge this spring.
Fry said new customers can expect “a welcome embrace, a safe product and an education. We are pumped to be the first ever cannabis store in the Beach, and there will be specials and lots of swag bags to celebrate this momentous occasion.”
The road to Sessions on the Beaches’ opening has not always been a smooth one, however.
Many area residents were horrified to hear that the beloved Randall’s Stationery Store was even closing in the first place. The store had been in the community for some 80 years, and long-time owner Ted Randall was a legend in the Beach.
Randall was often referred to as the “heart” of the Beach, and he was named Beach Citizen of the Year in 2003 for his numerous contributions to the community. Randall died in May of 2019 at the age of 88.
Randall’s Stationery was also an iconic part of the Kingston Road retail strip and along with the neighbouring Kingston Rd. Market was favourite stop for those trying to capture the spirit of the community in both photos and paintings.
Some residents simply could not come to terms with the idea of the iconic Randall’s becoming a cannabis store while others were concerned with its proximity to the nearby Beaches Montessori School. ( For more on the last day’s of the Randall’s Stationery store and the removal of its iconic sign, please see https://www.beachmetro.com/2019/09/12/end-of-an-era-randalls-stationery-sign-taken-down-from-kingston-road-store/ )
However, Sessions on the Beaches meets all of the existing provincial guidelines for retail cannabis stores, and the community appears to have come to grips with the reality that it will soon be part of the Kingston Road community.
Najla Guthrie is the licensed retailer for the shop at 964 Kingston Rd,, and she chose Sessions Cannabis as her retail partner. Guthrie won a retail licence in the second round of Ontario’s cannabis retail lottery last year.
“I’m very grateful to have partnered with a brand that has established industry knowledge and can’t wait to introduce Sessions Cannabis to the community,” said Guthrie in a press release.
When asked what the Sessions signage will look like or if the store will pay any homage to Randall’s, Fry replied, “We have made every effort to maintain the heritage of the building and outer façade. The space will however be very bright, warm, and welcoming.”
“We are thrilled to be the first store in the Beaches and look forward to embracing the local community and local businesses,” said Fry.
Since the grand opening is on Valentine’s Day, he said gifts from Sessions could make a good alternative for some. Fry said that customers will be able to purchase a “special flower” which is made of dried cannabis that day.
“We also offer cannabis infused chocolate bars, gummies, and many other cannabis product segments,” he said.
Sessions on the Beaches cannabis store is located on the north side of Kingston Road one door west of Scarborough Road. For more information, please visit www.sessions.ca