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Maple Leaf Gardens

Loblaws Holiday Gingerbread House

Both to mark the holiday season and to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their Carlton street location (in the old Maple Leaf Gardens), Loblaws and their President’s Choice brand have built a giant holiday gingerbread house.

The life-size house is made with edible gingerbread but only packaged candy decoration will actually be eaten–given the sanitary concerns related to life-sized children and their pint-sized hands. It’s located in the Canteen at the Gardens location and is decorated with over 700 pounds of candy.

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Grocery Wars: Loblaws vs. Longo’s

Loblaws vs. Longo's for hard to find ingredients.

Between holiday gifts and boxing week Amazon sales I’m willing to bet that many of you are spending January plowing through recipes from new cookbooks. In many cases you’ll be looking for ingredients that almost never make it on to your regular lists. If you find yourself with a car and outside downtown you’ll be well-served if you end up a place like the uptown Pusateri’s, Highland Farms, or the west-end’s Cheese Boutique.

But in the past year two options have opened for the subway-bound searchers for esoteric ingredients. Longo’s has a location in Maple Leaf Square that is quite close to Union Station and Loblaws has just opened a store in what used to be Maple Leaf Gardens a couple blocks east of College station. (more…)

New Loblaws, Bulk Barn, and Matt Kantor at Longo’s

Maple Leaf Gardens restored awning and the lineup for the new Loblaws.

Yesterday grocery stores were front page news in Toronto. Loblaws has bought Maple Leaf Gardens and turned it into a massive store with wide aisles and separate wall-sized displays of cheese, prosciutto and other goods.

Mural of Leafs heroes at new Loblaws.

Mural of Leafs heroes at new Loblaws.

I joined the lineup under the restored, retro awning on Carlton to get into the Gardens and only scalpers shouting “who’s buying, who’s selling” could have made that more nostalgic. There are some touches like the large mural pictured above, tables topped with posting posters from when Ali was still Clay, and the art installation made from old blue seats above the escalator that are definite nod to the building that was the setting for millions of hours of frost-bitten boyhood fantasies. (more…)