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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:46 AM   #1
thryve
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Guelph tells WalMart and other bigbox developers: "Go away... we don't like you."

...and I couldn't agree more with these people who don't want their town to become like every other North American city. Guelph doesn't need bigbox stores to be stylish or urban. It already is!

Here's a CD Wal-Mart isn't likely to carry
By JOHN ALLEMANG
Saturday, July 16, 2005


For 10 years, Wal-Mart has been campaigning to build a big-box store on the northern edges of Guelph, near two cemeteries and a Jesuit retreat centre, and for just as long the city's sizable collection of rebels from consumer culture have been fighting back.

Although the Ontario Municipal Board approved the project (which goes against the city's official plan), the province's Divisional Court has granted a rare leave to appeal the decision. To raise funds for the appeal, scheduled for Aug. 8 and 9, Guelph musicians have banded together in their own act-locally, We Are the World style to create a CD with the pointed title of Not There.

The title track, written specifically for the CD by musician-producer Sam Turton, is a folk-blues number that turns the rhythms of the South against the Arkansas-based corporation with such lines as, "The people stood up and the city said no/But the Walton boys just wouldn't let go," and, "World is round, box is square/Stick it in the south, we don't care" -- a reference to the Wal-Mart opponents' willingness to see the store built at Guelph's more commercial south edge, far from the Jesuit quiet.

The CD, which features such musicians as James Gordon, Jesse Stewart and Dave Teichroeb, costs $20 and is available at Music in Orbit, The Bookshelf and Thomas Entertainment in Guelph, or through http://www.not-there.ca, the campaign website of Residents for Sustainable Development.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:55 AM   #2
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Wow, I wish we could have done something like that here in Weston before it was too late.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 03:02 AM   #3
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Yeah GO GUELPH! Hope Stratford can win its battle with Wal-Mart/Big Box crap as well!
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Old July 17th, 2005, 06:14 AM   #4
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What is the Wal-Mart Nay-sayers nay this time? That Wal-Mart is a large american company (ooh scary)? That it is car dependent? That it has low prices that allow people to buy things they otherwise couldn't afford, with the only downside to them being a bleak shopping experience?

Quote:
…Stick it in the south, we don't care" -- a reference to the Wal-Mart opponents' willingness to see the store built at Guelph's more commercial south edge, far from the Jesuit quiet
If I didn't know better I would think that was blatant Nimbyism
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Old July 17th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #5
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Well, if it doesn't go in Guelph, it'll go in K/W or Cambridge, and you can bet there will be Guelphers there shopping. They should put it to the vote like in LA.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 10:40 PM   #6
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Most Guelphers are happy to drive to nearby cities that have been uglified and use their bigbox stores.

And about the lowprice american store all that... WalMart is a horrible company regardless of where they originated. They are mean to communities, and they uglify nice towns that are trying to use new urbanism. Guelph is a town of local businesses, including those with low prices for the not-so-wealthy.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 11:06 PM   #7
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Good on Guelph!

Wal-Mart is bad...endeavoring to out-price all competition out of business, and then raises them when all competition (and consumer alternatives) are gone...
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Old July 17th, 2005, 11:26 PM   #8
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But then Cambridge, Ancaster, etc. get the tax base and revenue from Wal-Mart. It's a trade-off, and I think it should be decided on a ballot vote.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 02:17 AM   #9
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Thousands of Guelph residents drive to Cambridge to shop at their big box stores every day, and despite the resistance of a vocal segment of the local population, and even though they might be loathe to admit it -- i bet that most Guelph residents would like a Wal-mart in their city. Same goes for Stratford.

Here are a few interesting threads about Guelph, Wal-Mart, and the some of its citizen's opinions regarding the city's unique identity from Guelph.com:
http://guelph.com/bulletinboard-thre...21&smocid=1762

http://guelph.com/bulletinboard-thre...=6&smocid=1762

http://guelph.com/bulletinboard-thre...13&smocid=1762

I get a kick out of how one person is convinced that Guelph's council is a bunch of rednecks because they won't allow the city to be overrun with big box stores -- i would think that that makes them the complete opposite of rednecks!
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Last edited by softee; July 18th, 2005 at 02:38 AM.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #10
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personally, having lived in guelph for two years with two more to go i would like to see a wal-mart. it's easy shopping, affordable, and one-stop. I never really liked small stores as I never find what I'm looking for and they're usually more expensive.

For example, I always buy my CD's from Future Shop (big box) rather than CD plus b/c i'll end up saving $5 which I could use for something else.

I'm young so I like commercialization, and haven't come around to appreciate the small things in life yet. Guelph is a city for people who don't want to live in a farm town, but not get stuck in rush hour. You get a quite neighbourhood in return for less development.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 06:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP!RE
Most Guelphers are happy to drive to nearby cities that have been uglified and use their bigbox stores[1].

And about the lowprice american store all that... WalMart is a horrible company regardless of where they originated. They are mean to communities[2], and they uglify nice towns that are trying to use new urbanism[3]. Guelph is a town of local businesses, including those with low prices for the not-so-wealthy[4].
1: Wouldn't building one closer allow shoppers to drive less – and help the environment? If it were really close they could even walk.

2: If people in the community didn't want one, Wal-Mart wouldn't build one. If Wal-Mart thinks they can make money – and they have been overwhelmingly right on their assesments – it's because communities are shopping in the store.

3: They are ugly because they are cheap. How many pawn shops are architect designed and have LEED certification (Incidentally, the Vancouver Wal-Mart had these things) And as for "new urbanism," well, it's worth mentioning. Total tripe.

4: If Guelph businesses have low prices, they have nothing to fear; Wal-Mart will fail and disappear.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 07:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Although the Ontario Municipal Board approved the project (which goes against the city's official plan), the province's Divisional Court has granted a rare leave to appeal the decision.
This is very interesting. The only way the Divisional Courts would get involved is if there was an outstanding matter on law or jurisdiction.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 03:12 PM   #13
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The last stat that I read was for every job created at a WalMart, three local jobs are axed.
Canadian companies can't compete, we don't have the huge backing of a massive US population behind us that enable the WalMarts to keep their prices lower. Besides, WalMart sucks at investing anything in their city locations. I drive to the US and I see WalMart supporting this, WalMart supporting that, I take a look around Canada and I'm very hard pressed to find any WalMart support within their local communities. At least the Canadian Tires support Canada and the cities within.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #14
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I give up. With many people like some of you in here, I have lost hope in the future of our cities, which will all look the same and have no quirky little shops, no local business or excitement in searching for things and not just dropping in at an ugly warehouse building to buy the same pressurewasher your nextdoor neighbour has.

It's sad that even in South Africa we now have bigbox stores. Even beautiful Africa will be ruined!
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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHawk
The last stat that I read was for every job created at a WalMart, three local jobs are axed.
Canadian companies can't compete, we don't have the huge backing of a massive US population behind us that enable the WalMarts to keep their prices lower. Besides, WalMart sucks at investing anything in their city locations. I drive to the US and I see WalMart supporting this, WalMart supporting that, I take a look around Canada and I'm very hard pressed to find any WalMart support within their local communities. At least the Canadian Tires support Canada and the cities within.
/\ WalMart donates to many of the local charities, schools, organizations, leagues, etc. in the communities they are located in.

http://www.walmartcanada.ca/CA-About_WM-OurComm.html
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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #16
thryve
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Don't even start with the comparisons- I have NEVER heard of something hosted or supported by WalMart. And of course their website will say good things.

We wouldn't be arguing against them with a passion for no reason. I don't care if they are an American company- I just think they are a very sick and evil/demeaning company.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP!RE
I give up. With many people like some of you in here, I have lost hope in the future of our cities, which will all look the same and have no quirky little shops, no local business or excitement in searching for things and not just dropping in at an ugly warehouse building to buy the same pressurewasher your nextdoor neighbour has.

It's sad that even in South Africa we now have bigbox stores. Even beautiful Africa will be ruined!
Slight overstatement don't you think? Last time I recall, the GTA is home to a number of Wal-Mart's and it still has thousands of smaller independant/boutique retail establishments.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 11:02 PM   #18
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It's true, my cousin worked for Wal-Mart HQ, and they indeed helped pay for her law school through some education grants.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmd uw
Slight overstatement don't you think? Last time I recall, the GTA is home to a number of Wal-Mart's and it still has thousands of smaller independant/boutique retail establishments.

The GTA has much larger number of potential customers. Walmart will simply kill all the independent stores in Guelph and thus singlehandedly kill its downtown at the same time
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Old July 19th, 2005, 04:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doady
The GTA has much larger number of potential customers. Walmart will simply kill all the independent stores in Guelph and thus singlehandedly kill its downtown at the same time
While I agree that there is some validity to your statement, you neglect to realize that the retail market is quite diverse and those who don't shop at independent stores are already shopping at places like Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Zellers, etc. Most smaller independent retailers already have an established 'core' clientele.
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