Restaurant, clothing shop in the works at Simcoe Walmart property

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer


Walmart Canada is interested in expanding shopping choices at its property on the Queensway East in Simcoe.

Walmart Canada’s property division has applied to Norfolk County for the construction of two secondary retail buildings. If approved, the buildings would be constructed near the intersection of Ireland Road and the Queensway East.

One building with a square footage of about 2,350 square feet would house a restaurant.

The second building has a square footage of about 7,000 square feet and would be divided into two stores. Half the building would be dedicated to the sale of clothing while the focus of the other half has yet to be determined.

Controls on what Walmart Canada can do on the Queensway East were imposed as a condition of allowing it to locate there about 10 years ago.

Provincial policy requires municipalities to ensure that aggressive retail development doesn’t blight commercial districts nearby.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs takes an interest in the matter because it doesn’t want expensive infrastructure such as water and sewer mains abandoned or under-utilized because of over-development.

Walmart’s original plan for the Queensway East called for the construction of ancillary “pod buildings” on its property.

However, the Ontario Municipal Board nixed these in a ruling prior to the shopping centre’s construction. That was several years ago so the retailer is willing to submit the idea to a re-assessment.

“They’d like to have another kick at the can,” says Shannon VanDalen, the Norfolk planner who is managing this file. “They say the market has changed.”

The Walmart store on the Queensway East has a floor area of about 110,000 square feet. The dollar store beside it has an area of 8,600 square feet. The LCBO immediately west of Walmart has a floor area of 9,993 square feet.

VanDalen says Walmart’s latest application should come to the floor of Norfolk council during a public meeting under the Planning Act in February.