Costco Canada has opened its newest store in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood. The 165,802-sq.-ft. store is built around what used to be the Coca-Cola Canada headquarters before the beverage giant relocated in the early 2000s.
Described by the Architectural Society of Ontario’s Toronto chapter as one of the last modernist industrial buildings in the area, parts of the original building – including the façade and aluminum louvres originally used for sun control – have been preserved and incorporated into the new store.
The store includes Costco’s usual array of specialty departments including an on-site bakery, fresh meat and produce, a tire centre, pharmacy and an optical centre that includes an independent optometrist.
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It features approximately 3,500 items, though the biggest seller on opening day was toilet paper. The store sold approximately 180,000 rolls on its first day, with three trucks on hand throughout the day to replenish supply. It also expected to sell 21,600 ciabatta buns in its first week.
A Costco Canada spokesperson told Canadian Grocer the warehouse would also feature approximately 50 new products “that cater specifically to this market,” though she did not elaborate further. A June report said the store was expected to feature halal meat.
The newest store has 669 parking spots and 1,000 shopping carts equipped with “smart wheels,” which lock up if taken off the Costco property.
Costco operates 99 warehouses in Canada, with new stores set to open in Nisku, Alta. next month and Regina, Sask. in October. Costco has more than 39,000 employees (with an average salary of $24.50 per hour) and more than 12 million Canadian members.
The Thorncliffe Park warehouse employs approximately 150 people. And the food court will sell the popular Polish hot dog, which was the subject of some customer consternation recently when the company’s U.S. arm announced plans to drop it from the menu in favour of healthier options.