Plan to shut down Hillcrest Village Starbucks outrages community

Local residents campaign to keep coffee shop open

Residents of Hillcrest Village were outraged when the news broke recently that their community Starbucks would be shutting down on August 30.

This location, near St. Clair and Christie, means much to the community as it serves as a place that brings people of all ages to together. The residents of Hillcrest Village are doing everything they can to stop this location from closing. Local Ian Cosh took matters into his own hands by creating a campaign called Save our Starbucks in efforts to gain the attention of Starbucks headquarters. The campaign includes a Twitter account and a petition with a goal of 250 signatures.

“This campaign is not really about Starbucks. Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking “Hey I should support Starbucks,” Cosh explained. “It’s about the experience of our community that Starbucks makes possible and is hard to get from the niche coffee places.”

Cosh said, this community values the diverse clientele that Starbucks brings, which is something that other niche coffee shops do not offer.

“You don’t find that diversity in the niche cafes. When I’m writing at my table here, sometimes I’ll look up and see a commuter wave to a baby while she rushes out with her coffee, and I’ll see a regular, who is usually shy, chatting with a schoolgirl about the book she’s reading,” he said. “I need that in my life. Clearly, a lot of people do, and that’s why people here are distraught to learn that we might be losing this place. The petition and the comments on it are a testimony to an important human need.”

Residents gathered together to send a letter to Starbucks Canada President Michael Conway with an open invitation to meet at the Hillcrest Village location to see the situation from their point of view. So far, there has been no response from Starbucks Canada.

Hundreds of residents have already signed the petition and shared their personal experiences with this location.

“Our neighbourhood Starbucks is more than a place to grab a coffee. It’s a place to see friendly faces you’ve known forever, to catch up with old friends, and to connect with the fantastic staff that are the glue that keeps that store together,” said local resident Jodi Spitzer.

To keep up with this ongoing campaign, check out the petition or visit the official Twitter page.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO