Closing of Mr. Christie’s Bakery

Update

A July 7, 2016 post is entitled:

On July 12, 2016 Toronto City Council Agenda: Investigation Report Regarding Conduct of Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes

[End of update]

 

I learned about the closing of the Mr. Christie’s Bakery when I read an email message from a person who’s on the email distribution list that I set up a couple of years ago.

She wrote: “I know you have an interest in the development (or regression, imo [in my opinion]) in Mimico. I just heard that the Mr. Christie factory will be closing.  It’s a loss of 550 jobs and will be replaced by condos. I think this  is a huge huge concern for the area.”

Mr. Christie’s is not in Mimico, as I understand, but it’s not far from it. What happens there is of relevance for all of southern Etobicoke.

It [was my understanding, at the time I wrote this post] that, on its eastern border, Mimico ends at a line midway between Fleeceline Road and Louisa Street to the East, which is west of Park Lawn. On the west, Dwight Avenue marks its border.

[Updates: Some would argue that Mr. Christie’s is in fact in Mimico, because City of Toronto planning maps assert that the Humber River is the eastern boundary of Mimico. I have discussed the question of the Mimico border in subsequent posts, such as this one. End of updates]

The above-noted blog post (see first link in previous paragraph) also notes that Humber Bay Shores, a term that applies to the old Motel Strip, is designated as an area for increased density in the Official Plan, and a secondary plan for it is already in place.

Michael Harrison has a map of Mimico, showing the boundaries, at his highly informative website about the history of Mimico. You can find the map at: http://mimicohistory.blogspot.ca/2011/03/town-of-mimico-1930.html

The above-mentioned map indicates that Victoria Avenue terminates at Mimico’s eastern border. Victoria is a dead-end street. Where it terminates gives a good indication of where the border between Mimico and Humber Bay Shores is located.

How this story will be positioned in people’s minds will be of interest, as the story unfolds.

On November 1, 2012, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star , and The Etobicoke Guardian published reports on the closing of Mr. Christie. (To read them, click on the links in the previous sentence.) Two local councillors also made announcements.

1. Councillor Peter Milczyn Special e-News Update November 1, 2012

From: Councillor Peter Milczyn

I have some devastating news that I would like to share with you, that may affect many families in Ward 5. Today, I was notified by Mondelez Canada that they will be closing the affectionately known “Mr. Christie’s Bakery” at Parklawn and Lakeshore, resulting in the loss of 550 jobs. I am deeply saddened, and would like to reassure you, that I will do my very best to encourage Mondelez to relocate employment to their sister plants in Toronto.

Mr. Christie Cookie Factory Closing

This afternoon, Mondelez Canada requested a meeting with myself  and Councillor Grimes to inform us that they have decided to close the Mr. Christie Cookie Factory (23 Parklawn Road) in the third quarter of 2013.

The Lakeshore Bakery is a 625,000 square-foot food biscuit manufacturing facility that employs 550 people; 150 reside in Toronto. Mondelez Canada has notified us that their employees are being informed of this decision today, and that the company will be offering a 10 month transition period.

I  will be encouraging Mondelez to relocate employees to their sister plants in Toronto, situated in Scarborough, Downtown and Beaches-East York.

“I am shocked and saddened by the absolutely devastating announcement today of closure of the affectionately known ‘Mr. Christie’s Bakery’ at Parklawn and Lakeshore, and the loss of 550 jobs. This also poses immediate and future challenges to the Ontario Food Terminal, and in general, south Etobicoke. The City will have to fight to protect this important site from the potential of a massive redevelopment proposal interested in introducing significant residential intensification.”

At this point in time, the City is not prepared [emphasis in original] to entertain a massive re-development at that property. I will also be advocating that this location stays reserved as employment lands.

2. Message from Ward 6 Councillor Mark Grimes, November 1, 2012

From: The Office of Councillor Mark Grimes

Mondeléz Canada announces Closure of Lake Shore Bakery Site

Councillor Mark Grimes today met with representatives from Mondeléz Canada, a division of Kraft Corporation, to discuss the companies impending closure of the Lakeshore bakery plant. Formerly known as the Mr. Christie bakery, the plant at 2150 Lake Shore Blvd W. will be closing in the third quarter of 2013.

“I was deeply disappointed upon hearing this sad news. The plant has been a South Etobicoke fixture for 64 years, employing many friends and neighbours in the Etobicoke Lakeshore community,” said Councillor Mark Grimes, City Councillor for Etobicoke Lakeshore.

“While this comes as a deep loss to the community, I am committed to doing whatever it takes to keep high-quality jobs and high-quality employers in the South Etobicoke community. In partnership with City of Toronto staff, my colleagues on Council and other levels of government, I will work to ensure that our community continues to be a leader in revitalization and a viable place to do business.”

Since 1948, the [Lake Shore] Bakery has stood on this 27-acre site, employing 550 employees, many of whom are local workers. The bakery was originally built to produce the Mr. Christie’s line of cookies for the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco).

In 1993, Nabisco was acquired by Kraft General Foods, which recently created Mondeléz Canada, which continues to operate the bakery. As a result of this closure, a portion of the bakery’s production line will be moved to its Montreal and East York locations.

The plant is located on a site that is part of the Toronto Employment Lands and is zoned for industrial use. Retaining employment land and stimulating investment is important to the City’s future economic prosperity, competitiveness and long-term fiscal sustainability. To improve environmental quality by limiting urban sprawl and its ability to continue to provide high quality jobs and generate wealth is the city’s goal. Toronto’s Employment Districts currently accommodate about 30% of the city-wide employment. The entire supply of land in the City’s Employment Districts will be required to achieve the growth forecast target in Toronto’s Official Plan.

Message from Councillor Grimes’ Office, regarding proposed review of Official Plan

Good Morning

As you may know the owner of the Kraft Site – currently the subsidiary Mondelez [ — ] has requested under the official plan review [a] review of this site to consider other uses such as commercial and residential. This is not a rezoning application but a request to review the site under the official plan .

Persons wishing to make comments or statements in regards to the proposed review of the City Official Plan for the site at 2150 Lake Shore Blvd W and what uses they deem appropriate or inappropriate and why can do so by writing or emailing :

Official Plan Review
City Planning, Policy & Research
Metro Hall, 23rd Floor
City of Toronto
55 John Street Toronto, Ontario  M5V 3C6

Email  opreview@toronto.ca

Toronto’s Official Plan

You can find the Official Plan at this City of Toronto website. We owe thanks to Michael Harrison for showing us this link.

Additional news reports; history of Kraft Dinner

CBC Toronto

CTV Toronto

Financial Post

Urban Toronto

Toronto Star (Nov. 7, 2012)

Etobicoke Guardian (Nov. 7, 2012)

Etobicoke Guardian (Nov. 7, 2012 – additional article)

Etobicoke Guardian (Nov. 15, 2012) article regarding Beach Motel across from Mr. Christie’s.

Toronto Star (Nov. 15, 2012) article regarding Beach Motel.

The Walrus has recently published an article on the history of Kraft Dinner. A February 20, 2013 New York Times article provides background about Kraft in the context of the junk food industry.

Note regarding spelling

The bakery is referred to variously as Mr. Christie or Mr. Christie’s. The sign on the building on Lake Shore Blvd. West spells it as Mr. Christie’s. As well, I assume (I could be wrong) that the building can be referred to as the Lake Shore Bakery, as it’s on Lake Shore Blvd. West. The street, as contrasted to the general concept of ‘The Lakeshore,’ would appear to be the point of reference, as it relates to the spelling of the name in this case.

Updates

A Feb. 15, 2014 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “Aggressive development: Inside the building and selling of a Toronto condo tower.”

A Jan. 23, 2015 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “How women over 55 are reshaping the Toronto condo market.”

 

4 replies
  1. Mr Chinchilla
    Mr Chinchilla says:

    What Kraft?mondelez forgot to mention is the lines that supply Canada with all their Chocolate chips cookies is going to Mexico.

    Reply
  2. robert brown
    robert brown says:

    I am just reading the article from Glasgow-Scotland , that the Christie factory will close down at lakeshore blvd, as I have worked there,so sorry to hear that.. I am retiring soon, and coming over to Toronto on holidays, to find out more about pensions when over there, I was going to get in touch with company would u please send me an-email, has it closed??? I would really want to no my email is […]
    and thank you……..Robert brown .

    Reply
  3. Robert brown
    Robert brown says:

    When over in holiday, i tried to phone different numbers which i had, with me, from christies
    when i left, it was under nabisco, at the time i worked there, no such luck, all the phone numbers
    are no good anymore…

    Reply

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