New coffee shop owned by the condo developer Altree

By Pamela Collins

The Centennial community has watched Highland Creek Village undergo some significant changes and business closures due to property ownership changes and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last couple of years. Some businesses closed completely, some closed temporarily, and some moved elsewhere for less expensive rent. Many of us have wondered what will transpire in the next few years.

The plaza on the north side at 360 Old Kingston Rd. has been bought by a real estate company called Altree Developments, which has also proposed a plan for condos in Highland Creek at Military Trail and Kingston Road

We reached out to a representative from Altree and were told, “We are actively looking to lease out the premises with new retail tenants. We had a few interested parties in early 2020 but due to the pandemic a lot of these retailers wanted to hold off until there was some normalcy in the retail world. We are working with a number of retailers who are interested in coming into the plaza but nothing too concrete or anything we can share with you at this point.”

As residents of the Centennial community, we have an interest in development and events in the neighbourhood next door. During the pandemic we have all gotten the message to “shop local” and support our small businesses. We anxiously anticipate future retail opportunities to further enrich our community and revitalize Highland Creek Village.

We note there is a new coffee shop expected to open there soon. This was curious since just a few doors down is Highland Harvest, which opened its doors in 2018. Owner James singlehandedly makes specialty coffees and teas, breakfast scones and muffins, sandwiches and soups. He even sells organic veggies and herbs.

In the summer, he provided outdoor seating and the tables were occupied all day long as loyal customers relaxed with a coffee and one of James’ special yummy pastries. If you haven’t tried his scones, you do not know what you are missing.

In this declining market, how will this competition affect him? James told us the new coffee shop is owned by Altree and they have proposed buying his space as well for additional space for the condos they are planning to build in the area. He feels this would definitely be in competition with his current business as the new shop would cater to students from UTSC.

Altree advises, “This coffee shop will strictly be a coffee shop with the sale of hot and cold coffee, teas, beverages and packaged snacks. We were very careful not to have any of the retailers be a competitor to Highland Harvest who prepares fresh pastries and sandwiches.”

In our December issue, we posted an article outlining the condo plan proposed by Altree Developments in Highland Creek at Military Trail and Kingston Road. At this point, City Council Staff and City Planning are still at the development stage with Altree.