Comment 78870

By Emerald Light (anonymous) | Posted June 23, 2012 at 09:46:58 in reply to Comment 78812

Let's look at a twofer, a supermarket that many suburbanites get all lathered up about: Whole Foods, which opened in Oakville in 2005.

At that time:

An average value of a home in the Whole Foods area code in was $875,718, more than twice the average value of a home in the Toronto CMA, more than twice the average value of a home around the Hamilton Golf + Country Club, more than three times the average value of a home in the Hamilton CMA and more than four times the average value of a home in downtown Hamilton.

Median census family income the Whole Foods area code was $150,690, compared to $69,321 for Toronto CMA and $69,156 for Ontario. That was more than twice the median census family income in the Hamilton CMA and almost five times the median census family income in Beasley (38,600).

Tract population was 3,860, 1,865 (48%) of whom held a university certificate, diploma or degree (Beasley: 585 or 24% of tract population), while 2,560 (66%) had completed some form of PSE (Beasley around 50%)

Median income of all persons aged 15+: $47,397 (Beasley: $16,244). Percentage of population in low income before tax: 4.5 (Beasley: 56.5, or 12 times higher)

Of course, this Whole Foods is not located in Downtown Oakville.
It is located well north of downtown. The parking lot looks like a Lexus or Mercedes Benz dealership most of the time; clientele drive there (WF Yorkville may be a different matter, but if you need an explanation of the differences between Yorkville and Downtown Hamilton you really need to get out more). Aside from Oakville's established wealth, WF Oakville also taps prosperous neighbours in Mississauga, Milton, Halton Hills and Burlington. And those demographics are dominated by drivers. They are not universally looking for walkable urban environments. In fact, some don't seem to mind being a little isolated if it means peace, quiet and a bit of land: For years, residents in Burlington's easternmost ward have had only one supermarket, the Longos near the QEW/403 juncture, which is also the site of the only Starbucks in the ward. Pretty sure they don't have a Beer Store or an LCBO at all. Sometimes prosperity and amenities don't go hand in hand.

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