Grand opening of Kingston Road location set for Valentine’s Day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and plenty of swag.
Toronto’s newest cannabis store opens on Valentine’s Day, but it may have to put in some time before feeling any love from the neighbourhood.
Like everything else in real estate, it all comes down to location. Sessions on the Beach moved into the spot vacated by Randall’s Stationary Store, a beloved business that serviced the community for close to 80 years, according to Beach Metro.
Ted Randall, the long-time owner of the store who passed away last May, has been referred to as the heart of the beach and was even recognized as Beach Citizen of the Year in 2003 for his efforts to improve the area.
Matters were further complicated by the site’s proximity to the Beaches Montessori School. Canada’s Cannabis Act requires dispensaries to be at least 150 metres away from schools, but because Montessori is classified as a licenced child-care centre, Sessions does not technically run afoul of regulations.
Stephen Fry, co-founder and CEO of Sessions on the Beaches, plans to pull out all the stops to win the community over. “We are pumped to be the first-ever cannabis store in the Beach, and there will be specials and lots of swag bags to celebrate this momentous occasion,” Fry said.
The new owner said he is aware of the significance of the site and is doing everything he can to honour the space. “We have made every effort to maintain the heritage of the building and outer façade,” Fry noted. “The space will be very bright, warm and welcoming,” he added.
“We look forward to embracing the local community and local businesses.”
The licence to operate at 964 Kingston Rd. was originally won by Najla Guthrie through the second round of the now-discarded lottery system Ontario initially used to award licences. “I’m very grateful to have partnered with a brand that has established industry knowledge and can’t wait to introduce Sessions Cannabis to the community,” Guthrie said.
If nothing else, Sessions will be there in a moment of need for customers who find themselves empty-handed on Valentine’s Day. The store will be selling special “flowers” made that day out of dry cannabis, Fry said, adding that there is plenty more in store for those who turn out. “We also offer cannabis-infused chocolate bars, gummies and many other cannabis product segments,” he said.
The Beach location is the second Sessions Cannabis store in Ontario, next to its Collingwood outlet, and plans are in the works to open stores in Hamilton and Cambridge later this year.
The ribbon is scheduled to be cut at 9:45 am on Feb. 14, with the first sales set to commence shortly after.
Written by David Yasvinski