Monday, August 15, 2011

Square One no longer a food desert??

Before the Whole Foods Market opened its doors last Wednesday, Square One in Mississauga (known to some smarty-pants cynics as Square Lost) had been a large suburban concrete food desert.

This vast sub-urban space with one of the biggest shopping malls in GTA at its centre had practically no stores with fresh food – I know, I've lived here for the last two years - except the seasonal farmer’s market twice a week in a parking lot in the summer. In fact, hitherto there were more parking lots than carrots at Square One!

Whole Foods fits quite well into the Square One space, that is effectively designed to keep the poor out. But, yes, there is a but, although a big chain store, Whole Foods recognizes the importance of contributing to the "community" (however prosperous that community may already be). Free fitness classes and events involving local farmers are offered in the store –a trend that seems to be infiltrating the Square recently. More community events are now taking place at the newly constructed Celebration Square. But, like the rest of Square One, the new Square has been designed as part of the overall plan to perpetuate the shopping urge. Last month, Celebration Square became home of the largest celebration of gross consumption I have ever experienced – the Rotary Rib Fest. If you missed that primal (not just the prime ribs) experience of devouring long strips of barbecued ribs and pulled pork in clouds of smoke - don’t worry - there is always next year.

And what is there at Square One for those of us who don’t want/cannot afford to shop either at Whole Foods or the Rib Fest? Maybe we should not be there in the first place. Mixing the rich and the poor can be a risky endeavour as we’ve seen recently on the streets of London. No riots at Square One yet! Another reason to celebrate!?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for an thoughtful commentary on the addition of Whole Foods to Square One. How wonderful that this big shopping mall is finally aware that some people may wish to buy their own food to prepare at home, perhaps with family, instead of buying the fast "food" available at the mall. Sadly, Square One like most malls is a "school" for teaching the culture that "without things you are worth nothing". Let us all beware of greed. ST