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Should LCBO return to Thorold? One city councillor is trying

Nella Dekker is making another push to bring a liquor store to Thorold; 'With all the growth happening, we want to see if we can get it back'

The announcement that McDonald’s is coming to town has made one thing crystal clear: Thorold is open for business.

Now, Councillor Nella Dekker is trying to bring back the LCBO.

“Thorold is one of the only municipalities not to have one,” says Dekker, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “With our growing population and all the growth happening in Thorold, we want to see if we can get it back.”

Thorold used to have a liquor store in the commercial plaza on Pine St. S, but it closed in 2009.

“When it left the plaza there was no notice given to anyone in Thorold,” Dekker says. “They just packed up and left, basically in the middle of the night. The reason they left is because they were building the one down by Glendale [Ave. in St. Catharines].”

While the LCBO on Glendale Ave. is close to the border with Thorold, Dekker thinks it’s important there is a location in Thorold itself.

“People want to be able to shop in their own community,” she says. “They don’t understand why they have to travel to St. Catharines or Fonthill or to Niagara Falls. We’ve had a lot of residents asking if there is any chance for it to come back.”

As to where the LCBO should set up shop, Dekker is keeping an open mind.

“There’s a lot of places and a lot of opportunity,” Dekker says. “Whether it’s in Confederation or Rolling Meadows, it would give our community the opportunity to have an LCBO in our area. We’re going to be building off of Collier Rd. and Confederation Ave. — there’s going to be new condos going up. Below the condos there is going to be retail space available.”

Dekker also points to a local grocery store as a possible location. A few years ago, the Foodland on Pine St. S almost obtained a liquor license.

“It looked like it was approved prior to COVID and then the license was suspended when COVID came,” says Dekker. “The LCBO was saying: ‘You have an LCBO down the hill.’ Sobey's — which is in the same plaza [as the Glendale Ave. LCBO] — have an LCBO in their store so that doesn’t make any sense. Why can’t we have an LCBO in our grocery store?”

That’s why Dekker is asking the city to draft up a letter from the Mayor’s office to the liquor board.

“We’re going to make sure they’re aware of everything that’s been happening in Thorold,” Dekker says. “We’re letting them know: ‘You need to have a look.’ The population, how it’s increased, all the new development — There are opportunities for them to come back into Thorold.”

The project is a campaign promise for Councillor Dekker, that she has been working hard on for the last two years, with help from MPP Jeff Burch.

In the long run, Dekker hopes to bring other businesses back to Thorold as well.

“We’re trying to bring back what has left,” she says. “It’s taking business away from our retailers. Our city and our residents want to have their own LCBO in town.”

The issue is set to be discussed at tomorrow's city council meeting.

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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