A new Canadian Tire is set to open in North Saanich, but shoppers must wait a little longer for a precise date.
Northbound commuters on their way to Sidney are faced with two billboards from Canadian Tire: one advertises a late October opening, and the other is to recruit new employees.
Platform Properties spokesperson Andrew Sinclair said it would be up to Canadian Tire to announce a more precise opening date. Platform is in talks with other retail tenants for the property, but Sinclair said there was nothing to announce yet.
Calls to Canadian Tire’s media line were not returned by press time.
North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall said she has been receiving positive comments about the Canadian Tire from residents, and questions about when it was opening. Finall said the commercial section was “carefully worked through,” and fits with the Sidney industrial area across the street.
An additional service road off McDonald Park Road has been added and the road is cleaned up, which Finall was pleased about.
The District of North Saanich negotiated a deal over five years with the Randall Family, owners of the former horse racing track, to split up the nearly 100-acre property. While the Randalls would retain 12 acres to turn into a commercial area, they agreed to gift 84 to the municipality. North Saanich approved the deal in late 2014.
In a phone interview, Coun. Murray Weisenberger said he was concerned that the store might not find enough employees as he sees many “Help Wanted” signs in North Saanich.
While the Canadian Tire is in North Saanich, the industrial park across the street is technically in Sidney. Sidney mayor Steve Price said competition was good.
“More competition means lower prices and better selection,” said Price, saying Sidney residents who might go to Victoria’s big box stores would stay on the Peninsula, decreasing traffic on the highway.
He said the Sidney Crossing development would have the same effect. That project, a separate mall built on Victoria Airport Authority land, is currently in the hands of Transport Canada after Sidney council approved the project last year.
“Supposedly it’s still in the works, though I’ll be a lot happier when I actually see somebody with a machine over there digging holes,” said Price.