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Loblaws Opens New Mega Super Duper Market Store in Ottawa's West End

Loblaws
CONVENIENTLY LOCATED..... EVERYWHERE IN EASTERN ONTARIO: A map of the newest Loblaws outlet, a store that took an army of 7000 workers five years to build. Numerous Irishmen were injured while blasting rock during the construction of the store's indoor ski hill.

Grocery giant Loblaws opened its newest outlet today, a 5,800 square kilometer complex in the west end of Ottawa that will meet absolutely every conceivable consumer need imaginable.

Every item that is legally sellable in Canada can be found in the store; from piano tuning forks to deluxe leaf mulchers to three-quarter inch stove bolts to late model Sherman tanks, according to the store's manager, Basil Dubrovny.

"Our new Grate Canadian Super Duper Mega Panopticon Store has everything in it," insisted the manager, "and I'm not saying that as a figure of speech. It actually contains the entire western half of the city of Ottawa, as well as a significant chunk of the rest of Eastern Ontario."

The store's total acreage makes it slightly larger than Prince Edward Island, and it will have its own Member of Parliament, once a by-election is held next month.

There are also 14,500 parking spaces for shoppers, more than Ottawa's Corel Centre and Lansdowne Park combined.

Beginning in the Lebreton Flats area of the city, just west of Parliament Hill, and continuing westward through the neighbourhoods of Hintonburg, Westboro, Carlington, Bayshore, Bells Corners, into the suburban sprawl of Kanata, before coming to an end just north of the town of Perth, approximately 80 kilometers west of downtown Ottawa, the store is "some Jesus big," in the words of Bill Farker, one of the 164 butchers employed by the new supermarket.

"It takes me 25 minutes just to get outside to have a smoke - and it's a 10 dollar cab ride to the break room."

Go eight blocks west and turn left.
Loblaws Panopticon outlet cashier Jean Yakamuskie gives directions to a customer inquiring about the quickest way to get to the canned goods section.

The Loblaws 'Panopticon' complex, at the corner of every street and every other street, includes a sold-out upscale loft condominium complex, a provincial correctional center for low-risk offenders (who are responsible for washing the produce), a championship golf course, six Olympic-sized hockey rinks, the new Canadian Forces Base Loblaws, separate gyms for men, women and transsexuals, three different brewpubs for thirsty shoppers, a simulated indoor mountain range for those into climbing, a President's Choice-brand Montessori school, special fuel-efficient hybrid engine Toyota Prius shuttle cars for all customers who need to get ferried about the store, a car dealership, a thirty screen movie theater and a nondenominational chapel.

Sherpa guides are also on hand to lead expeditions to the frozen food section.

There are also groceries available, according to the manager.

NOT WITHOUT CONTROVERSY:

Given its size, the new Loblaws outlet was and continues to be opposed by many residents and small business owners in the area.

Even though the store had been approved and zoned by Ottawa City Council and already built, it was still a contentious issue among the 14 people who actually voted in the recent municipal elections in the city, who cited the store's size and impact on local traffic and local business.

Irv Wellmund, 74, has been the owner and operator of Irv's Discount Paper Clips in Ottawa's Westboro Village for 46 years. He fears that the new Loblaws, which is right across the street from his humble store, may force him to close up shop for good. "Nobody comes in anymore," complained Wellmund, "not that anyone was coming in beforehand, really, but now I have somewhere to focus my rage and bitterness for devoting my entire life to paper clips. I should be happy for this new Loblaws store, I suppose."

Dubrovny admitted that the new store will certainly have an impact on small business in the area. "Sure, we're gonna put some small, backwards, out of date businesses that, let's be honest, no one ever goes to anymore anyway, out of business, but there'll be jobs waiting for all of them here once it happens. And it will happen.

Loblaws
"I LOVE THE GREAT INDOORS": A camper at the new Ottawa and elsewhere Loblaws gets ready to go on a morning hike to the patio furniture section.

Area residents whose houses were razed for the mega super duper market's construction were also understandably concerned when plans for the store's development were first announced in the mid 90's. However, most of them have come around now.

"Sure, my house was demolished to build the new Loblaws, but hey, life goes on," said Jane MacLawton, a public servant who lost her home to the new Loblaws. "It's a small price to pay for easy access to cheap groceries."

Retiree Hubie Carmichael, who also had his modest bungalow removed to make way for the store's simulated beach and wave pool, agreed. "Hey, you can't fight progress, right?

"Now my house is in the cereal aisle. And as compensation, Loblaws is giving me a lifetime supply of PC Organic Mueslix. What a deal. And the very nice stock clerks come by to check up on me every morning, just to make sure I'm OK. They don't have to do that. But they do."

Loblaws also received somewhat of a public relations black eye recently when a vacationing family of three from Bolivia who thought they were in Algonquin Park became lost in the store's 'eco-friendly' simulated Boreal forest the day after the complex opened. They were found just hours away from starvation two days ago.

For their anguish, Dubrovny pointed out that the family was given a complimentary crate of Decadent chocolate chip cookies, and a soon-to-be expired coupon for 25 cents off their next purchase of No-Name Brand baking soda.

"That shows that we care," he said. "And, we also put up a sign at the aisle going into the forest that says, 'beware - you might get lost', just to make sure this doesn't happen again."

As big as this new outlet is, an even bigger Loblaws is in the works: The new Windsor-London-Kitchener-Waterloo.....etcetera Loblaws Pyramid is currently in its planning phase, with construction slated to begin shortly. The 'store' will encompass the whole of Southwestern Ontario, and it has petitioned the federal government for provincehood.

Said Loblaws spokesperson Pharaoh Jones, of the company's new project: "The floodplains have subsided, and soon, it will be time for the work to begin. The labourers have gathered in Giza, I mean, Guelph, to toil for their god kings. And for extra PC points."

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