Valu-mart, Haileybury's only full-service grocery store, now closed
Another grocer offers free shuttle service for affected residents
It looks like residents of Haileybury will have to travel farther for food due to the closure of a grocery store.
Darcy Griffin, president of the Temiskaming Shores and Area Chamber of Commerce, told CBC News he doesn't know why the Valu-mart store had to shut its doors, but he did say the move would force thousands of people to commute for groceries.
The extra travel time is especially difficult on older residents, Griffin said. Since the closure, another grocery store has offered to bring in customers with a shuttle service.
"Well, the shuttle is free of charge, and the community is really pulling together to support those people who have been most affected by the decision to close the Haileybury Valu-mart," Griffin said.
He noted small town living in northern Ontario is becoming more difficult with cuts to Ontario Northland. The closure of the grocery store follows multiple road closures and street maintenance.
"With changes to Ontario Northland service, with challenges on the highway maintenance and the road closures and now grocery stores closing, it's a challenge to continue to to have the same life in northern Ontario as you would in southern Ontario," Griffin said.
The Valu-mart closure will add at least 10 kilometres to grocery trips for residents of Haileybury. Roughly 10,000 people live in Temiskaming Shores.