Advertisement

Screaming out for Independence in Braddon

By 22 July 2014 57

supermarket

Braddon is pumping. It’s pretty much your one stop shop. You can indulge in a delicious breakfast at Elk and Pea, get a killer haircut at AXIS, stop for a cold pressed juice and some scrumptious bread at Autolyse and then grab some groceries from the IGA on your way home. One problem: there is no IGA in Braddon!

If you live in Braddon, chances are you’re not happy that we don’t have a supermarket. I am one of those people.

Braddon has three liquor stores (four if you count the brand spankin’ new Bentspoke Brewery), a plethora of cafes and restaurants, some quirky homewares stores, an Officeworks and even an optometrist! You can buy a used car in Braddon and even get it washed on the way home but you can’t buy toilet paper or a box of Dilmah tea.

‘Don’t be so lazy, just walk to the Canberra Centre and go to Supabarn!,’ I hear you scream. I get this. Kind of. I often walk to Supabarn instead of driving (really, who wants to pay $73 to park at the Canberra Centre for eight minutes?) but if I’m hanging out on Lonsdale Street and I want to grab a few groceries on my way home, I don’t want to walk nearly a kilometre in the opposite direction. No one does. The Canberra Centre is the absolute pits, and on an icy cold day the last thing I want to do is walk a longer distance to get my hands on some decent groceries. Besides, if you’re walking back to Braddon with shopping bags your arms are going to get sore very quickly.

If you don’t want to walk to the Canberra Centre, your next option is to drive (or bike) to the IGA at either Ainslie or O’Connor, or make the trek to Dickson Woolworths which is it’s own special kind of hell.

I want quick. I want easy. I want convenience. Don’t try and tell me to go to one of Braddon’s four petrol stations. Convenience does not equal overpriced random branded ‘groceries’ from the 7-11 or the BP. The options available at petrol stations just don’t cut it.

Other IGAs in Canberra stock a decent variety of brands, including the delicious Lindsay and Edmunds chocolate – bonus points for stocking handmade chocolate entirely produced in Canberra! The only chocolate you’ll get at a petrol station is a squished Mars Bar or a semi intact Caramello Koala if you’re lucky.

Braddon is where it’s at. We have everything here and most of us are really cool. We desperately need an IGA though. Our O’Connor and Ainslie neighbours have had their own IGA for ages and we can’t deal with their bragging any longer.

Please login to post your comments
57 Responses to Screaming out for Independence in Braddon
#1
MrPC8:30 am, 22 Jul 14

There’s an IGA about a hundred metres from the border of Braddon, at the city bus interchange. Close enough for you?

#2
astrojax9:15 am, 22 Jul 14

MrPC said :

There’s an IGA about a hundred metres from the border of Braddon, at the city bus interchange. Close enough for you?

and a supermarket in lowanna street…

#3
Rollersk8r9:32 am, 22 Jul 14

And I want to commute to work by waterslide! But do you think they’ll build that??

Joking. But there are countless places in the inner north where you have to walk much further to get to a shop.

The shopping centre in Giralang, for example, closed in 2005 and has been caught up in legal fighting ever since – so be thankful for your food, coffee and haircut! :P

#4
Holden Caulfield9:38 am, 22 Jul 14

Well why don’t you open one yourself.

#5
Ghettosmurf879:40 am, 22 Jul 14

“‘Don’t be so lazy, just walk to the Canberra Centre and go to Supabarn!,’ I hear you scream. I get this. Kind of. I often walk to Supabarn instead of driving (really, who wants to pay $73 to park at the Canberra Centre for eight minutes?) but if I’m hanging out on Lonsdale Street and I want to grab a few groceries on my way home, I don’t want to walk nearly a kilometre in the opposite direction. No one does. “

You do realise that most people who live in suburbs with local shops and therefore an IGA, already have to walk more than a kilometre to get to those shops? Braddon is not a closed community from which you should never leave you know. Be thankful that there is SO MUCH amenity in the suburb already. You’re doing way better than pretty every other suburb in Canberra. I grew up in Giralang. My place was probably 1.5km from the shops (yes, i remember the days when we had shops there) and I loved doing that walk as a kid to get the newspaper or some groceries and picking up a treat from the bakery or an ice-cream for the walk home.

You’ve got it damn good already, so yes DON’T BE LAZY. As mentioned, there is Supabarn within a kilometre, even if it means you have to turn your nose up while you’re in it because it’s not hipster enough for you and there’s an IGA in the bus interchange just a few hundred more meteres away if that is what you so desperately crave,

#6
pierce9:54 am, 22 Jul 14

There used to be a small supermarket next to the bottle shop in Lonsdale St, maybe where Autolyse is now. That was in the mid noughties maybe?

Nobody went there and they shut down after less than a year.

My guess is that if someone thought they could make a buck from it, you’d have one.

#7
Kalliste9:58 am, 22 Jul 14

astrojax said :

MrPC said :

There’s an IGA about a hundred metres from the border of Braddon, at the city bus interchange. Close enough for you?

and a supermarket in lowanna street…

I think calling that a supermarket is a bit far. They’re about as good value for money as a petrol station and you have to make sure everything is still within expiry dates.

#8
Maya12310:04 am, 22 Jul 14

I should go and check out the Braddon area again and see how it has progressed. I saw it ages ago and it was more exciting then than the boring mall. It’s a shame this development is happening here though. It should be happening in the main part of Civic with its bus terminal, but the mall drained the life out of Civic. When I visit the mall to shop it doesn’t invite me to hang around. I get what I need to buy and leave. I was disappointed the mall was allowed to expand and kill off Civic even more.
But now Braddon is responding to that, so that is good, but it should have been in Civic.

#9
VYBerlinaV8_is_back10:24 am, 22 Jul 14

I’m trying so hard to empathise with the OP, but I just can’t manage it. If you want to live in a neighbourhood where “you can indulge in a delicious breakfast at Elk and Pea, get a killer haircut at AXIS, stop for a cold pressed juice and some scrumptious bread at Autolyse”, and all this 5 mins from the city, then you probably aren’t the target demographic for a discounted grocery store.

#10
Alexandra Craig10:47 am, 22 Jul 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

I’m trying so hard to empathise with the OP, but I just can’t manage it. If you want to live in a neighbourhood where “you can indulge in a delicious breakfast at Elk and Pea, get a killer haircut at AXIS, stop for a cold pressed juice and some scrumptious bread at Autolyse”, and all this 5 mins from the city, then you probably aren’t the target demographic for a discounted grocery store.

I wouldn’t say an IGA is “discounted”. In my experience they’re usually more expensive that larger chain supermarkets like Coles or Woolworths. I don’t think this is a bad thing either. You have to support the little guy from time to time.

#11
Alexandra Craig10:48 am, 22 Jul 14

Ghettosmurf87 said :

“‘Don’t be so lazy, just walk to the Canberra Centre and go to Supabarn!,’ I hear you scream. I get this. Kind of. I often walk to Supabarn instead of driving (really, who wants to pay $73 to park at the Canberra Centre for eight minutes?) but if I’m hanging out on Lonsdale Street and I want to grab a few groceries on my way home, I don’t want to walk nearly a kilometre in the opposite direction. No one does. “

You do realise that most people who live in suburbs with local shops and therefore an IGA, already have to walk more than a kilometre to get to those shops? Braddon is not a closed community from which you should never leave you know. Be thankful that there is SO MUCH amenity in the suburb already. You’re doing way better than pretty every other suburb in Canberra. I grew up in Giralang. My place was probably 1.5km from the shops (yes, i remember the days when we had shops there) and I loved doing that walk as a kid to get the newspaper or some groceries and picking up a treat from the bakery or an ice-cream for the walk home.

You’ve got it damn good already, so yes DON’T BE LAZY. As mentioned, there is Supabarn within a kilometre, even if it means you have to turn your nose up while you’re in it because it’s not hipster enough for you and there’s an IGA in the bus interchange just a few hundred more meteres away if that is what you so desperately crave,

It’s not about not leaving Braddon. It’s about convenience while I’m in Braddon.

#12
Alexandra Craig10:49 am, 22 Jul 14

Rollersk8r said :

And I want to commute to work by waterslide! But do you think they’ll build that??

Joking. But there are countless places in the inner north where you have to walk much further to get to a shop.

The shopping centre in Giralang, for example, closed in 2005 and has been caught up in legal fighting ever since – so be thankful for your food, coffee and haircut! :P

I reckon if you asked Andrew Barr he’d be keen on the waterslide idea. He seems like a fun guy!

#13
Alexandra Craig10:51 am, 22 Jul 14

MrPC said :

There’s an IGA about a hundred metres from the border of Braddon, at the city bus interchange. Close enough for you?

No. That’s further away than Supabarn. If there was a Coles on Lonsdale Street I’d go there. I’m not brand specific. The only reason I said IGA was because that’s the most common small grocer but I’m not going to walk extra way so I can just go to an IGA.

#14
Ghettosmurf8711:19 am, 22 Jul 14

Alexandra Craig said :

MrPC said :

There’s an IGA about a hundred metres from the border of Braddon, at the city bus interchange. Close enough for you?

No. That’s further away than Supabarn. If there was a Coles on Lonsdale Street I’d go there. I’m not brand specific. The only reason I said IGA was because that’s the most common small grocer but I’m not going to walk extra way so I can just go to an IGA.

Google maps says that, by foot, it is 1.2km from Haig Park at the end of Lonsdale Street to the IGA in the bus interchange. That is approximated at a 14min walk according to said website.

As I mentioned earlier, that’s a whole lot closer than a lot of people in other suburbs are to their own local shops

#15
watto2311:33 am, 22 Jul 14

If there was a market for this there would be one. I notice Spar express is popping up as well. Maybe send IGA and Spar an email asking if they have planes to build a supermarket in Braddon.

#16
Holden Caulfield12:03 pm, 22 Jul 14

The bigger issue with Braddon is hoping all the old buildings aren’t knocked down and replaced with Mode 4s, 5s, 6s and so on.

In 10 years or so it could just be wall-to-wall modern 4 storey+ buildings. I suppose by then the hipsters will be all grown up and may not mind so much.

#17
Ryoma12:09 pm, 22 Jul 14

It’s interesting to see the different takes on this. It depends upon what amount of shopping people wish to do. If it’s just bread and milk, then yes, it’s not too far to walk in my opinion. But if people actually want to be able to buy a week’s worth (or more) of shopping, then carrying 6-10 bags over that distance is not fun in either summer or winter.

I also agree that Braddon is very, very lucky in terms of what’s on offer there relative to the rest of Canberra.
But this post goes to the heart of a discussion the city should be having on a far larger scale than it seems to be having currently: namely, what type of urban form do we want?

Braddon is right next to Civic, and Civic (probably, I’m guessing here) has the city’s highest population density. What that translates to is, basically, more potential and actual customers per square kilometre. Along with zoning changes over the past 10-15 years, that makes Braddon an investment hotspot for more than just housing. And I’d suggest that exactly the same process would happen in Reid if the zoning was changed there too – imagine having another trendy shopping strip running along Ainslie Avenue, for example.

I agree with Maya 123′s comments that the Canberra Centre has killed off much of Civic, and ideally, that wouldn’t have happened. I don’t loathe the Canberra Centre to the point I do other shopping centres, but it’s certainly not what I’d have in Civic given my choice.

But that’s only my opinion – and I think that any shopping centre is trying to respond to many of the same trends that apartment housing is; time-poor customers who want the convenience of being able to buy much of the same stuff in the one place at the one time. Put that trend together with it being cheaper to build upwards rather than taking over more land, and voila – we get shopping centres.

The challenge now is to see if Canberra can grow the entire pie of retail offerings; the Canberra Centre for mass-market stuff, and for other suburbs to develop a distinct vibe of their own.

Forgive me for the following, as I grew up in Melbourne, but I think Braddon is something along the lines of Bridge Road in Richmond (based on the same diversity of different businesses along it). It could be suggested that Kingston is (something like) St.Kilda, and Manuka something like South Yarra/Toorak.

Over time, it would be great if various parts of Canberra actually developed distinctive styles catering to different retail markets, as happens in larger cities. I don’t want Canberra to actually copy the Melbournian suburbs, I just used those as examples.

And in terms of lifestyle, why shouldn’t someone be able to get pretty much everything they need within walking distance? This is one of the pluses of a actual urban lifestyle, as opposed to a suburban one, and is part of why the world’s great cities are such interesting places to live. I’ve lived in Japan and the UK, and found it an interesting contrast to the need to drive everywhere across most of Australia.

A good example is the Yarralumla Brickworks. This is a fine site for the type of things I’ve been talking about. I will happily admit I don’t know what the plans are (yet), but I am heartened to see that there is passion on both sides of the debate.

To make this happen, some of us need to get over our NIMBY stage. Yes, it may be possible that there will be increased noise and traffic, and issues around parking and congestion. But cities need to grow and change over time – or they end up as wastelands. On the other hand, much of our building and development lobby needs to stop throwing up mass-produced garbage in a hurry, and actually try to develop buildings with some sort of character to them – buildings Canberrans will be proud to recognise as Canberran in 50 to 100 years’ time. New Acton is a good example of what’s possible – Gungahlin an example of how to do it poorly.

Rant finished! :D

#18
Kalliste12:19 pm, 22 Jul 14

Ghettosmurf87 said :

Alexandra Craig said :

MrPC said :

There’s an IGA about a hundred metres from the border of Braddon, at the city bus interchange. Close enough for you?

No. That’s further away than Supabarn. If there was a Coles on Lonsdale Street I’d go there. I’m not brand specific. The only reason I said IGA was because that’s the most common small grocer but I’m not going to walk extra way so I can just go to an IGA.

Google maps says that, by foot, it is 1.2km from Haig Park at the end of Lonsdale Street to the IGA in the bus interchange. That is approximated at a 14min walk according to said website.

As I mentioned earlier, that’s a whole lot closer than a lot of people in other suburbs are to their own local shops

When you put it like that it does seems close.
I did the same on my closest shops and it’s 3km and a 37min walk according to Google.

#19
Ben_Dover12:49 pm, 22 Jul 14

You can indulge in a delicious breakfast at Elk and Pea, get a killer haircut at AXIS, stop for a cold pressed juice and some scrumptious bread at Autolyse

Oh god help us. Yuppy/Metrosexual heaven. Avoid.

#20
puggy1:38 pm, 22 Jul 14

” …stop for a cold pressed juice and some scrumptious bread at Autolyse”

And to think us suburban plebs have to make do with hot pressed juice (or whatever passes for the less trendy version of “cold pressed” juice sold in reused orchy bottles)!

#21
Holden Caulfield2:35 pm, 22 Jul 14

By the year 2020 no Canberran will live more than 5 minutes walk from a proper supermarket.

After all, it’s a basic human right, right!

#22
bigfeet2:55 pm, 22 Jul 14

Holden Caulfield said :

By the year 2020 no Canberran will live more than 5 minutes walk from a proper supermarket.

After all, it’s a basic human right, right!

Maybe a few carriages of the light rail could contain a supermarket?

#23
Mess3:08 pm, 22 Jul 14

I work about halfway up Lonsdale street and it takes me roughly 7 minutes to walk to the IGA in the bus interchange. Not a far walk by anyone’s standards.

#24
tuco6:04 pm, 22 Jul 14

watto23 said :

If there was a market for this there would be one. I notice Spar express is popping up as well. Maybe send IGA and Spar an email asking if they have planes to build a supermarket in Braddon.

How do they build with planes?

#25
Holden Caulfield6:05 pm, 22 Jul 14

Mess said :

I work about halfway up Lonsdale street and it takes me roughly 7 minutes to walk to the IGA in the bus interchange. Not a far walk by anyone’s standards.

God forbid Alex ever lived inb Gungahlin back in the day when all they had was an IGA at Ngunnawal and Palmerston and that was pretty much it. The closest supermarket was Kaleen Supabarn or Belconnen Woolies.

I love the presumption here, stamp your feet and demand it, that a decent supermarket has to be in walking distance. It’d be nice sure, but this is Australia, this is Canberra and this is not realistic.

Now forgive me as I’m about to forego the Kingston IGA and walk to Mauka Coles for my nightly shop, haha.

#26
HiddenDragon6:09 pm, 22 Jul 14

“….on an icy cold day the last thing I want to do is walk a longer distance to get my hands on some decent groceries. Besides, if you’re walking back to Braddon with shopping bags your arms are going to get sore very quickly..” – which illustrates, nicely, that the claimed convenience (and consequential health and environmental benefits) of urban densification is over-hyped at times.

I’ve seen similar comments about the practicalities of living in inner-city Sydney and Melbourne – which probably answers those who might think that once Braddon gets enough residents, the supermarkets etc. will follow.

#27
Steven Bailey6:48 pm, 22 Jul 14

Alex, what a passionate advocate for Braddon you are. It’s great to hear someone barracking for the independent retailers instead of the small business destroying duopoly of Coles and Woolworths.

However, it must be said that in Braddon you have a TAKEAWAY beer bar!!! Local craft beer that you can take away pretty much trumps any mere grocery expedition.

#28
TheYRA6:56 pm, 22 Jul 14

Ryoma is welcome to look more closely at the brickworks debate. Lot’s of details on our website at http://www.yarralumlaresidents.org.au/planning-development/brickworks/
Unfortunately, no new shops or new community facilties are proposed for the Yarralumla side of Adelaide Avenue, so its hard to imagine why anyone would voluntary move into one of the 6 or 8 storey apartments when Braddon is beckoning with much more vitality and infrastructure. Retirees will also face difficulties getting to the shops, so we can’t quite work out who would want to live in the area based on the current proposal. Walkable cities with great public transport such as Tokyo are still a distant dream, but we could start by relocating dense housing developments such as the one proposed near the brickworks close to town centres or civic that already have the infrastructure to encourage more walking and less reliance on cars.

#29
JC9:03 pm, 22 Jul 14

Ryoma said :

It’s interesting to see the different takes on this. It depends upon what amount of shopping people wish to do. If it’s just bread and milk, then yes, it’s not too far to walk in my opinion. But if people actually want to be able to buy a week’s worth (or more) of shopping, then carrying 6-10 bags over that distance is not fun in either summer or winter.

Having lived in Sydney and in London in high density housing (like what is popping up in places like Braddon), I found that when the shops are within walking distance you change shopping habits and don’t do a big weekly shop.

Especially if said shops are on the way home (walking from office or public transport) it was always easier to just pop in on the way home from work and of course many inner city apartments have tiny kitchens.

Now living in the burbs of Canberra my family has gone back to the big weekly shop at the larger supermarkets and a milk run when needed.

So in short peoples shopping habits are very much changed by where they live.

#30
Maya1239:48 pm, 22 Jul 14

HiddenDragon said :

“….on an icy cold day the last thing I want to do is walk a longer distance to get my hands on some decent groceries. Besides, if you’re walking back to Braddon with shopping bags your arms are going to get sore very quickly..” – which illustrates, nicely, that the claimed convenience (and consequential health and environmental benefits) of urban densification is over-hyped at times.

I’ve seen similar comments about the practicalities of living in inner-city Sydney and Melbourne – which probably answers those who might think that once Braddon gets enough residents, the supermarkets etc. will follow.

Shopping trolleys are available to take the shopping home in. Example: http://www.petersofkensington.com.au/Public/D-Line-Shop-Go-Mode-Shopping-Trolley-Red.aspx
I have also found a backpack can be helpful; as are large panniers on a bicycle. A bicycle can carry a lot, especially for short distances.
JC in comment #28 made good comments.

Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.