August 21st, 2013

London Drugs goes Green Thumb with the Hastings North Community Garden

An empty lot that was once home to a London Drugs store is now growing broccoli in aisle 3. On opening day, August 10th, spirits were high as neighbours planted, watered and enjoyed the sun. Check out our opening day video to see the green action for yourself.

This location, in the 2500 block of East Hastings Street in Vancouver, was slated to be built into a mixed-use retail residential development, but market conditions led to a delay in that project. Rather than let the lot sit empty, the real estate team at London Drugs partnered with Shifting Growth to sponsor a temporary urban garden on the site. (The Hastings Street London Drugs store #7 is still operating in a location right next door)

The Shifting Growth organization has a total of three community garden locations in Vancouver, with a fourth in the planning stages.

With 170 plots, three fruit trees and a community herb bed, this garden has created a lot of interest around the neighbourhood. This East Vancouver community has a history of people growing their own food, but not everyone has the space. The infrastructure is mobile, so when development starts, plots can be moved to another Shifting Growth site.

In the meantime, we’ll watch for the tomatoes to ripen.
For more information visit

January 22nd, 2013

Our Most Sustainable London Drugs Store Yet?

In the heart of Vancouver, one of North America’s most sustainable communities has been built on lands that were once an all-but-forgotten industrial zone. False Creek Village, home to the Vancouver’s 2010 Athlete’s Village, is now a bustling waterfront community. The buildings here are designed to be up to 70% more efficient than your average apartment block. The concept of the urban village is alive and well.

And right in the middle of it all, is London Drugs store #82. But it’s a London Drugs with a difference. Check out our latest GreenDeal video to find out why.

September 3rd, 2009

Duncan Store #70 Opening showcases some bright ideas for green development.

On August 31st, I attended the opening of London Drugs’ latest store in Duncan. As usual, I was watching the proceedings with a green eye, and was pleased to see several examples of sustainable thinking.
To start with, this store is located in traditional Cowichan Tribes territory. So the evening began with a witnessing and blessing performed by elders and traditional dancers. The food was also catered by a First Nations facility, featuring numerous local delicacies. Local community involvement is an important component of the sustainability puzzle, and the respect and consideration shown here by the London Drugs team was impressive.
The store itself is constructed with a number of energy- and water-saving features. Chris Kidson, London Drugs Manager of Retail Store Development, took me through some of the highlights:

  • Sky Windows allow for natural light to be used whenever available.
  • Lighting is T-8 standard, a smaller fluorescent tube which uses less energy. The tubes themselves are Alto certified low-mercury lamps from Phillips, on a ballast system, allowing them to dim when full power is not required.
  • Lighting reflectors maximize dispersal of light from the tubes, and are manufactured locally in Maple Ridge, BC.
  • All water fixtures and toilets are low-flow models.
  • A sophisticated building management system allows for remote monitoring and maximizing of energy efficiency
  • Flooring uses BioBased Tiles from Armstrong Floors, a LEED-rated product
  • Low-VOC paints and adhesives are used throughout
  • PhotoLab features a new ‘Dry Photofinishing’ system which releases no liquid effluent

Although the green message was not the main focus of the evening, the What’s the Green Deal product signage was in place in all departments, and London Drugs’ Green Deal program was highlighted in the podium address by President and CEO Wynne Powell. It’s always reassuring to hear those priorities coming from the top.
One thing was clear – the community in Duncan had been asking for a London Drugs for some time. Here’s hoping green shoppers in the Cowichan Valley spread the word about a new local option for some of their sustainable living needs, and keep pushing to make London Drugs greener than ever.