Frigo Vert to Relocate to More Accessible Space

Frigo Vert’s current space, located on Mackay St. Photo Josh Fischlin

Concordia food co-op Frigo Vert is moving forward with their plans to relocate to a larger, more accessible space near the university’s downtown campus this spring.

Maria Forti, media representative and collective member of Frigo Vert, described their goal as providing healthy and affordable food to the student population and local community.

Frigo Vert will be relocating to a space on Mackay St., right across the street from the library building, according to Forti. No specific address was given.

The food co-op also serves as a “hangout space” for students.

“Because we serve the Concordia student population mostly, we decided that it makes the most sense for us to stay as close to the Hall building, the EV building and the library building as possible,” she said.

The current space, located on Mackay St. across from the Hall-building, has been occupied by the co-op for nearly two decades, according to Forti.

There have been issues with flooring, insulation, and frozen pipes, she explained.

“It’s in rough shape,” Forti said. “This building has been around for a really long time, and hasn’t really had the necessary repairs.”

Infrastructure maintenance aside, she said that one of the main reasons for the relocation is to increase accessibility for all students.

Forti described the space as not being wheelchair accessible. The entrance to the space, the bathrooms, and the isles are unable to accommodate wheelchairs, she explained.

“We think that’s pretty awful in terms of being able to actually serve a lot of other students at the university who have different mobility needs,” she said.

Forti also expects that the new space will have double the capacity.

They haven’t found an architect or a construction company yet, so expenses are still to be determined. However, Forti estimates that the costs for the relocation will be between $125,000 and $150,000.

“There are no government grants in Quebec for businesses looking to make their spaces more physically accessible, which is a shame,” she said.

The co-op is looking to apply for a CSU grant to help fund the project.

“We’re hoping the CSU will help us out, because it’s a pretty important political choice to make – to make your spaces more accessible to all sorts of different people,” Forti said.

Funding will also come from their fee-levy, which is $0.33 a credit from undergraduate students, and $1.50 per semester from graduate students.

Following a referendum in 2013, the CSU are mandated to support student-run food initiatives.

Terry Wilkings, President of the CSU, referenced how the student union supported the Burritoville and Hive Cafe projects in the recent past.

“The CSU, over the recent past, has been very active in our creation and support for student-run food system projects,” he said.

“So this just seems like a natural partnership.”