I'm still very much with you on this idea. I will definitely pitch for this being a Toronto-based installation (e.g., base of walk-in operations) but open (and promoting itself) to online sales throughout the whole country. I will be leaving Toronto in a few weeks and I know that the regionalism inherent on a national level makes coast-to-coast-to-coast scopes difficult, if not discouraged. Same goes for linguistic loggerheads. But were such a co-operative to form and execute, it would be very reassuring that I could go online and order my supplies regardless where I might be. As a former west coaster, there are times when it felt like there might as well have been the economic Himalayans slapped somewhere west of Brandon and east of Swift Current (and Regina was some summit).
As far as places to have walk-in retailing, you would probably need a real estate scout versed in co-operative businesses. While they're an assurance company, you should talk with someone at The Co-Operators, as they have outstanding connections with co-ops of every kind nationally. At the Building Sustainable Co-operatives Future 2007 conference, a Co-Operators representative spoke at a symposium on co-operative business structures and the best way to go about it. The one thing they stressed and I since have taken to heart is embracing the Triple Bottom Line (economic, social, and environmental) approach to running a co-op. Being a proper disposal point for used chemicals, like exhausted developer, could be one way to close that loop in the GTA (e.g., charging a nominal fee to properly dispose of it) and thus meeting an environmental bottom line (as chemical emulsions and solutions tend to be an increasingly problematic sticking point in the film versus digital debate). Social bottom line could be film imaging education, offering or hosting seminars or community education initiatives (like putting a film camera into the hands of teenagers and teaching them about darkroom chemistry).