||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2009)|
|Fate||Rebranded as Metro|
|Founded||Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1919|
|Key people||J. William Pentland, Robert Jackson - co-founders|
|Products||Master Choice products (Master Choice and Equality were A&P's store brands); dairy, frozen foods, grocery, general merchandise (non-food), meat/deli, pharmacy, produce, snacks|
Dominion Stores was once a national chain of supermarkets in Canada, which was still known as the Dominion of Canada at the time of the company's founding. The chain was founded in 1919 in Ontario and was later acquired by the Argus Corporation. It was later sold to The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which ultimately restricted the chain to the Greater Toronto Area, with stores outside Ontario sold to third parties. A&P's Canadian division was later acquired by Metro Inc., which rebranded the remaining Dominion stores to its namesake banner in 2008.
Dominion store started from one Toronto store on May 23, 1919. The store was founded by American businessmen Robert Jackson of New Hampshire and William J. Pentland of Connecticut. Pentland was manager of A&P stores in Connecticut and was hired by Jackson. By the end of 1919 they had a 20 store chain with 18 acquired from rival Loblaws and 61 stores a year later. In 1929 it tried to acquire a stake in Loblaws, but the stock market crashed ended the growth. During the Depression, Dominion lost both founders: Jackson went bankrupt and Pentland was killed in an auto accident in 1933.
Dominon's leadership was not resolved until 1939, when J. William Horsey became president. He in turn sold Dominion Stores to Argus Corporation. Smaller stores were consolidated from 574 to 195 by 1954. In the 1950s, Dominion began to build large stores with airy ceilings and large glass fronts. The chain also expanded beyond Toronto to other parts of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Newfoundland.
While the demise is attributed to competition in the 1970s that forced the chain to discount and ultimately led to the collapse in the 1980s  these facts are somewhat unfounded. By 1984, Dominion was closing unprofitable stores or moving them to alternative banners in an attempt to stem it's losses. The reality was that Dominion Stores was Canada's Number 1 grocery chain with sales more than double their closest rival, Loblaws as they entered the decade of the 80's. With Loblaws teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, Dominion followed a neighbourhood policy of 'fencing' by opening stores to keep out the competition. With this expansion, older stores were losing ground to the newer, bigger stores with more offerings. As the stores evolved adding ready-to-eat meals in 1980 and store-within-a-store concept (Eglinton Ave and Markham Rd (opened 1980), Markham ON (opened 1981), the economy turned down in Canada. The stores that were not performing were turned into warehouse style stores. At this same point in time Conrad Black took control of the Argus corporation. As Dominion was stripped of cash from the daily flow, the management attempted to stem the bleeding by creating the Mr Grocer franchise to move the slower and smaller units out of the inventory of stores. The concept that the store was created to break the union is not true, the union continued to exist in some of these units. The management attempted to resist the changes being forced down from the Board of Directors and became top heavy with Vice Presidents(VP were all given a vote on the board in an attempt to counter the board). During this time period Dominion introduced a special product, the Dominion Anniversary Cookie. Their pledge to the consumer was this would be only available for the anniversary year. The product was a huge success and Dominion kept their promise and withdrew the product at the end of the 75th year. In the competition, a new President of Loblaws (Dave Nicols)saw the value of this product and came to market with a clone, a product that would become the seed to the entire President's Choice brand. In a response that followed with the top heavy management, Dominion re-introduced the cookie, but only after Loblaws had created a huge market success. From this point on the poor management of the company drove sales down compounding the crippled cash flow. Management strong-armed vendors de-lisitng market leaders in an effort to force the manufacturers to pay a 'lisiting fee' to bring the product back into the stores. As Black consolidated his holdings, the value of Dominion declined and with his repositioning of Argus into Hollinger (formerly a mining division of Argus) Dominion Stores was fire-saled to A&P Canada. The stores continued to decline and re-entrench into the Metro Toronto area.
Dominion Stores had been acquired by A&P's Canadian division, A&P Canada, from Hollinger in 1985. In the 1990s A&P subsequently re-branded all its stores in the Greater Toronto Area as Dominion stores (absorbing Miracle Food Mart), while Dominion locations elsewhere in Ontario took the A&P or Food Basics name.
In Western Canada, Dominion stores were closed, leaving many suburban shopping malls scrambling to fill large, now-vacant sections. This event, coupled with the subsequent collapse of several department store chains, sparked a wave of mall renovations in many parts of the country. Alberta stores were acquired by Safeway in the late 1960s.
The remainder of the chain in eastern Canada was ultimately acquired by Loblaw Companies, albeit through several unrelated transactions:
- Newfoundland: Dominion stores in Newfoundland were sold to local owners, who then resold them to Loblaw in 1995. The Newfoundland locations are the only ones to continue under the Dominion banner to this day; see Dominion Stores (Newfoundland).
- New Brunswick: Shortly after the A&P acquisition, these stores were sold to Food Group Inc., which operated them under the Village banner until they themselves were sold to Loblaw and merged into its Atlantic Superstore unit in 1995.
- Nova Scotia: These locations were sold to Oshawa Group and became IGA stores. However, after Sobeys purchased Oshawa in 1999, Loblaw took over IGA's Atlantic Canada locations due to competitive concerns.
- Quebec: Dominion stores in Quebec were sold to Provigo in 1983; Provigo was itself acquired by Loblaw in 1998.
Metro, which previously operated solely in Quebec and the Ottawa area, acquired A&P Canada from the U.S.-based parent company effective August 15, 2005. A&P initially retained a minority ownership share of the combined company.
On August 7, 2008, Metro announced it would invest $200 million consolidating the company's conventional food stores under the Metro banner. Over a period of 15 months, all stores were converted to the Metro name, beginning with the Dominion stores in the Toronto area.
- "Mainly because of the meat"
- "We're Fresh Obsessed" (A&P's slogan before re-branding as Métro)
- "There's a definite difference at Dominion"
- "We do that little bit more"
List of stores in Ontario:
Greater Toronto Area:
- 150 Berry Rd -Stonegate Plaza store
- 174 Wallace Avenue - first store
- 779 Queen Street East - second store
- City Hall Market on Queen Street West - discontinued 1960s
- 614 Rogers Road near Keele Street - site now a mall and Value Village store
- York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue - opened 1952 as Dominion Market, now operating as Metro
- 243 Alberta Avenue - closed mid-1980s, sold and now a No Frills outlet
- 1277 York Mills Road - converted to Food Basics
- Finch Avenue East and Leslie Street - Sunny Supermarket
- College Square at Yonge Street and College Street - converted to Metro
- Thornhill Square (Bayview Avenue & John Street) - converted to Food Basics
- Don Mills Shopping Centre at Lawrence Avenue East and Don Mills Road - converted to Metro
- Kennedy Commons at Kennedy Road and Highway 401 - converted to Metro
- Markington Square at Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue East
- Lawrence Avenue West & Keele Street - converted to Metro
- Lawrence Avenue West & Bathurst Street - converted to Metro
- Wilson Avenue & Keele Street - converted to Metro
- Yonge Street & Church Street - converted to Metro
- The Villages of Abbey Lane (Rylander Boulevard) - now a Shoppers Drug Mart
- Sheppard Avenue West & Bathurst Street - converted to Metro
- Yonge Street & Sheppard Avenue East - converted to Metro, later demolished
- Woodside Square, McCowan Road and Finch Aveue East, converted to a Dominion Save-A-Centre (before Dominion's demise), now a Food Basics in another part of the mall (formerly Zellers)
- Bridlewood Mall, Warden Avenue and Finch Avenue East (roughly 4 km west of the Woodside Square location, and also converted to a Dominion Save-A-Centre) - now a Metro
- Kipling Avenue at The Westway - now Food Basics
- Islington Avenue and Rexdale Boulevard (Rexdale Plaza) - demolished
- 89 Gould Street, Toronto
- Ajax, Ajax Market Place - converted to Metro, now Food Basics
- Aurora, Aurora Village
- Burlington, Appleby Mall - became a Mr. Grocer, then Fortino's
- Burlington, Burlington Mall (777 Guelph Line)
- Mississauga, Applewood Village Plaza
- Mississauga, Clarkson Crossing
- Mississauga, Derry Road & 10th Line
- Mississauga, Iona Square
- Mississauga, Lakeshore Plaza
- Mississauga, Meadowvale Town Centre
- Mississauga, Roseborough Centre - converted to Metro, closed in June 2012.
- Mississauga, Sheridan Place
- Mississauga, Westdale Mall - converted to Metro, now a FreshCo
- Newmarket, Yonge Street & Mulock Road
- Newmarket, Dominion Plus Centre
- Newmarket, 404 Town Centre
- Oakville, Hopedale Mall
- Oakville, Oakville Town Centre I
- Oakville, Rio Can Centre (Dundas Street/Neyagawa)
- Oakville, Trafalgar Mall - became A&P, converted to Food Basics, now closed
- Oakville, Upper Oakville Shopping Centre
- Pickering, Amberlea Shopping Centre
- Pickering, Pickering Town Centre (store was closed in mid 1980s when mall underwent extensive renovations. Location is where PJ's Pets and Sport Chek are located)
- Oshawa, 199 Wentworth St. West - had been a Safeway, converted to Price Chopper, now a FreshCo.
- Woodbridge, Islington Ave. - converted to Metro
- Woodbridge, Weston/Rutherford - converted to Metro, closed in August 2012.
- Belleville, Belleville Plaza - closed mid-1980s
- Brockville, downtown, King Street West at Chase - now a Shoppers Drug Mart
- Cobourg, County Fair Shopping Centre - converted to a Sav-A-Centre and re-located when development converted into Northumberland Mall in late 1980s.
- Cobourg, Midtown Mall - now a No Frills.
- Kingston, Frontenac Mall - converted to A&P, now Food Basics
- Kingston, Barrack Street, downtown - converted to A&P, now Food Basics
- Nepean, Merivale Mall - converted to A&P, now a Farm Boy
- Orleans, Place d'Orleans Shopping Centre
- Ottawa, Bank Street at Heron Road - now a Shoppers Drug Mart
- Ottawa, Hampton Park Plaza - converted to A&P, now Food Basics
- Ottawa, Herongate Mall - converted to A&P, now Food Basics
- Ottawa, Pinecrest Mall - converted to Dominion's Warehouse Plus format in the early 1980s
- Ottawa, St. Laurent Shopping Centre - converted to Dominion's Warehouse Plus format in the early 1980s
- Peterborough, Brookdale Plaza (Chemong Road) - closed 1990s
- Renfrew, downtown - relocated to Pinnacle Mall in early 1980s, downtown store space is now Giant Tiger
- Renfrew, Pinnacle Mall - became Mr. Grocer, then Your Independent Grocer, later Liquidation World, mall demolished in 2009
- Trenton, Dundas Street East, at Byron Street - onverted to Mr. Grocer, now a Liquidation World
- Sault Ste. Marie, Churchill Plaza - converted to A&P, now Metro
- Sault Ste. Marie, Zellers Plaza - converted to A&P, now Metro
- Sault Ste. Marie, Station Mall - converted to A&P, now closed
- Sault Ste. Marie, Second Line West, at People's Road - closed, now Transcom call centre.
- Barrie, Georgian Mall - converted to A&P, closed and later became a Herbie's Drug & Food store, was demolished during mall's expansion in 2006
- Brantford, 371 St Paul Avenue - converted to A&P, now Metro
- London, Westmount Mall - converted to A&P, then Metro, closed in December 2012.
- Midland, Mountainview Mall - converted to A&P, now Food Basics
- Sarnia, Northgate Shopping Centre - converted to A&P, now Metro
- St. Catharines, Fairview Mall - now Food Basics
- St. Catharines, 333 Ontario Street - later became the Brick
- St. Catharines, Pen Centre - demolished, now Zehrs
- Stoney Creek, Hwy 8/Grays Road, now closed
- St. Catharines, Linwell Plaza - now Shoppers Drug Mart/First Ontario Credit Union
- Windsor, Dougall Ave - converted to A&P, then Canada's only Farmer Jack location then closed and became A&P again. Closed again and later became an 'Aren't We Naughty'. A Food Basics opened at the other end of the plaza.
- Windsor, George Ave/Wyandotte St. E - closed, later became Hollywood Bingo, now sits empty.
- Windsor, Huron Church/Tecumseh Road - converted to A&P then closed down. Later became a Rogers Video & Bulk Barn, now a PetValu, Pharmasave & Bulk Barn.
- Windsor, Tecumseh Mall - converted to A&P and closed in the mid 1990s. Later became the south mall entrance with tenants including CIBC bank (now Bluenotes), Payless Shoe Store and Shoppers Drug Mart.
- Windsor, Wyandotte Street East, at Laporte - closed, later became Elias Markets, then Price Chopper, now FreshCo.
- Windsor, Wyandotte Street West, at Crawford - closed, later became Elias Markets, now a bingo hall.
- Woodstock, Springbank Plaza - converted to Home Hardware when new store opened on Ingersoll Road. That store closed in 1979 due to tornado damage.
Head offices 
- 174 Wallace Avenue 1919-1924 - residential development
- Soho and Phoebe Street 1924-1945 - old Weston Bakery; now residential neighbourhood Soho Square
- Rogers Road and Keele 1945-1970s - old York Arsenal; now Value Village store
- The West Mall 1970s-2008; now Metro Distribution Centre
Key people 
- J. William Pentland - co-founder
- Robert Jackson - co-founder
- J. William Horsey - President
- John A. McDougald - financier and controlling interest in 1940s to 1970s
- E.P. Taylor
- Conrad Black
See also 
- Bradburn, Jamie (April 17, 2010). "Historicist: Mainly Because of the Meat and More". Torontoist. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- Bradburn, Jamie (July 3, 2007). "Vintage Toronto Ad: Space-Age Grocery Shopping". Torontoist. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Metro to dump A&P, Dominion names". CBC.ca. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- Dominion Stores: The First Sixty Years 1919-1979, Paul Nanton, Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Company, 1979
- Dominion: Sixty Years of Dependability, Ted Wood, Toronto: Dominion Stores, 1979