Dominion (supermarket)

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Dominion Stores Ltd.
Former type Division
Industry Supermarket
Fate Rebranded as Metro
Founded Toronto, Ontario, 1919
Defunct December 2008 (2008-12)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
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
Parent Metro Inc.
Website www.metro.ca

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.

History[edit]

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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1]

Dominion'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.[1] In the 1950s, Dominion began to build large stores with airy ceilings and large glass fronts.[2] The chain also expanded beyond Toronto to other parts of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Newfoundland.

Dominion Stores was acquired by A&P's Canadian division, A&P Canada, from Hollinger in 1985. Some Dominion locations, rebranded Mr. Grocer in an attempt to break union contracts and convert company-owned stores to franchise locations, were not part of the A&P transaction. These were sold to National Grocers, which has now phased out the "Mr. Grocer" brand and signage.

In the 1990s A&P re-branded all of 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.

The territory of Dominion stores was approximately the following: Toronto; York Region, excluding Stouffville; Mississauga and Oakville; and Pickering and Ajax.

In northwestern Ontario, Safeway acquired at least two stores in Thunder Bay. (Safeway's presence in Thunder Bay prevents Metro from offering Air Miles at its Thunder Bay locations.)

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.[citation needed] Alberta stores were acquired by Safeway in the late 1960s.

The remainder of the chain in eastern Canada was acquired by Loblaw Companies, 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.

Demise[edit]

Exterior of a typical Dominion store (at Don Mills Centre in Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario), prior to re-branding as Metro in late 2008

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.[3]

Dominion's distribution centres in Toronto and Mississauga retained the old Dominion banner until 2009.

Slogans[edit]

  • "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"

Stores[edit]

List of stores in Ontario:

Greater Toronto Area:

  • Bayview Avenue and Cummer Avenue - Became Mr. Grocer in the 80's, now Valu-mart on Bayview
  • 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 Park (Yonge & College, lower level) - converted to Metro
  • Thornhill Square (Bayview Avenue & John Street) - converted to Food Basics
  • Royal Orchard Plaza (Yonge and Royal Orchard) - formerly a Miracle Food Mart, 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 - converted to Metro
  • 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 Eglinton Centre - converted to Metro
  • Yonge Street & Sheppard Avenue East - converted to Metro, later demolished
  • Jane Street and Finch Avenue - converted to a Price Chopper
  • 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). Space now occupied by Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • 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 - converted to Metro
  • Burlington, Appleby Mall - became a Mr. Grocer, then Fortino's
  • Burlington, Burlington Mall (777 Guelph Line)
  • Markham, Highway 7 and McCowan (south west side) - became an A&P in the early 1990s, then a Food Basics, now an independent Korean supermarket
  • Markham, Highway 7 East at Gallsworthy - became a Mr. Grocer in the early 1980s, space then occupied by Zipp Drugs, Big V, now a Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Mississauga, Applewood Village Plaza - converted to Metro, closed in Jan. 2014, now demolished. Longo's will be built on site.
  • Mississauga, Clarkson Crossing - converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Derry Road & 10th Line - converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Iona Square - converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Lakeshore Plaza - converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Meadowvale Town Centre - converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Roseborough Centre - converted to Metro, closed in Jun. 2012, now Adonis.
  • Mississauga, Sheridan Place - converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Westdale Mall - converted to Metro, closed in Sept. 2011, now a FreshCo
  • Newmarket, Yonge Street & Mulock Road - converted to Metro
  • Newmarket, Dominion Plus Centre - converted to Metro, closed in Jan. 2014, now a Food Basics.
  • Newmarket, 404 Town Centre - converted to Metro
  • Oakville, Hopedale Mall - converted to Metro
  • Oakville, Oakville Town Centre I - converted to Metro
  • Oakville, Rio Can Centre (Dundas Street/Neyagawa) - converted to Metro, closed in Mar. 2014, now a Food Basics.
  • Oakville, Trafalgar Mall - became A&P, converted to Food Basics, now closed
  • Oakville, Upper Oakville Shopping Centre - converted to Metro
  • Oshawa, 199 Wentworth St. West - had been a Safeway, converted to Price Chopper, now a FreshCo.
  • Pickering, Amberlea Shopping Centre - converted to Metro
  • Pickering, Pickering Town Centre (store was closed in mid 1990s when mall underwent extensive renovations. Location is where PJ's Pets and Sport Chek are located)
  • Richmond Hill, Major Mackenzie/Bayview - converted to Metro, closed in Sept. 2013, now a Food Basics.
  • Vaughan, Islington Ave. - converted to Metro
  • Vaughan, Weston/Rutherford - converted to Metro, closed in Aug. 2012, now a Longo's.
  • Toronto, Bloor St 1/2 blk w of Spadina, serving the U of T community.

Eastern Ontario

  • 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, 10 Byward Market - closed in 1983
  • 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

Northern Ontario

  • North Bay, Nipissing Plaza - converted to A&P, now a Value Village
  • 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.

Southern Ontario

  • Amherstburg, 80 Richmond St.
  • 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 Dec. 2012. Now a Superking Supermarket.
  • 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, 655 Crawford Ave. (Wyandotte) - closed, became Thrift Food Stores, later became Elias Markets, now a bingo hall.
  • Windsor, 2515 Dougall Ave (Dorwin Plaza) - 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'. Food Basics opened at the other end of the plaza, which closed in Jul. 2014.
  • Windsor, 3220 Dougall Ave (Gateway Plaza) - originally a Loblaws, converted to Gordons which closed in Nov. 1978. Opened in 1979 as Dominion to replace location at 3830 Dougall Ave.
  • Windsor, 3830 Dougall Ave. (Cabana) - closed in 1979.
  • Windsor, 1440 Huron Church Rd. (Ambassador Plaza) - converted to A&P then closed down. Later became a Rogers Video & Bulk Barn, now a PetValu, Pharmasave & Bulk Barn.
  • Windsor, 631 Ouellette Ave. (Wyandotte)
  • 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, 2425 Tecumseh Rd. E (Walker Rd.). - closed, became Thrift Food Stores, later demolished.
  • Windsor, 3975 Wyandotte St. E (George Ave.) - closed in Dec. 1984, re-opened as Mr. Grocer in Feb. 1985, later became Hollywood Bingo, sat vacant for a number of years, now a Box by No Frills.
  • Windsor, 8100 Wyandotte Street E (Laporte Ave.) - closed, later became Elias Markets, then Price Chopper, now FreshCo.
  • Woodstock, Springbank Plaza - converted to Home Hardware when new store opened on Ingersoll Road. That store closed in 1979 due to tornado damage.
  • Bracebridge on Manitoba Street across from the old A&P which is now a plaza with a shoppers drugmart. The Dominion store was converted to a Home Hardware. The store had a unique stone front

Head offices[edit]

  • 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[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bradburn, Jamie (April 17, 2010). "Historicist: Mainly Because of the Meat and More". Torontoist. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Bradburn, Jamie (July 3, 2007). "Vintage Toronto Ad: Space-Age Grocery Shopping". Torontoist. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Metro to dump A&P, Dominion names". CBC.ca. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 

References[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]