Theodore Loblaw

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Theodore Pringle Loblaw (July 1, 1872 – April 2, 1933) was a Canadian grocer. Loblaw founded the Loblaws chain of grocery stores, which is now a nationwide retail empire.

Theodore Pringle Loblaw
Born Theodore Pringle Loblaw
(1872-07-01)July 1, 1872
Elmgrove, Simcoe County, Ontario
Died April 2, 1933(1933-04-02) (aged 60)
Occupation grocer
Known for founder of Loblaws
Relatives Isabella Adam - wife

Early Years[edit]

Loblaw was born in Elmgrove, northeast of Alliston, the son of William James Loblaw and Isabella Stevenson Loblaw. After his parents' deaths during his adolescence, Loblaw was raised by his maternal grandparents, William and Elizabeth Stevenson, at their farm just outside Alliston. In the 1890s he headed to Toronto to begin his career in retail grocery. He later settled in Mimico and eventually purchased his grandparents' farm.

Loblaw married Isabella Adam in 1897, and they had no biological children. Instead they adopted three nephews and a grand-niece as their children.

Creating Loblaws Groceteria[edit]

In 1919 Loblaw was hired by the United Farmers Cooperative Company, the purchasing agent of the United Farmers of Ontario co-operative, having previously comanaged a grocery store. He was involved in an unsuccessful attempt by the UFCC to launch a chain of cooperative grocery stores. However he left the company and used the experience he had gained to found the grocery chain that bears his name.

Loblaw was also instrumental in the establishment of the Toronto Western Hospital, as well as of the Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston, which was named in honour of his grandparents.


Loblaw died at Toronto Western Hospital on April 2, 1933[1] and buried at Alliston Union Cemetery in Alliston, Ontario.[2]

The Loblaws had no children and were survived by their grand niece (Jean Agnes Loblaw 1917-1993) and nephews (Alexander Burr-Loblaw (1904-1978), John Burr-Loblaw (1906-1972) and James Fraser Burr-Loblaw (1910-1986).[3]


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