Towers Department Stores

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Towers, operating as Bonimart in Quebec, was a Canadian discount department store chain owned by the Oshawa Group, a now-defunct grocery retailer and distributor.

Logo of Bonimart stores in Quebec


Towers Marts began as a New York-based chain; the first Canadian store was opened in 1960 in Toronto (at the corner of Lawrence Ave. East and Midland Ave.) After the chain went bankrupt in 1963, a group of Towers concessionaires, incorporated as Allied Towers Merchants Ltd., purchased the 13 Canadian stores and began operating as a Canada-only chain.[citation needed]

In Quebec, the chain traded as Towers in the 1960s but the name was changed to Bonimart in 1970.

Each selling department within a Towers store was operated as a licensed concession. Some Towers/Bonimart stores offered services such as restaurants (Red Grille), photo labs, and pharmacies within the store. Some stores were also paired with an IGA or Food City grocery store.

In 1990, Towers/Bonimart's 51 stores were purchased by Zellers for $181.5 million and converted to the Zellers name or closed. The demise of the Towers and Bonimart did not affect all the stores of the chain at the same time. Some stores were closed/converted immediately after the acquisition by Zellers, while many others folded throughout 1991. The last stores disappeared in the fall of 1991.


  • "At Towers everything connects - the last day of one sale is the first of the next".
  • "Extra Special For Your Family--Towers."
  • "You made us part of your family at Towers."
  • "Towers. Your family's extra special store."


Towers' mascot was an animated squirrel named Sparky. At the time of the Zellers buyout, print ads featured Sparky arm-in-arm with Zellers' bear mascot, Zeddy.


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