Supermarket locations of Lindsay, Ontario

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Andrew T.
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Supermarket locations of Lindsay, Ontario

Post by Andrew T. »

This week, I spent a day in Lindsay, Ontario. This table is so small and incomplete that it would scarcely qualify as a site feature...but nevertheless, here it is:

Lindsay, Ontario chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-2018.

So...what is Lindsay? It's a small community of 20,000, an hour north of Oshawa. It no longer exists as a distinct political entity: Its town government was merged with that of the surrounding county in 2001, in the same wave of forced consolidation under the Harris government that led to the Toronto "megacity" and Rob Ford. But I digress...

Lindsay's entire downtown area consists of a strip six blocks long. Nevertheless, I ran into a surprising amount of trouble while tracking down locations on foot due to the town's idiosyncrasies:
  • A large proportion of downtown buildings have unposted address numbers. (I suppose locals don't need them, because locals already know where everything is.)
  • The address numbers on the two sides of Kent Street are not in sync with each other! 132 is directly across the street from 157, and a block removed from 131.
  • Address ranges advance whenever they feel like it, and not necessarily where streets cross.
  • Address numbers are on an inconsistent scale. 200 Kent Street West is a lot closer to 100 than it is to 300.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Andrew T.
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Re: Supermarket locations of Lindsay, Ontario

Post by Andrew T. »

Now, for some pictures...
dominion.jpg
Lindsay contained at least one veritable supermarket gem: A small 1960s-era Dominion at 131 Kent St W in perfect, original exterior condition.
bulkburnsfood.jpg
This sight across the street at 118 Kent St W provided more questions than answers, though. It looks like a 1940s-era food store, and it still sells food today (albeit not as a supermarket). The address also checks out as a former Dominion location from the 1920s and 1930s. Perhaps the chain tore down their original store after WWII and built this one on the same spot?

However, here's a late 1950s picture of the street. If it existed at the time, this building would be visible at the far left edge of the photo...but it hadn't been built yet. A pair of preceding 3-story buildings are visible on the site instead. Moreover, neither building has a Dominion sign visible. Perhaps the chain had already moved across the street to 131 by that time, and the "new" building at 118 never housed a chain store?

Unfortunately, the local library didn't have directories from the 1940s, 1950s, or 1960s available. So I don't know if we'll ever know...
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull
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Andrew T.
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Re: Supermarket locations of Lindsay, Ontario

Post by Andrew T. »

And a couple more pictures:
valumart.jpg
This is at 42 Russell St W (half a block from the Kent Street strip), and it occupies an odd footprint. Most Valu-Mart stores started off as Loblaws...but a 1995 directory lists this address as a Mr. Grocer store, which suggests that this started out as yet another Dominion and was divested during the 1985 A&P sale.
midblock.jpg
If I'm not mistaken, this is 57 Kent St, home to Lindsay's original 1920s-era Loblaws store...which probably occupied only a portion of the present-day storefront (which itself has been subsumed into an adjacent building today).
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull
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Re: Supermarket locations of Lindsay, Ontario

Post by Andrew T. »

After a visit to the Toronto Reference Library yesterday evening, I was able to flesh out Lindsay with information from 1975-89 and 1999. Linky.

The one big surprise I discovered was that 131 Kent St W (the ex-Dominion pictured upthread) actually survived in operation long enough to be converted to Mr. Grocer in the 1980s. 42 Russell St W opened between 1989 and 1995, and was a Mr. Grocer from day one.

Loblaws moved from 205 Kent St W to 55 Angeline St N between 1975 and 1981. The 1975-and-earlier location may or may not be Home Hardware, while the 1981 location is now a Loblaws-owned Wholesale Club store.

This is probably as complete as I can make the feature, since the Lindsay directories between 1939 and 1972 don't appear to exist.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: Supermarket locations of Lindsay, Ontario

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