New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

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Andrew T.
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Andrew T. »

Last weekend I took a day trip through a swath of southern Ontario, so I was able to check out some of the sites in Kitchener and Cambridge firsthand!
kitchener-loblaws.jpg
What was my favourite discovery in Kitchener? Most likely this vintage Loblaws on 417 King Street West. Its location seems absolutely incongruous with its surroundings, "walled in" by newer high-rise development on all sides. And even though this store's operational days came and went by quickly (opening by 1955 and closing by 1970)...and even though it's had a line of inline stores carved into one side...it still stands in recognizable condition today. This is particularly true in back, where the original blonde brickwork and smokestack are still visible.
"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: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Andrew T. »

Here are some of my other sights in Kitchener:
kitchener-steinberg.jpg
Former Steinberg's, 351 Margaret Ave. This one was converted to Dutch Boy (a brand of the pervasive Oshawa Group) by 1965, and remained a Dutch Boy through 1995 or beyond. I have a hunch that Dutch Boy may have also "blandified" the exterior...I'd expect something a little more visually exciting than this out of Steinberg!
kitchener-freshco.jpg
720 Westmount Rd E. This store is not particularly old or interesting in the big scheme of things, opening as Dutch Boy by 1990 and subsequently converting to Oshawa's and Sobeys' Price Chopper and Fresh Co. brands. Even so, I mustered a picture. All the Fresh Co. stores in Kitchener and Cambridge still bear the chain's now-former black and white signage.
kitchener-zehrs.jpg
Former Zehrs, 696 Belmont Ave. W. Now, this is more like it! This store features fieldstone accents, a street-flush alignment, and opened before 1960. It remained in operation as Zehrs through at least 1980, though whether it converted to Pharma Plus/Rexall immediately after that or became a few other things in the meantime is unknown to me.
Last edited by Andrew T. on 01 May 2019 17:05, edited 1 time in total.
"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: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Andrew T. »

kitchener-sobeys.jpg
Former Carroll's, 274 Highland Rd. W., Kitchener. This location has quite a history! The first supermarket that opened at this address was a Carroll's-Grand Union store, coming into existence by 1955. Steinberg bought Grand Union's Canadian operations four years later...then pulled out of the market, leading this store to be converted to Dutch Boy by 1965. Dutch Boy continued to operate here for the next thirty years or more...quite possibly until Sobeys' 1998 acquisition of the Oshawa Group. Sobeys then retained the store, rebranding it under its own "upper tier" name rather than relegating it to their Fresh Co. discount division like most of their inherited properties.
cambridge-freshco.jpg
1 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge. This was the point of the trip where I confused myself! I drove into Cambridge looking for the Fresh Co. at 75 Dundas St. N...another reputed Carroll's/Grand Union/Steinberg's location (though I suspect it was rebuilt at some point). Instead, I found another Fresh Co. on the same street 3 kilometres away...and I photographed it thinking it was the former Carroll's! Instead, I found a mystery on my hands: This address isn't listed in the location spreadsheet, and I don't know its operational history. I'm guessing it isn't particularly historic.
cambridge-foodbasics.jpg
95 Water St. N., Cambridge. Here's Cambridge's sole downtown supermarket, located a literal stone's throw from the Grand River. Not surprisingly this was an A&P originally, and it opened by 1980. The non-green portions of the exterior still look fairly original.
"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: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Groceteria »

Andrew T. wrote: 01 May 2019 17:051 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge.
This really looks like it did time as a Price Chopper and it may have been an IGA (or possibly even Safeway) before that. I have no evidence that Safeway was ever in Cambridge but also no hard evidence that it wasn't.
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Andrew T. »

Historic aerial photos in Canada are tough to find online, but the University of Waterloo does have local 1955 imagery available.

I was able to confirm that the Sobeys at 274 Highland Rd W is indeed the same building as the Carroll's-Grand Union-cum-Steinberg's of yore. It has however been mercilessly added onto on three out of four sides; no surprise there.

The Loblaws at 417 King St W stood in 1955. I was able to confirm that the building has been expanded a bit on the right and rear...which is quite apparent in back, where the differentials in roof height are plainly visible.

The Zehrs at 696 Belmont Ave W also stood in 1955, and it's been expanded slightly on the left side.
"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: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by mcbill2471 »

The location at 1 Hespler was built as a Price Chopper.
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

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mcbill2471 wrote: 29 Dec 2020 01:11 The location at 1 Hespler was built as a Price Chopper.
Go figure! Some Price Choppers have had complicated backstories, but not this one.
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Groceteria »

Was able to do a pretty major update to Cambridge today:

https://www.groceteria.com/place/ontari ... cambridge/
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

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And now Kitchener and Waterloo are updated too, with 1970-1995 "holes" filled in and also listings added for 2001-2022:

https://www.groceteria.com/place/ontari ... rwaterloo/
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Andrew T. »

Oh, joy!

Eyeballing the Waterloo-Kitchener table, I noticed something strange: There are five Food Basics locations listed in the two cities, and not a single one of them had a known identity prior to Food Basics.

Were some of them conversions from other retailers? Or were all of them new-build stores?
"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: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Groceteria »

The lack of history for the Food Basics stores is something I’m going to go back and look at (I meant to do it before posting). That said none of the “usual suspects“ that tend to be predecessors (A&P, Dominion, Miracle Food Mart) seem to have been present in the later years. There are also no Metro stores.

It’s also interesting to note that there apparently were never No Frills stores; the offloaded Loblaw/Zehrs locations ended up as Valu-mart and/or Your Independent.
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Steve Landry »

I did not notice an entry for Payfair.

Please advise as I may be going blind.......................lol.
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Re: New location list: Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge

Post by Groceteria »

The three Food Basics stores snuck in as Super Fresh stores, not using A&P in the name like they did in most other Ontario listings. Listings now reflect that, and thanks for the reminder!
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