Brampton, ON supermarket history

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Andrew T.
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Brampton, ON supermarket history

Post by Andrew T. »

I was in Brampton today, so I stopped by the central library to round up what I could about the city's supermarket history. Brampton is the ninth-largest city in Canada! Half a million people live there! Should be a cinch, right?

Not quite: The Brampton of today is a very different place than the Brampton of half a century ago. As late as the 1950s, it was a quiet town with a population of less than 10,000! The city annexed Chinguacousy Township in its entirety in 1974, and has been growing and sprawling ever since.

Unfortunately, this had adverse implications for research. It seems that before the 1970s, the city just wasn't important enough to command a city directory to be published. And since the 1970s, the city has become too subsumed into the greater GTA to warrant a dedicated city directory to be published. The library had just a few proper directories on the shelf, all from the 1970s. (And five of them were duplicate copies of the 1975 volume!)

Here's the retail grocery listing from the 1975 Brampton directory, in its entirety:

Ardglen Food Market 9 Ardglen Dr
Beckers Milk Store 227 Vodden
Brampton Food Centre 146 Queen E
Cabral Miguel Grocery 49 David
Dominion Store 233 Queen E
Dominion Stores 2 S Kennedy Rd
Dominion Stores Ltd ws S Main
Dominion Stores Ltd 227 Vodden
Dominion STores Ltd 30 Rambler Dr
Food City 400 Queen W
Food City Bramalea City Centre
Loblaws Groceterias Co Ltd 21 W Nelson
Mac's Milk 415 N Main
Mac's Milk Ltd Store 205 115 Queen W
Mac's Milk Store 27 N Mc Murchy Av
Macs Milk 27 43 N Kennedy Rd
Miracle Food Mart Bramalea City Centre
Pilat S J Ltd 56 Avondale Blvd
Safeway Produce ws S Main
Steinberg's Miracle Food Mart (Br) es S Main
Ziggy's Bramalea City Centre

It's brief...and briefer still if you limit it to "proper" chain supermarkets! A&P is conspicuously absent, which is interesting. Steinberg's stores are left unnumbered, leaving their whereabouts a mystery. And Safeway warrants a surprise mention...for a produce warehouse, not a store.
"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: Brampton, ON supermarket history

Post by Andrew T. »

The historical Loblaws location at 21 W Nelson looks nice. Carved into new tenants, but still recognizable:
loblaw.jpg
227 Vodden St is still home to a Food Basics. (Although this is a "every tenant in the mall has the same address" situation, so I don't know if this is the exact same store as the Dominion of 1975.)

And 400 Queen W and Bramalea City Centre are still home to Fresh Co.
"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: Brampton, ON supermarket history

Post by Groceteria »

It looks like 233 Queen St E and 2 Kennedy Rd S (Dominion) are actually the same location.
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Re: Brampton, ON supermarket history

Post by Groceteria »

I'm also going to hazard a guess that Steinberg's/Miracle was at Brampton Mall (160 Main St S, now Metro) and Dominion was somewhere at Shoppers World (499 Main St S).
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Re: Brampton, ON supermarket history

Post by Andrew T. »

Hmm. So they were!

There are a few post-1975 stores in Brampton that are also of interest; though they're shrouded in mystery. Take this No Frills at 295 Queen St E, for example:
nofrills.jpg
Could this have been Loblaws' replacement for 21 W Nelson? Or could it have been built as something else entirely? Yes, No Frills stores are usually ex-Loblaws or ex-Zehrs...but a few are ex-Dominion via Mr. Grocer, ex-Loeb via Provigo, or ex-something else via one-off permutations.
"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: Brampton, ON supermarket history

Post by mcbill2471 »

This No Frills was originally a Loblaws.
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Re: Brampton, ON supermarket history

Post by Andrew T. »

mcbill2471 wrote: 29 Dec 2020 01:06 This No Frills was originally a Loblaws.
Thanks for the confirmation!
"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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