Owen Sound, ON chain grocery/supermarket history, 1968-2019

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Andrew T.
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Owen Sound, ON chain grocery/supermarket history, 1968-2019

Post by Andrew T. » 11 Sep 2019 12:23

Owen Sound is a small city of 21,000 in the northern extremity of southwest Ontario. It's also the gateway to the Bruce Peninsula that separates Georgian Bay from Lake Huron.

I visited Owen Sound in June, when I took the scenic route home from Sault Ste. Marie. Unfortunately, there were no city directories on the shelves of the local history section of the local library...so my research visit amounted to little more than driving around, taking some pictures, and calling it a day.

Fortunately, a visit to Toronto yielded the Owen Sound reference material I couldn't find in the city itself. The table, however, is a tiny one. It's almost enough to make Lindsay look substantial:

Owen Sound, ON chain grocery/supermarket history, 1968-2019

What was the biggest surprise that I uncovered from my research? It was this: When Zehrs relocated from the Heritage Place Mall to a new freestanding store in the 1990s or early 2000s, their old store somehow defected from the Loblaws camp to the A&P camp and became Steve & Kim's Food Basics. And the store still has a Zehrs-holdover diagonally-corrugated facade today! Not that this is evident in a rainy twilight shot, but I find this conversion fascinating:
zehrs.jpg
"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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