Saturday, March 20, 2010

The T. Eaton Company grocery store in Fort William..then and now.

The T. Eaton Co. Limited grew to become a retail and social institution in Canada, with stores across the country, buying offices across the globe, and a catalogue that found itself in the homes of most Canadians. Eaton's was well known for its customer service, as expressed in its long-standing slogan "Goods Satisfactory or Money Refunded." A rapidly changing economic and retail environment in the late 20th century proved difficult for Eaton's, and the chain went bankrupt in 1999.
Eaton's grocery stores were part of their operation but the one I remember was actually on Syndicate Avenue next to Chapple's home store and across from the Unemployment office on 130 S. Syndiate Ave. The following photo which was taken much before that was located at about 416 E. Victoria Avenue.....I always enjoy the old automobiles in the photos, which help to date them all.

Eaton's opened its foodstore in Fort William in 1929, later to become "Eaton's Foodateria" in the same building with the new "Art Deco" look. Interestingly you can see the buildings on the other side of the street reflected in Eaton's window.....right to left in the reflection is Walkers Dept. Store, the Commerce Bank building(facade still standing today) and on the far left was the Royal Theatre.
The colour photo on the right is the present day building used by the Academy of Learning. In the left photo, the man standing in front of the store is Dr. A. D. Stewart. He is standing below the medical offices(above Eaton's) of Stewart, Jack Cook, Gillespie and Robert Bowl, as well as dentist Jack Langtry. The newspaper photo originally came from William Abercrombie, former manager of Eaton's Syndicate Ave.

Here is Eatons Foodateria after the new store front featuring modernistic lettering and black and white tiling was added. After opening in 1929, the store continued operations at the Victoria Ave. location until October 21, 1948, where it re-opened on South Syndicate Ave as previously mentioned. This photograph was most likely taken in Novermber of 1939, when Eaton's announced the new modern appearance of their storefront. In 1939 city residents could purchase prime rib roast from the Foodateria for twenty-two cents a pound, and have their purchases delivered free of charge, as long as the total order came to two dollars or more. The present day photo of the building and it's use is on the right.
NEXT - Eaton's Foodateria store ad in a March 20, 1940 local Times Journal newspaper...exactly 70 years ago today.
Click to enlarge this ad as well as all the other photos(you will have to scroll the ad up to see it all). It's still hard to believe the items were this reasonable at any time. Thanks for looking........Dave

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