Stores in Sudbury, ON?

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Andrew T.
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Stores in Sudbury, ON?

Post by Andrew T. » 30 May 2019 19:18

Hello all,

I may be headed up to northern Ontario on a road trip soon...and road trips always mean photo opportunities. So, without further ado...

* Are there any old supermarkets in Sudbury with intact exteriors?
* Did Safeway or Steinberg ever operate in this part of the province?
* Any particular areas of the city I should check out for mid-century commercial development?

A bit of on-location research would answer all three questions, but I'd appreciate any pointers in advance.
"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: Stores in Sudbury, ON?

Post by Andrew T. » 12 Sep 2019 19:25

--belated follow-up--

I still haven't made it to Sudbury. I have, however, made it to Toronto, where a number of Sudbury city directories back to 1940 are available for the picking!

Unfortunately, I've hit a brick wall while collating research. Elm Street is the main drag through downtown where all the early supermarkets were. Until the 1980s, Elm Street also had an east-west split; most likely using the railroad as a baseline. Today, it doesn't: Address numbers start in the single digits at Notre Dame Avenue (half a kilometre east of the tracks), and increase as you move west. Every downtown address on Elm Street was evidently renumbered. But I have no idea how the addresses were renumbered, or whether other portions of the Sudbury street system were renumbered as well.

And without having access to the reverse lookup section, I can't tell where the pre-1980s addresses on Elm Street actually were!
"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: Stores in Sudbury, ON?

Post by Andrew T. » 13 Sep 2019 12:17

Progress! Sudbury city directories from 1931 to 1937 have been digitized online. Not only does this give me a chronological range of information I didn't have before (the earliest Sudbury directory in the Toronto library collection is from 1940), but this gives me access to the reverse lookup section...allowing me to disentangle the city's renumberings. Stay tuned!
"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: Stores in Sudbury, ON?

Post by Groceteria » 13 Sep 2019 16:10

Yay! It's a fun game, isn't it?

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Andrew T.
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Re: Stores in Sudbury, ON?

Post by Andrew T. » 24 Sep 2019 20:46

Fortunately, Sudbury's wholesale renumberings don't seem to have affected anything other than Elm and Durham Streets...and they didn't even effect the whole streets, only the lower blocks. I now have the table straightened out to the best of my ability. So it's good to go!

Sudbury chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-2019.

Some thoughts and observations on chain development...
* D. W. Jessup scarcely qualifies as a chain, but they seem to have briefly had two locations open when the 1930 directory was canvassed, so I included it on that technicality. (And to prevent the 1925 column from consisting of utterly nothing at all.)
* The mysterious Eaton chain operated in Sudbury, just like in other Ontario cities. Its stores were up and running by 1930, and were converted to something called Foodateria by 1940. By 1942, even Foodateria was gone.
* Dominion entered Sudbury later than it did southern Ontario, and also never blanketed Sudbury with neighbourhood stores. They instead competed with Loblaws and A&P on a one-for-one basis, and didn't open multiple stores until after WWII.
* Steinberg competed in Sudbury under its Miracle Food Mart and Valdi (discount) divisions. I was surprised to see them here, but maybe I shouldn't be: Sudbury is a lot closer to Quebec on the map than Toronto is.
* As with other northern Ontario cities, Loblaws in Sudbury had a scattered existence. They pulled out of the market in the early 1980s (in tandem with Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie) and eventually returned only under the Valu-Mart, Your Independent Grocer and Real Canadian Superstore banners.
* A&P also had a scattered existence in Sudbury. Rather than capitalize on Dominion's store base in the 1980s, they withdrew from the city, briefly leaving Steinberg and the Oshawa Group as Sudbury's biggest chain operators. They eventually returned in the 1990s by way of the Miracle Food Mart acquisition.
* Loeb had stores here. Loeb also had a warehouse and multiple wholesale outlets in the city, and the directories don't do a good job distinguishing one from another.

Some additional thoughts and observations...
* There is a gap in the available data between 1942 and 1963. Other than that, I'm happy with the thoroughness of the chronological spread.
* Dominion had a district headquarters in Sudbury on 130 Paris Street. It's a great piece of kitschy modernist architecture!
* Dominion built one of its archetypal late '50s stores in Sudbury.
* A&P built a rare-for-Canada centennial store in Sudbury. It's off-model with an incomplete roof, but it's a bona fide centennial nevertheless...and it has the cupola and canopy braces to match!
Attachments
Ex-A&P in Sudbury taken by Andrew
Ex-A&P in Sudbury taken by Andrew
"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: Stores in Sudbury, ON?

Post by Groceteria » 29 Sep 2019 20:00


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