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Jonny5

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I was talking to someone today who made an offhand remark about eating a "western omelette" which triggered a memory from when I was very young that I thought I would share.

Not far from where I grew up was University Plaza in Dundas. In the early 80's It had a Kresge’s, a Bargain Harold’s (with a Bargain Basement!), a By Way, a bowling alley, a Coles, a Home Hardware, a Big V, a Royal Bank of Canada branch (none of this RBC stuff), a Barn Fruit Market, a Miracle Mart, a Langley Parisian dry cleaners, plus a few other miscellaneous shops, and at one point, an Olive Garden(!).

So what’s the connection to Western Omelettes? The Kresge’s had one of those old school lunch counters, and I remebered before I started kindergarten, my mom would take me on the bus (HSR route 52B, with yellow and black livery) to the plaza to go shopping. We’d usually have lunch at the Kresge's lunch counter. I would always get a grilled cheese and fries, and she liked the Western omelette.

Talking to my mother about this lead to other old Hamilton memories of other places she took me: the original Hamilton Eaton's store that had manually operated elevators. Simpson's! Wollworth's! Old banks like Victoria and Gray Trust and National Trust.

Anyone else have some vintage Ontario business memories to share?
 
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I grew up within a short driving distance to Bayview Village (like five minutes). I recall when I was 5 or 6, I'd go to the movies with my parents, and it would be followed by hot chocolate at a place called Charlie's. I think it was a pub or something like that. I remember it being very dark and a little bit old fashioned. Charlie's later became Max's, which was more or less a diner, and is now, of course, Oliver & Bonacini. I also ate at Tummy Ticklers, a burger place in the same mall and there was a fast food (is it really fast food when they dish out onto real plates?) Italian restaurant that had (what I thought was) the best beef stew in the world. Though I was a suburban/North York girl, we'd come down to Bloor weekly for my piano lessons at the Royal Conservatory. I remember a couple of Chinese restaurants in the area back in the day. One was called Golden Lion (or something like that), located at where J.Crew is now. Another one was further east. I don't remember the name, but they served the cutest bunny-shaped ha gows! They also had dim sum banquets - something I haven't seen since. My mom claims it was on Balmuto (I'm assuming that it's where the Scotiabank is now), but I really don't remember. The restaurant closed by the time I was 9 or 10 (1989 or so). Anyone remember?
 
Talking to my mother about this lead to other old Hamilton memories of other places she took me: the original Hamilton Eaton's store that had manually operated elevators. Simpson's! Wollworth's! Old banks like Victoria and Gray Trust and National Trust.

Anyone else have some vintage Ontario business memories to share?

Not what you were looking for I am sure but your post sparked a memory for me....National Trust was known within the Trust Company industry as Nasty Trust and Victoria and Grey was known as Vicious and Greedy Trust.....when they merged the line was that they were going to become Nasty, Vicious and Greedy.

That said, we moved to Canada (Bramalea) when I was 10 and we lived across an empty field from what became the Bramalea City Centre. At the time it was little more than a Bank of Nova Scotia, an LCBO, a Brewer's Retail and a Parker's Cleaners. If I recall right the Eaton's store was built too and then the rest of the mall came along later. Hard to believe that thing is now, what, the 7th largest mall in Canada at 1.5 million s.f.
 
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I grew up in Ottawa, so my retail memories are from that end of the province. As a kid, my memories are of my mom taking us to a Steinbergs store for groceries, and then a treat at the Pik Nik restaurant. Clothes shopping for us kids was at Simpsons Sears at Carlingwood. My grandmother refusing to shop anywhere but Ogilvy's. As I got older, I remember the Spoons being the spokesmodels for Thrifties (Thriftys?) stores, and all the ads on Ottawa tv stations urging us to shop on the Quebec side (Montblue Ford! Caveau des jeans! Promenades de l'Outaouais!) And buying comics at Arthur's on Bank Street. Those are my main retail memories.
 
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I also remember (for reasons unknown) the jingle when Toronto Dominion introduced its first ATMs:

It's a real snap, the Green Machine
The greatest machine that you've ever seen
Put money in, move it about
Pay up your bills, and take money out
You've never seen a better machine
It's not the same if it's not green
 
Just some random places i thought of that might trigger some memories...

Towers Department Store
Savette's (spelling?)
Robinson's
Food City
Dominion

King's Mills is a one-off in London Ontario that is still standing (and selling) i believe.
 
Yes, Towers and Bargain Harold's, and Dominion (had one of their dinky toy trucks with the rig and trailer).
Consumers Distributing.
For books, Edwards Books and Art, and Lichtman's (sorely missed). I also remember the British chain, WH Smith, when it was in Canada.
Simpsons: In the fall I wear a Simpsons coat my dad wore in the 1970s, amazing quality then, seem to recall it being more upscale than Eaton's.
Collegiate Sports (the last place I bought of pair of Adidas sneakers that were actually made in Europe, early nineties maybe).

I recall the Eaton's toy section in the basement of the Eaton Centre when it opened.
Some of the other comic book shops on Queen West aside from Silver Snail: Dragon Lady, and a couple of others.
Hobby shops: One used to be on Yonge near where Empress Walk is now, and, of course, George's Trains on Mount Pleasant.
Toby's: excellent steak sandwiches, used to frequent the one on Bloor near Bay when I worked retail in the area (and for that matter WC Field's on Cumberland).
The "Neighbours" chain in Petro-Can stations. And I'm old enough to remember BP stations as well.
 
the Neighbours Chain is nostalgia? they only came into existence in 2005 and they are still offering franchises now! ;)
 
the Neighbours Chain is nostalgia? they only came into existence in 2005 and they are still offering franchises now! ;)

Really? I grew up in Downsview and the Petro-Can at Finch and Sentinel got one in the late eighties. I remember they sold Coke in bottles, and various cream sodas I couldn't find elsewhere.
 
I was talking to someone today who made an offhand remark about eating a "western omelette" which triggered a memory from when I was very young that I thought I would share.

Not far from where I grew up was University Plaza in Dundas. In the early 80's It had a Kresge’s, a Bargain Harold’s (with a Bargain Basement!), a By Way, a bowling alley, a Coles, a Home Hardware, a Big V, a Royal Bank of Canada branch (none of this RBC stuff), a Barn Fruit Market, a Miracle Mart, a Langley Parisian dry cleaners, plus a few other miscellaneous shops, and at one point, an Olive Garden(!).

So what’s the connection to Western Omelettes? The Kresge’s had one of those old school lunch counters, and I remebered before I started kindergarten, my mom would take me on the bus (HSR route 52B, with yellow and black livery) to the plaza to go shopping. We’d usually have lunch at the Kresge's lunch counter. I would always get a grilled cheese and fries, and she liked the Western omelette.

Talking to my mother about this lead to other old Hamilton memories of other places she took me: the original Hamilton Eaton's store that had manually operated elevators. Simpson's! Wollworth's! Old banks like Victoria and Gray Trust and National Trust.

Anyone else have some vintage Ontario business memories to share?

Ah yes i remember the lunch counters! I remember shopping with my grandparents in the early 80s at i think it was Wollworth's.?? We would drop my grandpa off at the lunch counter and he would have his BLT, coffee and cigarettes while reading the newspaper waiting for us. I'm amazed he lived to be 93. :D I usually had either the grilled cheese or the burger, with a strawberry milkshake loaded with whipped cream and a cherry on top served in a giant glass. My grandparents couldn't leave the store without having a piece of pie with a pot of black tea.

I miss the lunch counters. Now a days we are stuck with either Tim Horton's, Starbucks or McDonalds inside the stores.
 
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Yes, real diners and lunch counters and cafeterias... not the retro imitations. I remember the crinkly fries and dishes of cubed jello!
As for Kresgie's there was the one downtown Hamilton, very art deco as i recall. It's still there as a bingo parlour. I remember eating at the lunch counter on swivel stools, back when waitresses wore uniforms and little hats, lol. There was always a little convenience rack of mints,gum and sometimes cigarettes by the cash.
 
There was always a little convenience rack of mints,gum and sometimes cigarettes by the cash.

Ah yes! I remember I would always ask my mom to buy me a box of tic-tacs.
 
Great thread! Oh, how I remember Consumers Distributing - fun times going to the store and having the employee check the back for an item, only to come out and say they don't have it in stock.

What about Ponderosa Steakhouses?
 

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