Two ads for local bakeries lay side-by-side in an evening newspaper. One will become an international food empire (albeit one in the midst of boardroom turmoil), the other will find that a walking loaf of bread does not ensure longevity.
George Weston (1865–1924) entered the bread business at the age of 12, learning the craft at several local bakeries. At 17 he purchased two bread routes that mark the beginning of the company that still bears his name. In 1897, Weston opened the Model Bakery at Soho and Phoebe, which initially produced 3,200 loaves daily.
Perhaps Weston’s genteel advertising image explains why it survived and Tait-Bredin did not. Late Victorians may not have been ready for a loaf that was ready to sock it to them and any poor protein-rich foods that got in its way. They may have felt sympathy towards the sorrowful steak and pitiful potato pushed out of the way by the brown bread bully, or decided that easy digestion and the seal of approval from the elderly beat rosy cheeks any day.
Food can still be purchased from 744 Yonge Street—it’s now home to Passion restaurant.
Source: The Evening Telegram, February 24, 1900