Vintage Toronto Ads: Yes, We're Opening Another Store!
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Vintage Toronto Ads: Yes, We’re Opening Another Store!

Source: The Toronto Star, March 3, 1932.

While the worsening economic conditions of the early 1930s caused many a retailer to retrench their operations, Dominion Stores tried to boost consumer confidence when the grocery chain triumphantly opened a new store at Bloor and Dovercourt in early 1932. As the new location was book-ended by two American dime store chains that rode out the Great Depression, why wouldn’t Dominion feel confident about the new store’s prospects and use whimsical illustrations to draw customers?
As the fine print may be too small to read (the curious can check out a larger version), here are some highlights. In the meat department, “chickens that were struck down in their early youth that someone might glory over in their delicious tenderness.” The fish department was filled with specimens that looked calm, cool, and collected as they lay in a bed of ice. “If fish be food for the brain,” noted the ad writer, “then here be potential grey matter to turn us all into full-fledged professors.” The baked goods were feeling a little anxious as they sat on the shelf, “silently pleasing to be given just one chance to prove how really good they are.” The produce section featured a marvel of modern technology:

And what is that funny looking thing that looks like an umbrella without any top? That, my dear, is something really new. It is a vaporizer and that fine, misty spray of water keeps those vegetables firm and crisp. See how wonderful the lettuce looks and the spinach, you’d almost think they had just come in from the gardens.

Today, 986 Bloor Street West is divided among several tenants, including a restaurant and a medical office.