Vintage Toronto Ads: Another Modern, New Dominion
Source: the Telegram, June 5, 1957.
Perhaps there was something magnetic in the lighting used at the new Dominion supermarket at Bayview and Eglinton. As if possessed by an alien force, residents of Leaside and North Toronto suddenly put on their finest shopping clothes and walked toward the store, in a procession that resembled a zombie walk, minus the fake blood. Drivers who felt the call calmly turned into the freshly paved parking lot.
Once the possessed reached the store’s tall windows, they gaped in amazement at the modern amenities inside and at opening bargains like asparagus for 35 cents a pound or Swift Infant Meat at two tins for 45 cents. Though the hypnotic effect wore off when the crowd walked in, most decided that since they were there, they may as well do the week’s shopping.
Typical of 1950s grocery store openings, an array of giveaways and prizes drew new customers to the store. Depending on the week, Mom might win a Frigidaire washer, Dad could dream of a new bench saw, and the kids could tear up Leaside on new CCM bicycles. The store was forced to extend its “Carnival Contest” for a week when local grandparents complained that every other member of the family received their own set of prizes—why didn’t they deserve a chace to win prizes geared to their demographic?
The store site has seen many changes over the years: at least two rebuilds, a parking lot redesign that forces drivers to navigate a maze to find a spot, and additional businesses built into the back (which currently include Curves, Gymboree, and The Pleasant Bookstore). After half a century as a Dominion, the store was the site of the official Toronto launch of Metro in 2008.
Additional material from the June 6, 1957, edition of the Telegram.