Vintage Toronto Ads: Union-Friendly Garments
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Vintage Toronto Ads: Union-Friendly Garments

From the corner of Queen and Yonge, a clothier proudly states their support for organized labour.

Source: Citizen and Country, May 4, 1900.

Given the whiff of union-bashing in the air as municipal labour strife looms, it’s hard to imagine a headline such as the one employed here by clothier Philip Jamieson being created by a similar business these days. While today’s vintage ad appeared in a publication dedicated to covering the union movement, it does suggest that not all employers at the time abhorred their unionized workers.

Philip Jamieson established his clothing business soon after arriving from Scotland in 1873. By the time the above ad was published, the firm was located in a curved building at 2 Queen Street West [PDF] designed by architects Samuel Curry and Francis S. Baker. Over the years, the building’s tenants have included Woolworth’s, Tower Records, GoodLife Fitness, Coast Mountain Sports, and Atmosphere.

Next time you wander in 2 Queen West for sports apparel, ask the cashier if you’ll receive a discount for flashing the United Garment Workers of America logo or a label from the union it later merged into, the United Food and Commercial Workers.

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