Guestbook Memories

My first Towers website (towersdepartmentstores.info) was maintained from 2007 to 2012. It featured a Guestbook. Below are the entries. Instead of the old Guestbook, please use the Forum if you wish to share stories. ~Bill

2012

 

From: Martin Proctor

Date: January 26, 2012

Hello again. I found the records that I bought at Towers Rexdale store that I hoped would bear the Towers name on the price stickers. I was disappointed to find that they didn’t, but then I realized that the stickers bear the Oshawa Group logo instead. I bought these either in the late seventies or very early eighties. I think I bought a few other Beatles or Wings records at this location, but either they still haven’t turned up, or their stickers don’t bear any telltale logos.

P.S. A friend who worked at the Towers store at Westside Mall on Eglinton seems sure that he worked at that site in the early to mid sixties, but he’s sure it was already a Towers store (rather than a Rite-way store). Could that store have changed over prior to 1966-67 or is his memory simply a bit off?

___________________________
 

From: Glen Perrin

Date: January 2, 2012

 

Hi again. I would dearly love to get one more Teddy Sac Stocking. My wife, Linda, and I bought three “Teddy Sac’s” in 1988 when our son was born. We have been trying to find a fourth one since 1981 when our daughter was born. Although the kids are older now, we would still love to complete the set of four for our family. If there is anyone who has one for sale, or knows of anyone who has one for sale, I would really appreciate being put in contact with them. Thank you, and Best Wishes to all for a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2012! mIf anyone can help me find one, I would be deeply grateful.

___________________________

From: Glen Perrin 

Date: January 2, 2012

 

Hi again,

I would dearly love to get one more Teddy Sac Stocking. My wife, Linda, and I bought three “Teddy Sac’s” in 1988 when our son was born. We have been trying to find a fourth one since 1981 when our daughter was born. Although the kids are older now, we would still love to complete the set of four for our family. If there is anyone who has one for sale, or knows of anyone who has one for sale, I would really appreciate being put in contact with them. Thank you, and Best Wishes to all for a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2012!.

If anyone can help me find one, I would be deeply grateful.

2011

 

From: Martin Proctor 

Date: December 12, 2011

 

Hi again. Here's the Christmas decorations that I mentioned before, with the Towers price tag still attached on one of the boxes. We got them in time for Christmas 1965 (which explains the price). I noticed that they were made in East Germany (that puts the era in perspective, in this post Berlin Wall age).

___________________________

 

From: Martin Proctor

Date: December 9, 2011


I first want to say that I think you are doing a terrific job with your Towers website. I just came across it by good fortune, while trying various ways of finding material on Westside Mall. I used to live in the Silverthorn area, and our family used to regularly shop at Towers and Food City. 

I’ve attached a few photos. The first one ties in with a photo that I was happy to spot on your site, concerning the Flintmobile (as it generally has been called by Hanna Barbera). The photo on your site was of the life-size prop when it was at a different Towers location, while the attached photo was taken in Westside Mall.

The second image is a photo that we were given when the dogs from the original (Sixties) Littlest Hobo came to the mall and put on a demonstration in the parking lot out front. I don’t know if anyone took any photos of the event, but I recall that each of the dogs were trained to do particular stunts.

The third image is circa April 1966, showing my brother and I (I know how it looks, but it was a little French girl on Cameron Avenue that gave my brother the black eye). As far as I recall this photo was taken in the mall, but I’m not exactly sure where. We also have a few photos of my brother from one of those photo booths that used to be outside the Towers in the mall, also from the same period.

We still have a box of Christmas Tree decorations that we bought at Towers. I have to dig it out as it still has its Towers price tag on it (it was less than a dollar for the 12 glass decorations). I also still have a few surviving bits of Gumby and Major Matt Mason toys that we bought at that Towers store (and some items that we got from those coin dispensers that used to be just outside the store (they used to have a beaver emblazoned on the hatch). 

I also still have some Beatles records that we got at the Rexdale Towers store. I usually would pop into that store along with the Hobby Hut in Rexdale Mall (which was close to the Towers store) and Horizon at the other end of the mall. Come to think of it I still have some old posters that I bought in that Towers location.

Anyway, besides writing to say ‘thank you’ for your efforts at setting up the Towers website, I also was wondering if you might know if anyone has any photos of the Towers and Food City at Westside Mall, or the mall itself. So far I’ve not had any luck in that regard. Although I’ve been living in Weston since our move from Silverthorn in the Summer of 1971 I’ve been conscripted by a chap who still lives in Silverthorn who is trying to get people to amass a collection of memories, photos, movies and memorabilia relating to the area of Silverthorn (including its schools, churches, shops, etcetera). So far for my own part I’ve sent him about eight chapters worth of recollections (and still counting) of my time in the area (from 1965 to 1971) and a number of other people have submitted some of their memories.

If you know of anyone who can assist in this regard, even if simply in regard to Towers and Food City it would be greatly appreciated. I will be trying to revisit the Baldwin Room at the Toronto Reference Library to peruse a collection of photos that were taken of every intersection within Metropolitan Toronto around about 1967-68, so with luck there might even be an image of the mall and Towers. 

I had a brief look at the photos back in the late 1990’s while doing some research for the Weston Historical Society and even came across the Steinbergs Store that used to be in our area (which is now a Shoppers Drug Mart, which I’ve worked in for the last three years), but at that time I didn’t check to see what photos they had of Silverthorn.

I passed by the mall a few times on the Tretheway bus when it was being demolished and remade into the current Westside Mall, and wish I had a digital camera at the time to take a visual record of its passing. The Kresge's stores at Eglinton and Dufferin, and the one up in Weston also were demolished around about the same time.

Anyway I hope you can be of some help. If nothing else, at least you have a few more photos that you can use for your site if you so wish.

All the best,
Martin Proctor

  • The gentleman who is the driving force behind this Silverthorn project is a chap named Laurie Roberts who told me that he worked at the Westside Towers Store for about 5 years (circa 1967-72). Also I was surprised to see someone I knew in two photos of the staff at the head office. Her name was Blanch Roy (or some variation of the spelling of that last name). I’m sure its the same lady who I used to be in a choir with back in the late 1970s.

  • I used to also shop at the Rexdale Towers, and still have some 45s from that store. Indeed we even still have a box (somewhere in the house) of Christmas decorations from the sixties with its Towers price label on it. The glass decorations were under a dollar.

___________________________

From: Dave Milcoff   

Date: November 30, 2011

 

I came upon your site doing a web search about a store I shopped at with my parents in the 70's and 80's that I recall being called "Towers". This was located in the Northern Lights Shopping Center in Baden, Pennsylvania. My father worked in the same shopping plaza, and so I visited several times in my preschool years and so forth in the 70's.

I cannot find a single reference to this store anywhere online, which is quite bizarre for the Internet age. I'm a nostalgic sort of guy, and love to learn and reminisce about things no longer there anymore. The same shopping center also had a Hills department store that was a huge store opposite the Towers store in the shopping center. It also had a JC Penney. I came across your page and low and behold, the Towers lower case logo triggered a response in my brain. It's the same store. I could swear upon it. Yet, I see no reference in your web site nor anywhere else anywhere about such a store being in America. 

I remember my mother shopping there on rare occasion and even buying a record album there. Can you shed any light on this? Have you heard of any Towers stores in the states? I know it existed, whether it was the same store or not. I thought the logo was the same lower case text, but in blue, not red.

___________________________

From: Kathy Levy    

Date: October 10, 2011

Worked at Towers in Bedford Nova Scotia with many wonderful people. I now work for Marks Work Warehouse and am still working with a few of my Towers Buddies. Younger people always say wow this must have been some place to work. We say yeah it was. Good evening shoppers the time is now 10 minutes to 10. Towers closing time is 10 p.m. please bring all final purchases to the front checkouts. Thank you and have a pleasant evening. Thanks for the memories Kathy Levy 

___________________________

From: Woody Borenstein 

Date: October 8, 2011

WOW, WOW......This is quite the website. I can't believe how many dedicated people have taken the time to update themselves and give a history of their careers before and after Towers. 

I started my retail career working for Towers Riverdale in 1990, and worked in many different stores in many different capacities. My last job was at the Head Office, when the company was sold to Zellers I went on to run a Vending company and then went to work for Shoppers Drug Mart and worked there until I retired about 6 years ago. 

It has been great reading about some of the people that I remember very well.

___________________________

 

From: Rod Desjardins  

Date: July 24, 2011

Started with Towers in 1981. Was a manager trainee when Zellers bought Towers. Stayed another 3 years then moved on. Have many friends from the Towers Days. It was a great place to work. Still see many of my co-workers around the city. I worked at the Lawrence and Midland store. Lots of fond memories.

___________________________

From: Nancie Alberga (Casamento) 

Date: July 7, 2011

I worked at the Lawrence and Midland store. Lots of fond memories.

___________________________

From: Claude J. Leduc

Date: June 30, 2011

 

I have some trivia for ya!

Quebec stores had Towers in three different names. Besides Towers and Bonimart, what was the third name?

Second question: Food City was by 4 names here in Quebec ? What were they?

Third question: The food store anchors of the 4 first Towers stores in Quebec (Quebec City, Châteauguay, St-Leonard and Greenfield Park).

The last one: which Towers was anchored to a still existing shopping mall which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year?

___________________________

 

From: Joe Truman

Date: June 30, 2011

 

No idea if you update the status of various stores or not...

Spent a lot of days in the summers of my childhood being dragged around the Plains Road location in Aldershot! Closed by Zellers in late 2007 and relocated to the Hwy 6/Hwy 5 junction in Waterdown. The adjacent shopping center, which had at one time been home to a CIBC branch, MTO office (in fact the one that gave me my driver's licence in 1990), a Dominion/A&P and a Boots/PharmaPlus, was mostly vacant when Zellers left - so the whole thing was demolished and replaced with a residential development. The small Canadian Tire which was located on an outparcel, relocated to the same area in Waterdown as Zellers. The Waterdown Zellers is on the list of locations to become a Target. Hadn't been in the former Towers in years, but aside from some cosmetic changes when it became Zellers, it remained basically unchanged.

Was in the Queenston Road store in Stoney Creek several times as my grandparents lived nearby. The neighboring Food City closed (Late 1980s?) and the entire building was renovated into a "modern" Towers in the late 1980s...new store design...prior to that the store retained it's original facade of cedar-shakes and T O W E R S spelled in block capital letters. Flipped over to Zellers shortly after the renovation...all that changed was the signage. Still operating.

___________________________

From: Judy French

Date: February 13, 2011

I worked at Riverdale Towers Liz Grogan was Personal manager at the time she hired me, we had Mr. Harlow as Manager, Mr. Barrett asst manager, we had a few different asst managers. I met many amazing people there employees and customers...wonder where everyone is now....

___________________________

From: Wendy Evangelista

Date: February 8, 2011

What fun reading all the comments, Towers has many fond memories for me and will always have a place in my heart. My first job from 1974 to 1988 from the East Coast to Ontario, I met and worked with lots of wonderful people and keep in touch with a few. Towers taught me so much that I still use in everyday life, retail ended for me in 2006 and I miss it everyday. 

___________________________

From: Dave Jones 

Date: February 7, 2011

I would just like to say hi to Terry Bowman, we worked together at Towers of High Park and yes I remember those pa announcements very well. It doesn't seem that long ago but time does fly. Hope you are doing well Terry. Drop me a line sometime. 

___________________________

From: Terry Bowman

Date: February 4, 2011 

I worked at High Park #22 1965 - 1971. "Good afternoon Shoppers and welcome to Towers. I would like to draw your attention to our housewares dept. where we are having a 15 minute special sale price on 10oz Cola glasses. 10 cents each or 12 for $1. Hurry over now because this price will only be for the next 15 minutes. Thank you for shopping at Towers and have a great day." Sound familiar to #22'ers.

___________________________

 

From: Pat Griffin

Date: January 24, 2011

Hi - It is nice to see the website is still being updated. I emailed you some time ago, when I saw a Towers shopping cart being used in the storeroom at the The Bay - Hillcrest Mall. I haven't seen it since, so I could not take a picture and pass it along to you.

I was watching Police Academy on television recently and for the first time, I noticed there might have been a Towers in the background in one of the early scenes. Although the screen capture below does not show the Towers store itself, it shows the general vicinity where the scene was filmed. 

I just saw an aerial view of the Carlaw Ave. store. I am certain that was the location used in Police Academy. 

The Food City - Towers store seen in the movie was at the end of the plaza. There was also a low rise residential building (brown with concrete facade balconies) visible in the scene. This residual building is still standing there today and largely unchanged from 1984. The photo booth was put in just for that scene. 

___________________________

From: Tom Large

Date: January 15, 2011

My history with Towers actually goes back to Riteway Stores at Westside Mall in Toronto. Head office was upstairs and we would always have visitors from the office wandering through the store daily. 

I worked with many great people at Towers including our president Mr Genzer who seemed to know everyone by name. Bob Hogg who was manager at Rexdale store and DM in Niagara Falls. I met with Bob Clubley my very first hire recently and we relived many memories. 

Eric Richardson was by far my very best manager aside from Les Payton. I was able to work in many stores in Quebec, The Maritimes and Ontario for store openings and set-ups and got to know many of the buyers and other DMs. And at Westside we had a hockey team that played against Scarborough store are arch enemies with George Campbell for many years. Does anyone or remember Peter Harris from Ottawa store or Rexdale, I have lost contact with him. And John Iannone from Westside and High Park store. 

I left Towers Galleria after their opening to go with Eatons Horizon with a bunch of other Towers employees. Towers has always been in my heart and mind and I love this website and it has brought back many good memories.

___________________________

 

From: Steve Leblanc 

Date: January 9, 2011

 

Worked for Towers at Cyrville Rd Baseline Rd Eagleson Rd. I live in Ottawa, Ontario

___________________________

From: Judy French

Date: April, 2011

Of my years at Towers (Riverdale Store #30) I met ALOT of Great people wonder where they all r today...found one on F.B....other names...Mr. Barrett (A.M), Mr. Harlow (S.M), Norma Arlaska (D.M), Dorothy Sharples (D.M.) restaurant, Sherry Lawrence (D.M), Miss Green (A.M), Liz Grogan (H.R), Debbie Morse (trainee in D.M), Shannon Grainger (Co-dept worker), Chris Davies (Co-worker) = A.M: Assist manager, D.M: Dept Manager, S.M: Store manager...would love to get back in touch with some of them.. too many to name them all tho... But I sure miss those days....:>(

___________________________

 

From: Terri Kennedy

Date: April, 2011

HI Folks, My name is Terri MacDonald Kennedy, I was at store #38 Jane and Finch from 1973 to 1979. I loved working their and meet many amazing people. I worked with Rick Keddy, Woody Bornstein, John Charlton, Larry Dobbs, George Carraire, Bob Pierson, Barry Hanna, Mike Lake, Brent McKee, Stuart Selina, Murray Conn, Lorraine Lochmantz, Sandra Marchand (MacMillan), Denise Leggatt, Wendy Bailey, Diane Fantinlo, Emily Chirichello , Mrs. Flowers, Rita DeClue. I sure hope someone knows where some of these people are so they can go on line also. as I would love to hear about them. Take Care

___________________________

From: Martin Proctor 

Date: December 12, 2011

 

Hi again. Here's the Christmas decorations that I mentioned before, with the Towers price tag still attached on one of the boxes. We got them in time for Christmas 1965 (which explains the price). I noticed that they were made in East Germany (that puts the era in perspective, in this post Berlin Wall age).

___________________________

 

From: Martin Proctor 

Date: December 9, 2011

 

Weston Historical Society
1901 Weston Road, Unit F.,
Weston, Ontario
M9N 13P5

Dear Mr. Waicus,

I first want to say that I think you are doing a terrific job with your Towers website. I just came across it by good fortune, while trying various ways of finding material on Westside Mall. I used to live in the Silverthorn area, and our family used to regularly shop at Towers and Food City. 

I’ve attached a few photos. The first one ties in with a photo that I was happy to spot on your site, concerning the Flintmobile (as it generally has been called by Hanna Barbera). The photo on your site was of the life-size prop when it was at a different Towers location, while the attached photo was taken in Westside Mall.

The second image is a photo that we were given when the dogs from the original (Sixties) Littlest Hobo came to the mall and put on a demonstration in the parking lot out front. I don’t know if anyone took any photos of the event, but I recall that each of the dogs were trained to do particular stunts.

The third image is circa April 1966, showing my brother and I (I know how it looks, but it was a little French girl on Cameron Avenue that gave my brother the black eye). As far as I recall this photo was taken in the mall, but I’m not exactly sure where. We also have a few photos of my brother from one of those photo booths that used to be outside the Towers in the mall, also from the same period.

We still have a box of Christmas Tree decorations that we bought at Towers. I have to dig it out as it still has its Towers price tag on it (it was less than a dollar for the 12 glass decorations). I also still have a few surviving bits of Gumby and Major Matt Mason toys that we bought at that Towers store (and some items that we got from those coin dispensers that used to be just outside the store (they used to have a beaver emblazoned on the hatch). 

I also still have some Beatles records that we got at the Rexdale Towers store. I usually would pop into that store along with the Hobby Hut in Rexdale Mall (which was close to the Towers store) and Horizon at the other end of the mall. Come to think of it I still have some old posters that I bought in that Towers location.

Anyway, besides writing to say ‘thank you’ for your efforts at setting up the Towers website, I also was wondering if you might know if anyone has any photos of the Towers and Food City at Westside Mall, or the mall itself. So far I’ve not had any luck in that regard. Although I’ve been living in Weston since our move from Silverthorn in the Summer of 1971 I’ve been conscripted by a chap who still lives in Silverthorn who is trying to get people to amass a collection of memories, photos, movies and memorabilia relating to the area of Silverthorn (including its schools, churches, shops, etcetera). So far for my own part I’ve sent him about eight chapters worth of recollections (and still counting) of my time in the area (from 1965 to 1971) and a number of other people have submitted some of their memories.

If you know of anyone who can assist in this regard, even if simply in regard to Towers and Food City it would be greatly appreciated. I will be trying to revisit the Baldwin Room at the Toronto Reference Library to peruse a collection of photos that were taken of every intersection within Metropolitan Toronto around about 1967-68, so with luck there might even be an image of the mall and Towers. 

I had a brief look at the photos back in the late 1990’s while doing some research for the Weston Historical Society and even came across the Steinbergs Store that used to be in our area (which is now a Shoppers Drug Mart, which I’ve worked in for the last three years), but at that time I didn’t check to see what photos they had of Silverthorn.

I passed by the mall a few times on the Tretheway bus when it was being demolished and remade into the current Westside Mall, and wish I had a digital camera at the time to take a visual record of its passing. The Kresge's stores at Eglinton and Dufferin, and the one up in Weston also were demolished around about the same time.

Anyway I hope you can be of some help. If nothing else, at least you have a few more photos that you can use for your site if you so wish.

All the best,
Martin Proctor

___________________________

From: Dave Milcoff   

Date: November 30, 2011

I came upon your site doing a web search about a store I shopped at with my parents in the 70's and 80's that I recall being called "Towers". This was located in the Northern Lights Shopping Center in Baden, Pennsylvania. My father worked in the same shopping plaza, and so I visited several times in my preschool years and so forth in the 70's.

I cannot find a single reference to this store anywhere online, which is quite bizarre for the Internet age. I'm a nostalgic sort of guy, and love to learn and reminisce about things no longer there anymore. The same shopping center also had a Hills department store that was a huge store opposite the Towers store in the shopping center. It also had a JC Penney.  I came across your page and low and behold, the Towers lower case logo triggered a response in my brain. It's the same store. I could swear upon it.

Yet, I see no reference in your web site nor anywhere else anywhere about such a store being in America. I remember my mother shopping there on rare occasion and even buying a record album there. Can you shed any light on this? Have you heard of any Towers stores in the states? I know it existed, whether it was the same store or not. I thought the logo was the same lower case text, but in blue, not red. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much!

___________________________

From: Kathy Levy  

Date: October 10, 2011

Worked at Towers in Bedford Nova Scotia with many wonderful people. I now work for Marks Work Warehouse and am still working with a few of my Towers Buddies. Younger people always say wow this must have been some place to work. We say yeah it was. Good evening shoppers the time is now 10 minutes to 10. Towers closing time is 10 p.m. please bring all final purchases to the front checkouts. Thank you and have a pleasant evening. Thanks for the memories Kathy Levy 

___________________________

 

From: Woody Borenstein

Date: October 8, 2011

WOW, WOW......This is quite the website. I can't believe how many dedicated people have taken the time to update themselves and give a history of their careers before and after Towers. I started my retail career working for Towers Riverdale in 1990, and worked in many different stores in many different capacities. My last job was at the Head Office, when the company was sold to Zellers I went on to run a Vending company and then went to work for Shoppers Drug Mart and worked there until I retired about 6 years ago.  It has been great reading about some of the people that I remember very well.

___________________________

 

From: Rod Desjardins  

Date: July 24, 2011

 

Started with Towers in 1981. Was a manager trainee when Zellers bought Towers. Stayed another 3 years then moved on. Have many friends from the Towers Days. It was a great place to work. Still see many of my co-workers around the city. I worked at the Lawrence and Midland store. Lots of fond memories.

___________________________

 

From:v Nancie Alberga (Casamento) 

Date: July 7, 2011

I worked at the Lawrence and Midland store. Lots of fond memories.

___________________________

 

From: Claude J. Leduc

Date: June 30, 2011

 

I have some trivia for ya!

Quebec stores had Towers in three different names. Besides Towers and Bonimart, what was the third name?

Second question: Food City was by 4 names here in Quebec ? What were they?

Third question: The food store anchors of the 4 first Towers stores in Quebec (Quebec City, Châteauguay, St-Leonard and Greenfield Park).

The last one: which Towers was anchored to a still existing shopping mall which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year?

___________________________

 

From: Joe Truman

Date: June 30, 2011

No idea if you update the status of various stores or not...  Spent a lot of days in the summers of my childhood being dragged around the Plains Road location in Aldershot!

Closed by Zellers in late 2007 and relocated to the Hwy 6/Hwy 5 junction in Waterdown. The adjacent shopping center, which had at one time been home to a CIBC branch, MTO office (in fact the one that gave me my driver's licence in 1990), a Dominion/A&P and a Boots/PharmaPlus, was mostly vacant when Zellers left - so the whole thing was demolished and replaced with a residential development. The small Canadian Tire which was located on an outparcel, relocated to the same area in Waterdown as Zellers. The Waterdown Zellers is on the list of locations to become a Target. Hadn't been in the former Towers in years, but aside from some cosmetic changes when it became Zellers, it remained basically unchanged.

Was in the Queenston Road store in Stoney Creek several times as my grandparents lived nearby. The neighboring Food City closed (Late 1980s?) and the entire building was renovated into a "modern" Towers in the late 1980s...new store design...prior to that the store retained it's original facade of cedar-shakes and T O W E R S spelled in block capital letters. Flipped over to Zellers shortly after the renovation...all that changed was the signage. Still operating.

___________________________

 

From:J udy French 

Date: February 13, 2011

I worked at Riverdale Towers Liz Grogan was Personal manager at the time she hired me, we had Mr. Harlow as Manager, Mr. Barrett asst manager, we had a few different asst managers. I met many amazing people there employees and customers...wonder where everyone is now....
 

___________________________

 

From: Wendy Evangelista

Date: February 8, 2011

What fun reading all the comments, Towers has many fond memories for me and will always have a place in my heart. My first job from 1974 to 1988 from the East Coast to Ontario, I met and worked with lots of wonderful people and keep in touch with a few. Towers taught me so much that I still use in everyday life, retail ended for me in 2006 and I miss it everyday. 

___________________________

 

From: Dave Jones 

Date: February 7, 2011

I would just like to say hi to Terry Bowman, we worked together at Towers of High Park and yes I remember those pa announcements very well. It doesn't seem that long ago but time does fly. Hope you are doing well Terry. Drop me a line sometime. 

___________________________

 

From:Terry Bowman

Date:February 4, 2011

I worked at High Park #22 1965 - 1971

Good afternoon Shoppers and welcome to Towers. I would like to draw your attention to our housewares dept. where we are having a 15 minute special sale price on 10oz Cola glasses. 10cents each or 12 for $1. Hurry over now because this price will only be for the next 15 minutes. Thank you for shopping at Towers and have a great day. 

Sound familiar to #22'ers

___________________________

 

From: Pat Griffin

Date: January 24, 2011

Hi - It is nice to see the website is still being updated. I emailed you some time ago, when I saw a Towers shopping cart being used in the storeroom at the The Bay - Hillcrest Mall. I haven't seen it since, so I could not take a picture and pass it along to you.

I was watching Police Academy on television recently and for the first time, I noticed there might have been a Towers in the background in one of the early scenes. Although the screen capture below does not show the Towers store itself, it shows the general vicinity where the scene was filmed. 

I just saw an aerial view of the Carlaw Ave. store. I am certain that was the location used in Police Academy. 

The Food City - Towers store seen in the movie was at the end of the plaza. There was also a low rise residential building (brown with concrete facade balconies) visible in the scene. This residual building is still standing there today and largely unchanged from 1984. The photo booth was put in just for that scene. 

___________________________

From:Tom Large 

Date:  January 15, 2011

 

My history with Towers actually goes back to Riteway Stores at Westside Mall in Toronto. Head office was upstairs and we would always have visitors from the office wandering through the store daily. 

I worked with many great people at Towers including our president Mr Genzer who seemed to know everyone by name. Bob Hogg who was manager at Rexdale store and DM in Niagara Falls. I met with Bob Clubley my very first hire recently and we relived many memories. 

Eric Richardson was by far my very best manager aside from Les Payton. I was able to work in many stores in Quebec, The Maritimes and Ontario for store openings and set-ups and got to know many of the buyers and other DMs. And at Westside we had a hockey team that played against Scarborough store are arch enemies with George Campbell for many years. Does anyone or remember Peter Harris from Ottawa store or Rexdale, I have lost contact with him. And John Iannone from Westside and High Park store. 

I left Towers Galleria after their opening to go with Eatons Horizon with a bunch of other Towers employees. Towers has always been in my heart and mind and I love this website and it has brought back many good memories.

___________________________

 

From: Steve Leblanc 

Date:  January 9, 2011

Worked for Towers at Cyrville Rd Baseline Rd Eagleson Rd. I live in Ottawa, Ontario.

2010

 

From: ka gagne 

Date: December 25, 2010

Back in the 50s---my grandmother used to go to towers near Springfield mass --or Ludlow ---I think Towers--was a pre --Walmart -----lol---loved it anyway --Merry Christmas  . south carolina

___________________________

 

From:Pete Skewes 

Date:December 19, 2010

 

During a buying trip to Taiwan in '86, Karen Baillargeon and myself dropped into a small plush manufacturers showroom. Karen was looking for an item that we could use at Towers to compete with the Charity Bear that the Bay was promoting. We found the Teddy Sac in a corner and got a quote. Karen stuffed the sample into her bag and we carried on. When we got back to the office, our boss, Dave Boyer, showed the item to Don Beaumont and that was that. We imported them by the container load, 1000's and 1000's of them, and sold out each year for next 3 years (until Zellers took over). I think it was the Canadian Juvenile Diabetes Foundation that was the beneficiary of a donation from the sale of each one. Zellers took over, and in their wisdom, decided not to continue the item !!!  

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From: Spencer Yu

Date: December 19, 2010 

Dear Editor,
Please tell me if I can find any more Teddy Sac stockings.

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From: Brian Hamai 

Date: December 15, 2010

 

Hi. I found your website doing a search for the Teddy Sac Stockings that you have a picture of.
I'm in California, but was looking for those exact same stockings. A relative from Toronto gave us three of them a while back and we were looking for 4 more. Can you tell me if they still exist? Thank you.

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From: Al Atkins 

Date: December 4, 2010

I worked the North Bay store from 79-86 and then transferred to Barrie from 86 until Zellers took over.Moved back to North Bay with Zellers then left the company in 91.Towers was a great company that actually cared for their employees.

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From: Tony Foster 

Date: December 3, 2010

My Gran (Betty Foster, RIP 2002) worked for about a decade at the Towers in Ottawa from the mid 70s to 80s (Gloucester at the time, Cyrville Road). When I was 4-7, I did runway modeling of the children's clothes in exchange for a hot wheels toy each week lol. Great times. 

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From: Rose Clayton

Date: November 29, 2010


Employed from 1979 to 1984.

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From: Margaret J. Flower

Date: November 14, 2010 

I was employed as Personnel Manager from 1970 until 1987? when P.M.s were dispensed with, to save money, I believe. I then worked in Inventory Control until I retired in 1989. I have many good memories of Towers' staff of Jane & Finch. 

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From: Iona (Hixson) Fevreau 

Date: November 12, 2010

I can't believe I stumbled on this site by accident. I will have to pass it on to my son Rick Forget. He will love it as I do, seeing the familiar names sure brings back some wonderful memories. Yes I remember you, Marie Brown. 

I started Towers as a cashier and went on to become store manager many years later after working in all departments including Inventory Control. My first store as Manager was in the Westside Mall I started in the Jane & Finch store and finished in the Bridlewood Mall store at Finch & Warden. 

I have nothing but good memories from the Towers Family, and we certainly were like family. Has anyone heard from George Gough, he was one of my Assistant Managers. I would love to hear from anyone interested in getting in touch.

I am in touch with Margaret (Kwasnik) Flowers on a regular basis. It was her who finally broke down and hired me to get me off her back :-) What a lovely walk down memory lane this has been.

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From: Audrey Freeman

Date: November 18, 2010

I worked at Towers Jane and Finch from 1969 to 1974,and have to say it was a great working experience...well except for a brief stint when I started as a cashier. OMG...those polyester canary yellow uniforms with the matching pillbox hat.

As if the hat wasn't bad enough, we stuffed them with tissue paper to make them puff higher...I remember being promoted to "The courtesy desk" and when busy answer the phones hundreds of times a day with "Towers Jane and Finch, May I help you?"

One bright manager decided we should also identify who we were...so not surprising one day at home I answered my home phone.."Towersjane andFinchAudreyspeakingmayIhelpyou". It's still embedded somewhere in my brain.

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From: Mike Hillyer 

Date: October 19, 2010

 

Just heard of this site from Mac Sinclair...Owen Sound has a group of approx 25 past employees that still get together monthly for lunches etc...I'll be passing this site on to them....Thanks for the memories...Mike

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From: Dave Hawthorne

Date: September 23, 2010

 

I worked in the Barrie store from 1985-1989. I worked with many great people, I learned more about business and life there then I did in school. Remember the midnight madness sales. Just about got knocked out by a lady fighting for a 2L glass bottle of Coke 4 for 25 cents... 

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From: Fernando Gomes 

Date: September 11, 2010

Wow, this is such a great site. What a great experience it was to have worked at Towers from 1966 to 1982 I started in High Park in October 1966, went to Dixie in 67, from there to Scarborough # 21, then back to High Park in the early 70's, from there to Riverdale, then to Bridlewood Mall and then on to the last store that worked at -- Peterborough. Along the way I had the pleasure of meeting and working with some wonderful people. We worked hard and long hours, but it felt like a family and help or advice was always "just around the corner".v I left Towers for Radio Shack later to become The Source. Have been retired since 2007 and living in Batawa, and enjoying it very much.Looking back, it was a great ride working for Towers in all those stores. I met and worked with so many wonderful people, and am grateful for all that they shared and taught me. Best regards to all.

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From: Cindy M. Hudson

Date: September 8, 2010

 

Worked at Towers - Kipling And The Queensway from 1980-1986 worked in TOYS/SEASONAL/SPORTS

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From: Vince Martino 

Date:  August 30, 2010

Worked at Towers Rexdale from 1978 to 1981.

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From: Karen Simpson

Date: August 14, 2010

Hi. I worked in the Montreal office of Towers from about 1980 to 1990 when they closed. I started as a summer student replacing on switchboard with Laurence, and working in general office management with Mr. Mcnally?. When an opening came as an assistant buyer I jumped at it. I moved from assistant to buyer under the tutorial of John Vittello and Myrna Libman. What a great office it was over the years with Rhonda, Francoise, Francois, Angelo, Lynn etc. Currently I am head of Marketing at Avon Canada in Pointe Claire Quebec. 

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From: Gaye-Anne Overholt-Noiles 

Date: July 29, 2010


I married Wayne Noiles and we were everywhere with Towers. It was great company and great people. We moved to Alberta 11 years ago and Wayne died the following year. Wayne and I were married in 1970 and he passed away in 2001 in Alberta. He started with Rockower in St. Catharines. He transferred to various stores: Woodstock (1969), Waterloo (1970), High Park (1971), Belleville (1973), another Toronto store 1974, Sudbury (1974), Malton (1976), Stony Creek (1977), Scarborough (1979), then High Park, Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and the Fairview Mall store in St Catharines. 

Wayne really enjoyed TOWERS, it was a great place to work - ZELLERS not so much. But I think most of us felt that way. My mom, Naomi Overholt was in the St. Catharines store from 1963 until she retired in 1989, and she actually is here in Alberta with me.

As for my Aunt, Margaret McCarthy she was in St. Catharines for probably 30 years about the same time as my mom. She passed away just a couple years ago in Niagara-on-the-Lake. As for me I worked in St. Catharines from 1965 to 1970. Wow. The site really brings back some memories ....

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From: Keith Ayling 

Date: July 21, 2010

Great site. Does anyone remember a chap named Kim ...... He was Director of Real Estate for Oshawa Group approx 20 years ago and subsequently left to go back to Holland. I'm trying to remember his last name. I think he was Dutch. Thanks.Halifax

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From: Kevin K.

Date: July 19, 2010

I have done some more historical research and found that eight Towers locations had previously operated as Rite-Way locations. Rite-Way was a discount store chain that operated from 1963 to 1967. Its first location was in Peterborough. The final two Rite-Way locations opened simultaneously on June 14, 1967 in Stratford and Woodstock. On August 23, 1967 all eight Rite-Way locations took on the Towers name. The eight locations were located in Belleville, Brampton, Peterborough, Stratford, Toronto (Carlaw Ave.), Toronto (Eglinton Ave. W), Welland, and Woodstock

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From: Jamie Martin

Date: July 3, 2010

I was in the Woodstock, Ontario Zellers (645 Dundas St.) last month and noticed the sign from the pharmacy still used the Towers script. I guess they never bothered to change it.

 

[Editor's note:  I don't recall a pharmacy in any Towers store.  Closest thing was Drug City run by parent company the Oshawa Group. The font definitely has a Towers aire about it!]

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From: John West 

Date: July 2, 2010

I never worked there, but have the fondest memories. I got my first bike from Towers in 1981, and most my toys like Transformers, Star Wars, etc. I remember having lunch there, and even getting haircuts from a guy named Gus. I wish they would come back, cause, those were the best day's, and staff were super friendly, unlike department stores today which have people that don't care about their jobs. Thanks for all the great memories.....John

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From: Mariel Edwards

Date: June 9, 2010

What a blast from the past. Thanks for that. The sign alone…..just----WOW. Mariel.

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From: Claude Leduc

Date: May 4, 2010

May 8
The Place Laurier store was remodeled in 1967 with a second floor over and did probably incorporate the "A&P" in the back and merge the buildings all together. The recent pic (this is my creation) was the second entrance of Towers at the time (this is where the restaurant was) and was I believe the gap between the Towers and A&P before 1967.

A&P did not want to join Place Laurier, so Dominion took the space and it was their second store at the mall (not a new thing: in Laval, we had a shopping center with 2 Steinberg's at one time !). Dominion close by the end of the 70s to become a bus depot, then by end of 2000, was the Zellers extension of the former Towers space.

And reminder: this was the only "Towers" in Quebec which was not renamed "Bonimart", even when Zellers took over !

About the ads, I am still making some hunt for archives, will soon get a print of the first Towers store in Montreal: the fated Greenfield Park, which became later the Mercado, and then torn down for a "Home Depot" and "IGA"...

May 5
Picture of the Place Laurier Store taken in the 60s by some tourist. We see clearly the store and even a A&P.

May 4
It's my first time here, so wanted to offer a scan of a store Towers operated in Laval, Québec, in 1973, called Hypermarché. It was a combination of Towers/Bonimart with Food City in one building. Was corner St-Martin and Daniel Johnson boulevard at the time. Needless to say 3 years later, the stores separated into "Bonimart" and "Hypermarché". These days, this store is torn down...

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From: Dave Jones 

Date: May 12, 2010

I was wondering if anybody knows where Bruce Thorpe is now. He worked with me at Towers of Rexdale during the grand opening along with Bob Clubley and our store manager was Bob Hogg. I would really appreciate any help in finding him. 

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From: Jocelyne Godin

Date: May 12, 2010

I work in the Bonimart (place St-Jean ) #49 from june 1980 to 1990. It was my first job and I keep good memories of it.

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From: Norm Pratt 

Date: May 9, 2010

Came across this site this evening and really enjoyed some of the articles and names as a reminder of a great time in retail. I worked in the Welland location while still living in my hometown of Welland. Transferred to Collingwood and worked with Mel Rinehart as general manager for the store opening there. Worked with a number of good people at each location. 

I also worked at the St.Catharines store. I originally worked in the Welland store than moved to St. Catharines and worked there. Then I moved to Collingwood to open that store as it was built, working with Mel Reinhart as the G.M.

After a few years with Woolco Catalogue stores I eventually moved to Owen Sound with Canadian Tire. Have been here for the last 25 years in store management thru many store changes and renovations. Thanks for this site and the memories it provides.

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From: Mel Rinehart 

Date: April 28, 2010

Bob Hogg was a good friend and I miss him, Bob passed away a couple years ago...way to young. He came to Towers via Riteway I believe (before my time). I first remember him as the opening store manager in the brand new superstore in Rexdale 43. It was a gorgeous thing back in 1970/71. He managed Aldershot for a time but I can't remember if it was before or after Rexdale. I know he was in the buying office for a time as Record Dept Buyer and I think ran Gas Bars for Oshawa Group as well for a time. He spent a lot of time as District Manager in Toronto west side and the Golden Horseshoe stores. I know he was my boss as DM in the early 80's in Owen Sound & Collingwood.

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From: Mel Rinehart 

Date:  April 28, 2010

Al Hammond came to Towers from Woolco (east coast I think) in abt 1971/2. I believe he was an assistant manager in Rexdale 43 to start and was promoted to manager in spring of 1973 in Owen Sound 37. Al and I worked together in Owen Sound til he was transferred to North Bay 58 in 1979. He stayed in North Bay as manager until he was promoted to District Manager in 1982/3 and was responsible for the five stores of Sudbury, North Bay, Barrie, Collingwood, Owen Sound and later Bracebridge. I believe he is retired in North Bay these days. Al if you read this drop me an email sometime.

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From: Lee Farrell-Routhier

Date: April 25, 2010


My first job was in the snack bar Brampton Towers, 70's. I met many wonderful people there, including first husband. Sadly, like Towers, it didn't last. Great Times. I worked Towers Snack Bar in the 70’s Brampton, Ontario. I currently live in Fort Erie Ontario. Was at one time married to Armando Fernandes who also worked at Towers the same time. I am looking for Terry Baxter (Blanchard) and Corrine Thurber also worked at Towers the same time.

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From: Sharon MacDonald 

Date:  April 22, 2010

 

Do you have any information on Hugh Simpson who worked in the 1970's as an Executive with Towers? I would very much like to have his email address. Thanks for any info that you might have.

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From: Mike Burke 

Date: April 14, 2010

 

My name is Mike Burke. I worked in the North Bay Store from 1975 to 1980 (Bryan MacDonald & Al Hammond were Store Managers), the Collingwood Store from 1980 to 1984 (Mel Rhinehart was Store Manager), Niagara Falls in 1984, & 1985 then back to the North Bay Store from 1985 to 1991 (Ken Zimmerman was Store Manager). I had some great times in all these stores. It was a fun place to work. I have a picture of a training session held in King City in 1984 or 1985. How many people can you recognize? The managers in this training session were from the Niagara Falls region, and were mostly Trainees and Assistants. The Head office and training staff most of you know. Also here is a copy of an old Check Cashing Card. It's good to see a lot of old names. Thanks for the great site. Mike Burke.

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From: Jackie Hughes

Date: April 13, 2010

Hi. Edie Andrews just sent me the info for this site...I am still laughing and sad at the same time. What an amazing organization Towers Dept. Stores was!!! We still talk about it today and I could actually recite all the stores by number & name. #25 is Mike Waddell...he was the hardware buyer and I did my 1st assistant buyer training under him on Orfus Road....he left and John Thiessen replaced him. I also just posted my info on the guestbook. Thanks for the memories.

I just remembered who #19 is.....Earl Wilson...he was the store manager of store #59 Bridlewood Mall.

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From: Jackie Hughes 

Date: April 13, 2010

I worked at Towers H.O. for 18 years (19 years old - to 37) before we were bought by HBC. I loved working there... it gave me the exceptional training and opportunities that have followed me for my entire career. Doug Waddell (Home Furnishings DM) was the greatest influence any young buyer could possibly have in their early career. I went to The Bay after Towers and then to K-Mart Canada/Zellers where I have been for the last 18 years. I was so fortunate to have the privilege to grow up in the Towers family and still to this day I credit that time for making me the business person I am today. Thank you to everyone at Towers. We were the best.

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From: Kevin K.  

Date: March 29, 2010

I visited the history room at the London Public Library and looked through yellow newspaper clippings to find that the Towers store in London opened on November 16, 1961. Stores in Hamilton and Waterloo also opened in the fall of 1961.

Among the features of the new Towers store in London was a 40-seat cartoon theatre for children to watch Bugs Bunny and Popeye while their parents shopped.

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From: Arron Outram  

Date: March 16, 2010

I wrote you a while back about there being a Towers cargo trailer still in circulation near me - but I had lost track of it after it moved. Well, I rediscovered it again... not too far from where it had been previously. I'm attaching a couple of pics here. Cheers!

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From: Celene Byrne 

Date: March 11, 2010

I worked at Towers (Scarborough store - Midland and Lawrence) for 1986 to 1987. I had great times working there with those red uniforms.... 

Looking for old friends Denise Koch, Dave Kerr, Carrie and others who worked there around 86-87. Worked as a cashier and customer service ..

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From: Mark Whittl

Date: March 5, 2010

Worked p/t as a stock boy at the Aldershot store from 1976-77 before my family left Burlington. Good people, good times, fond memories.

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From: Sharon (DiGiorgio) MacDonald 

Date: February 21, 2010

I worked for two periods with Towers, first for Hugh Simpson on Orfus Road from 1965 until 1972 and then for Don Beaumont from 1979 until 1984, then from Airport Road to return to Nova Scotia. From that executive office, I'm now "retired" and living on a farm where we raise Highland beef cattle and are very active in the local Cape Breton (North West Arm, Cape Breton, NS) Farmers' Market! 

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From: Matthew Zhuk 

Date: February 17, 2010

Hi there, I found your website while searching information on Towers stores, I have been looking for a Towers uniform, just the top (shirt) would be enough - but I can't seem to find anything. I was wondering if you might have some ideas?

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From: Yves Payette 

Date: February 15, 2010

Hello. I worked for Rockower of Canada and then Towers from 1965 til 1977. Those were 12 terrific years. I started as a stock boy and worked my way up to childrens' wear buyer at the Montreal head office. I remember all the many persons I worked with. It would be nice to hear from those who remember me. I have worked in different branches in the retail industry. I am now retired and the proud grandfather of 2 beautiful girls. My wife and I do a lot of travelling. I will always be grateful to Rockower and Towers for giving the chance to learn English. It has served me well. Hope to hear from some of the old gang.

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From: Paul Nowlan 

Date: February 14, 2010

Great to see lots of familiar old names and the list growing, will check in more often. Have been living in the Laurentians for 12 years. Great skiing, golf and fishing.

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From: Kevin. K.

Date: February 5, 2010


Your website about the history of Towers Department Store is excellent! I am interested in retail history as well and I’ve done quite a bit of research myself.

I found some more complete Towers store information for you to add to the listing on the ‘stores’ tab of your website. In the attached Excel spreadsheet, I have added more complete addresses, shopping centre names, and store opening dates in red. This information is from two sources: the Canadian Directory of Shopping Centres and the Directory of Discount Stores. Older volumes of these directories are available at a limited number of university libraries.

I am also attaching a PDF file of a map that I created of the Towers locations that you can use on your website. If you are interested in adding Google Maps to your website, I can provide you with the Longitudes and Latitudes of each of the Towers locations.

Here’s one more research source you might want to check out. The Ivey Library at the University of Western Ontario in London has an excellent collection of historical annual reports, both in print and on microfiche.

Great work with your website. I will let you know if I find any additional information.

Kevin

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From: J. McIntyre

Date: February 3, 2010

The first job I ever had was at Towers Department Store in London, Ontario during high school (1981-84). Lots of great memories from that time. Thanks for setting up this great website. 

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From: Daniel Roch 

Date: January 31, 2010

Great memories at Décarie Square with Jacques Valence. 

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From: Karen Thompson (Zeigler) 

Date: January 30, 2010

Great site!!! Would love to hear from people who worked at Cyrville 42. I worked there from '73 to '90 when it changed to Zellers. I remember actually looking forward to going to work - great bunch of people!!! We worked hard but had fun doing it!

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From: John Glass

Date: January 28, 2010

I was a Towers security person when Towers opened in Brantford. Ken Balkwell was the regional boss and I am looking for an co-worker named Judy. She was a great and cheerful partner but due to memory loss I can not remember her last name. I would love to know what she is doing now but I realize that it is over 35 years ago. Any help would really be appreciated - last name etc.

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From:Sandra Clarke

Date:January 26, 2010

Has anyone seen Dan Russell he was Assistant Manager at Dixie/Dundas back about 1992?

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From: Leni Wieder-Jensen

Date: January 18, 2010

WOW! What a walk down memory lane this has been. So many names that I recognize and people I've thought of over the years. Towers was a family and I was proud to be a part of it from 1980 - 1990. BTW, Gordon Murray is living in Toronto. If you'd like to contact him, I'll pass your info along. Just got in touch with Sim Ozel and am looking forward to hearing from Denise Miedzinski soon through 'linkedin.com'. I'm available there to connect, as well. Cheers All!

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From: Leni Wieder-Jensen 

Date: January 18, 2010

Hi there whoever you are (who are you?)

I've managed to identify 3 people in your buyers training photo.

#7 = Tony Kwakkenbos, Director Finance

#15 = Iona Fevreau, Store Manager Toronto area ... Son is Rick Forget who was an asst manager Toronto area, now both here.

#19 = I know this guy and the name will bubble up at some point. He was a store manager in the Toronto area. When it comes to me, I'll get back to you. In the training dept we used him a lot as a group trainer in the Leadership Workshop ... Hmmmmmm

Thank you for setting up this site. It's wonderful even just to see all those names and have the memories come flooding back.

Cheers!

Leni Wieder
Was also Leni Jensen
Is now Leni Hoier
(can't seem to find a name I like!)

I started with Towers as a Training & Development something-or-other under Michelle Ball (Darling) and Gordon Murray. Worked a lot with Ted Smith who's still kickin'. Left in 1990 as Director, HRD & Employment and went over to Dutch Boy as Director HR for 4 years. 

P.S. Bloody hell .... Now I'm thinking it was Iona Hickson. Maybe she's like me and couldn't find a name she liked. :) I know that she did marry Don Fevreau because I introduced them. She then left Towers (after many years) moved to Harcourt, Ontario (near Bancroft) because that's where Don had a real estate agency. Don passed away some time ago but Iona and her son Rick have kept the agency going.

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From: ka gagne

Date: December 25, 2010

Back in the 50s---my grandmother used to go to towers near Springfield mass --or Ludlow ---I think Towers--was a pre --Walmart -----lol---loved it anyway --Merry Christmas  south carolina

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From: Pete Skewes 

Date: December 19, 2010

During a buying trip to Taiwan in '86, Karen Baillargeon and myself dropped into a small plush manufacturers showroom. Karen was looking for an item that we could use at Towers to compete with the Charity Bear that the Bay was promoting. We found the Teddy Sac in a corner and got a quote. Karen stuffed the sample into her bag and we carried on. 

When we got back to the office, our boss, Dave Boyer, showed the item to Don Beaumont and that was that. We imported them by the container load, 1000's and 1000's of them, and sold out each year for next 3 years (until Zellers took over).

I think it was the Canadian Junior Diabetes Foundation that was the beneficiary of a donation from the sale of each one. Zellers took over, and in their wisdom, decided not to continue the item !!!  

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From: Spencer Yu

Date: December 19, 2010

 

Dear Editor, Please tell me if I can find any more Teddy Sac stockings.

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From: Brian Hamai 

Date: December 15, 2010


I found your website doing a search for the Teddy Sac Stockings that you have a picture of.
I'm in California, but was looking for those exact same stockings. A relative from Toronto gave us three of them a while back and we were looking for 4 more. Can you tell me if they still exist? Thank you.

Ah, thank you. Yes, it would be fine to post my message. I didn't know the history behind them. Every Christmas when I pulled out the stockings, I was reminded to do a search for them since I was always curious if someone was selling any on ebay. I've never seen anything online before for them but this year I happened to do a search on "Yahoo Photos" for Teddy Sac and that's how I stumbled upon your site. 

Were they exclusively made by/for Towers or did they sell them at other stores?Editor's Reply:  Yes, I believe this is the case. For some reason, my wife thought her sister got them from a bank in Canada, so that was always the story I was led to believe and I never really knew anything about them. We always just thought it would be nice to have one for each member of the family and family that visit every year. Thanks again for responding, and a great/interesting site!

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From: Al Atkins 

Date: December 4, 2010

I worked the North Bay store from 79-86 and then transferred to Barrie from 86 until Zellers took over.Moved back to North Bay with Zellers then left the company in 91.Towers was a great company that actually cared for their employees.

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From: Tony Foster

Date: December 3, 2010

My Gran (Betty Foster, RIP 2002) worked for about a decade at the Towers in Ottawa from the mid 70s to 80s (Gloucester at the time, Cyrville Road). When I was 4-7, I did runway modeling of the children's clothes in exchange for a hot wheels toy each week lol. Great times.

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From: Rose Clayton

Date: November 29, 2010

Employed from 1979 to 1984.

towers_teddy_sac_small.jpg
peter_skewes_towers_department_store.jpg
towers_trailer2.jpg

2009

 

From: Michael Balz 

Date: December 14, 2009


Just out of curiosity, I entered "Towers" in Google search and came upon your website. Amazing...to see that the Towers name lives on after all these years.

I am Michael Balz and I worked at Towers of Rexdale from 1975 to 1978 and I worked for Bob Clubley! During my years at Towers, I worked mainly in Hardware and Pets. It was my great first job, as I was only 17 when I started. In 2000, I moved to Cancun, Mexico and having been living in paradise ever since.

Let's hope more of our alumni join up! Thanks for having this site.

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From: Art McGaughey

Date: December 9, 2009

 

My name is Art McGaughey. I worked for Towers for 17 years. It was a great time. 

I started in store 48, Sudbury, which was known as Bonimart. I was then transferred to store 34 Westside. My manager in Sudbury was Milt Roley. My manager in Westside was Jimmy Parsons. 

I transferred back to back to Sudbury and then to store 58 where I worked with Al Hammond. When I transferred back to Sudbury the manager was Al Leblanc who became VP of stores. Also worked with Ron Chenier. I noticed a lot of names that I remember like Myrtle Churchill from store 34. Morley Whittle. 

I enjoyed my time and when Zellers took over I was transferred to Ottawa to store 21 Cyrville. Worked with Wayne LaBrash for a while before he left. I knew a lot of people in head office as I used to buy fishing equipment for the store in North Bay - Tillie Goldberg, Sammy Sing, Dave Bowyer. There are so many names to remember. Joanne Porter. Karen in toys. 

I left Zellers 14 years ago and now own my own store in the town of Embrun outside of Ottawa. It is a small store of 20,000 square feet and I still love retail business. I likely would still be working for Towers if they hadn't sold it to Zellers. It is surprising how two companies can be so different . 

The store I own is a Giant Tiger and it is just like being back at Towers. Lots of fun and a enjoyment that you all had at Towers. 

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From: Rick Larin

Date: November 12, 2009

Do you remember Dale Stokoe, the district manager for Belleville, Peterborough, and the Ottawa stores? A great guy. He passed away March 28, 2004 in the Peterborough area at the age of 79. He leaves behind his lovely wife Cheryl who was always so pleasant to talk to and two sons Glen and Grant. At one time he worked under another old trooper Max Solar. Does anyone remember Max, who was another great person from the early days of the Towers chain?

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From: Bill Douglas 

Date: October 31, 2009

The attachment is the official list of Stores still open on April 1990. They are listed by district indicating their district number, the District Manager name, the individual store numbers and the Town/City they were located. If you need more just ask.

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From: Kim

Date: October 21, 2009

Great site. Brought back fond memories of my childhood perusing the toy aisle while my mum shopped.

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From Allen Hulberg

Date: October 18, 2009

Wasn't Towers featured in an episode of Degrassi Junior High? Two characters were caught shoplifting there. Love the site by the way. I saw one of the registers in an opening day photo on your site...so very different from the registers today. And I could not imagine having to calculate tax manually. Too much of a nightmare..lol

[Editor:  Yep. Towers was featured in two episodes.  Here they are.]

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From: Rick Larin

Date: October 15, 2009

I worked in the Peterborough store all through the seventies. I ran the shoe dept there that was a leased department owned by Morse Shoe Inc. I would like to here from the old gang. Great memories.

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From: Heidi

Date:September 30, 2009

Hi, I noticed you were looking for information when the P.E.I. locations were opened. I can tell you that both locations - Summerside & Charlottetown were opened in 1974 (when both malls were built, according to some history that I had from newspapers and talking to people who worked there). 

Summerside was located in the Waterfront Mall, now called Waterfront Place. Charlottetown was located in Charlottetown Mall (this location was converted into Zellers in 1991). 

Summerside's location became a Zellers from 1991-98 It closed and was converted into more specialty shops space. There was another Zellers in place at County Fair Mall since the 1970's and is still open.

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From: Dave Jones 

Date: September 18, 2009

I will always remember working at Towers with fond memories. A great bunch of staff. I was lucky to have worked at a few stores including Brampton, Dixie, High Park, Rexdale, and Sudbury. Those were the days. Bruce Downey our store manager at High Park was like a father to all of us. Sudbury stores grand opening was the craziest I will remember. 

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From: Jeff Albert

Date: September 2, 2009

My father, Gerald Albert, passed away on August 17, 2009. He was my best friend. He was the last surviving family member that formed the Hardware/Houseware concession at Allied Towers.The original family consisted of Irving Albert, Allen Albert, Harvey Albert and Gerald Albert.

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From: Aaron J. S. Outram

Date: August 29, 2009

 

I moved to Peterborough, Ontario in 1993 when I was 15.

For all intents and purposes, the Towers store in Peterborough was still a Towers - despite the the Zeller's takeover. 

The store still had all the Towers livery inside and out. Big Towers sign on the building. A water tower (fake or not, I have no clue) with Towers on it.

My recollections of the store are good.

Eating in the diner - which had really good food and service. Browsing the Home Video racks. Playing the Street Fighter II arcade game that was in the entrance way.

It wasn't until late last year (2008) or early this year that the last traces of the Towers brand was removed from the store - a Towers delivery trailer from an 18-wheeler had remained parked near the rear loading bay for the now Zeller's. I'm kinda sad that I never took a photo of the trailer (I'm a photographer by trade) 'cuz whenever I
walked past it, I both chucked at the anachronistic quality of it and also felt pangs of nostalgia.

If anyone out there has some good photos of the Peterborough store when it was still Towers, I would appreciate seeing them.

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From: Stephane Joly

Date: August 24, 2009

I started my career in a car wash in Quebec. In 1984, Guy Robichaud from Bonimart warehouse, approached me about a job in the packing department on Rockland Blvd. In 1989 I took a truck driver course. I drove for Towers/Bonimart from 1989 until 1991. I met wonderful people in the warehouse and at all the stores that I visited for some boxes delivery.

My name is Stephane Joly and I would like to thank Towers/Bonimart to start my life at 17 years old and for giving me me that opportunity and for the life that I have today.

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From: Morley Whittle

Date: August 21, 2009

Hi. I worked for Towers for approximately 20 years, mostly in 021(Scarborough). I'm now in Newmarket with Zellers. I often think about the people and where they are now.

When I was transferred to Scar#21 in app 1978 the store had a playoff hockey pool, that I was not invited, they had it for whoever was working the night shift, I worked days in receiving, so I said I'll have my own, in which I did and still doing it over 30 years later Doug Johnson, Bruce Peck, Scott Brodie, after all these years are still a part of the pool. Morley Whittle. ps working in Newmarket Upper Can Mall (Zellers).

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From: Bill Douglas

Date: August 19, 2009

One of my long time friends pointed out this website to me and I have gone over it at least three times now and I'm glad to see more and more people are writing in and sharing their fond memories of Towers. Reading over all of the Emails I must admit to remembering at least 95 percent of the people who wrote them and they each bring back so many great memories. It certainly was by far the best Company I ever worked for. I felt as if we were all one big family trying to achieve the best results we could.

A very brief history of my tenure at Towers is as follows 1964 to 1989.

I started with the chain in 1964 in the Dixie Store # 26 Men's Wear Department which at that time was a concessionaire [Rockower of Canada Ltd]. I then went to the old Riteway store in Brampton, and from there to open the new Riteway store at Carlaw and Gerrard #30. From there I got promoted to the buying office and over the next 20 odd years held most of the positions in many of the departments including buyer, Sr. buyer, Merchandise Manager, Group Merchandise Manager and Vice President Marketing.

After Towers was taken over by the Bay, I left to go to work for the North West Company, in Winnipeg. The North West Company was of course the newly formed company which bought out the old Bay Northern Stores Division from the Bay. I was the Vice President of Marketing for 6 years and the V.P. retail operations for 2 years. 

I then retired at 55 and am now living very happily in Owen Sound Ontario, enjoying all the golfing, fishing and hunting the area has to offer. I have bumped into a few old friends and employees from the past up here and look forward to browsing this website and hearing from more.

It's the people that make a Company, and we had one of the best.

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From: Jeff Sutton

Date: August 12, 2009

Hi again. I surf over to your Towers website now and again to see if there is anything new. Somebody actually noticed one of the notes I left – I received an email from Eric Richardson, who was the store manager at #27 Waterloo, where I worked for five years from 1984 to 1989.

I notice that you have two stores listed for Kitchener (and one for Waterloo). The address for store Kitchener store #65 should be Strasburg Road. You also have a store #57 listed for Kitchener, but there were only two Towers stores in Kitchener-Waterloo; store #57 was Stratford.

I am still meaning to get around to scanning in some photos for you – the Waterloo store was the third to get the “Store of the Future” refit and I have some great photos of the store following the renovation.

Great site!

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From: Matt B.

Date: August 5, 2009

I was on your website "Towers Department Stores", I noticed that there was a question mark(?) about a Towers Department Store being in Dartmouth Cole Harbor. I can confirm that at one time there use to be a Towers Department Store in Dartmouth Cole Harbor.  

Many of the original Towers employees are still working there! 

From what I can gather the original store was built in the late 1980's (around 1987), for a few years it was a Towers store, but it was turned into a Zellers around 1991.

How I came across these photos is that I am a employee at the store (currently Zellers), in the employee lounge underneath a TV stand we have some photo albums of photos taken in and around the store over the past 20 or so years. One lunch break I sorted through all of the pictures and albums and copied that ones that had to do with Towers.

I hope you find these photos interesting and helpful! By all means... feel free to post any of these on your website!

Best Wishes

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From: Matt B.

Date: August 5, 2009

I was on your website "Towers Department Stores", I noticed that there was a question mark(?) about a Towers Department Store being in Dartmouth Cole Harbor. I can confirm that at one time there use to be a Towers Department Store in Dartmouth Cole Harbor.  

Many of the original Towers employees are still working there! 

From what I can gather the original store was built in the late 1980's (around 1987), for a few years it was a Towers store, but it was turned into a Zellers around 1991.

How I came across these photos is that I am a employee at the store (currently Zellers), in the employee lounge underneath a TV stand we have some photo albums of photos taken in and around the store over the past 20 or so years. One lunch break I sorted through all of the pictures and albums and copied that ones that had to do with Towers.

I hope you find these photos of Cole Harbour Towers interesting and helpful! By all means... feel free to post any of these on your website!

Best Wishes

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From: Gloria Silbernagel

Date: July 22, 2009

Just heard about the site from Anne Marie Brown. Reading some of the e-mails brought back many fond memories. I was an Inventory Control Manager for 27 years and met many great people doing store openings. Had a great time meeting and working with many different workers. 

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From: Barry Smith

Date: July 7, 2009

Worked for Towers from 1974-1980. Dept. Supervisor in Niagara Falls, Asst. Manager in St. Catharines, and also Dixie and Dundas store until I left the company to pursue other interests.

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From: Jim Forbes

Date: June 16, 2009

Worked at the Head Office from 1979 'till 1990.

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From: Brenda (Larabee) Lanetta

Date: June 5, 2009

Hi. I'm so excited to have found this site. Thanks to Myrtle for letting me know. I started at Towers in 1979 and worked at several locations. I look forward to hearing from anyone who remembers me.

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From: François Belgiorno

Date: June 2, 2009

I started my career in 1970 with Rockower of Canada, at that time, the Men's Wear concession at Towers. When Towers bought Rockower, I joined the Towers buying group in Montreal as a junior buyer. 

Throughout the years, I was promoted to Buyer for Children's Wear and then Ladies Wear. 

I left Towers in 1990 to pursue his career as a consultant. I now teach Purchasing Management at the Sherbrooke Cegep College in relationship with the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC).

I live at the base of Mont Megantic, the first International Dark Sky Reserve where he welcome stargazers in his Bed and Breakfast (www.auvaillantbourg.com)

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From: Ann Walters

Date: May 27, 2009

My name is Ann Walters and I was an employee of the Oshawa Group for 22 years. During that time I worked at the Towers Head Office on Orfus Road from 1974 to 1979 and was secretary to Bill Atkinson, Don Beaumont, and Hugh Simpson. After several years at the Corporate Office on the East Mall and also Oshawa Foods on the Queensway, I returned for a second stint at Towers in their new offices on Airport Road as secretary to Ed Harsant. 

I am now happily retired and live in Etobicoke, Ontario.

I'm glad I stumbled upon this website. Keep up the good work.

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From: Myrtle Churchill

Date: May 23, 2009


So happy to find this web site. Towers was a great company to work for. We were all family. Worked hard but always had fun.

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From: Anne Marie Brown

Date: May 15, 2009

What a great surprise stumbling into this web site. Thanks to who ever thought of this. It sure brings fond memories. I started with Towers in 1973 at the Dixie and Dundas Store #26. I would love to ear from anyone who remembers me.

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From: Jim Wilks

Date: April 26, 2009

I worked as a stock boy in the Brantford Towers in 1972 to 1974. My memories are of being a fill-in cashier during the Christmas rush and the great race between myself and any other stockboys on duty whenever the restaurant Red Grille called for a stock boy. The first one there to help them change the big milk boxes got a free drink. Life wasn't much better!

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From: Peter Skewes

Date: April 19, 2009


I joined Towers as assistant electronics buyer 1974. Promoted to electronics buyer in 1978 and then had the camera dept added to my responsibilities. I became the toy buyer (boys toys) in 1984. Karen Baillargeon was the toy buyer (girls toys).

I was on a buying trip in Hong Kong when I received the news of the sale of the company to Zellers, and had to go around the vendors cancelling orders.

My years with Towers were the best. I made some very good friends. 

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From: Karen Rambo (nee Schmidt)

Date: April 19, 2009

Talk about the past coming back. What a time I had working at Towers. A whole lot of work and a whole lot of fun! I met a lot of great people. What a great website. 

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From: Paul Gillen

Date: April 13, 2009

Great to read the comments from others. I started with Oshawa at Food City in St. John N.B., and transferred to Charlottetown in 74. I ran the produce operation for the two Towers stores on Prince Edward Island for 16 years. Great experience, great company. If it still was, I would still be there.

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From: Larry Dobbs

Date: April 9, 2009

Worked at Jane & Finch, Dixie and Stratford (left in '89). Many great Towers memories.

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From: James (Jamie) Defreitas

Date: April 4, 2009

Wow, Towers...its been a while. I worked at Rexdale for about 13 years and met a lot of people and friends that I still talk to... great part-time job, started as a stock clerk like most guys and went up to supervisor and stayed until it closed and got a package. Great memories and great people...cool site. 

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From: Dave Morrow

Date: April 3, 2009


Hi. My name is Dave Morrow. I started my first job as a stock clerk at Towers at the age of 16 at the Rexdale Plaza. I worked for them for a number of years and was promoted to supervisor at the Jane & Finch Store. After helping security take down a shoplifter I decided to say goodbye to Towers. The shoplifters gun fell out of his pocket.. AHHH.. I still keep in touch with friends who worked at Towers and my wife also worked there as a cashier. Names I remember -- Mr Valencore, Karen Schmidt. There are so many it would take awhile to type them out. 

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From: Gord Adams

Date: April 3, 2009

Here is a listing of stores of all Towers and Bonimart stores. This is on memory and had some help with former staff members through this site and facebook. They are as follows:

01 Head Office, 21 Scarborough, 22 High Park, 23 Aldershot, 24 Metropolitan (Bonimart), 25 Belleville, 26 Dixie, 27 Waterloo, 28 Greenfield Park (Bonimart), 29 St Foy (Bonimart), 30 Riverdale, 31 Stoney Creek, 32 London, 33 St Catherines, 34 Westside, 35 Peterborough, 36 Welland, 37 Owen Sound, 38 Jane & Finch, 39 Niagara Falls, 40 Brantford, 41 Oakville, 42 Cyrville, 43 Rexdale, 44 Chateauguay, 45 New Minas, 46 Brampton, 47 Dufferin & Dupont, 48 Sudbury, 49 St Jean (Bonimart), 50 Place Desormeaux (Bonimart), 51 Duvernay (Bonimart), 52 Saint John, 53 Kipling & Queensway, 54 Baseline, 55 Barrie, 56 Woodstock, 57 Stratford, 58 North Bay, 59 Finch & Warden, 60 Goreway, 61 Bedford Place, 63 Collingwood, 65 Kitchener, 70 Hazeldean, 71 Charlottetown, 72 Summerside, 73 Decairie (Bonimart), 74 Bridgewater,98 Montreal (Bonimart)

 

If stores are missing please let me know

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From: Eric Richardson

Date: April 2, 2009


Some of you out there might remember me. I started with Towers full time in 1962 in the High Park Store. Over my 28 years with Towers I held a number of positions in the Toronto area stores and for a time I was a Merchandise 
Specialist on the road covering Toronto, Northern Ontario along with Peterborough & Belleville. 

In 1973 I became a Store Manager (first store Oakville). In 1980 I was transferred to Store #27 Waterloo, Ontario and remained there until May 2004 when I retired from HBC.

To borrow and old Towers Ad campaign: The last day on one memory is the first day of the next memory! That’s what this site has done for me.

Currently living in Kitchener, Ontario during the winter months and in Parry Sound Ontario when the weather is nice. Thanks for putting this site together.

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From: Mel Rinehart

Date: March 31, 2009

Store numbers - Collingwood Towers Number 63 opened Oct 21, 1980. I was the store manager at opening. Owen Sound Number 37 opened May 1967. Stoney Creek (Hamilton) Number 31. Oakville # 41 opened in fall of 1969 and I can give you my best guess on some others: North Bay 58, Rexdale 43.

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From: Shirley Dawes

Date: March 26, 2009

Hi, my daughter showed me this site. It was great to see some familiar names. Yes, I hired Greg Rambo! I started out as P/T cash office at the Brampton store and moved my way up to Housewares buyer. It was a great 23 years. I still keep in touch with John Skelly and Bryan MacDonald. 

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From: Louise Mallory

Date: March 25, 2009

Another store for your list: Hamilton - east end - Queenston Road at Nash Road.

I remember it from when I was a child in the 1960s &70s - not sure when it closed. We got lots of our non-hand-me-down clothes there, and on payday sometimes Dad would buy me a Nancy Drew book. My parents wouldn't buy us sneakers there, even though they were 99 cents, because they had this thing about fit and shoe stores.

Thank you for that blast from the past. I also remember Robinson's, The Right House, Miracle Mart, Shop-Rite & Consumers Distributing, Eatons of course, Simpsons, KMart, Kresge's, Woolworths, Woolco, Woodwards, and the Young Canada Shop. Sigh.

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From: Richard Smith

Date: March 24, 2009

Never worked at Towers, but did live in Summerside PEI in early 70's and remember the Towers store. BJ Arsenault, if you do see this, please email me. I remember listening to you on CJRW. Had no idea you were only 15 at the time. I would have been 12 or 13 then. Thanks, Richard.

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From: Mike

Date: March 10, 2009

Thanks for the site and info. I remember Towers very well living in Rexdale then Mississauga.

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From: Jane Denison McKenzie

Date: February 27, 2009

I worked at the head office on Orfus Road back in 1974-1979. I started as an assistant buyer in training, and ended up as a Buyer, Homefurnishings, with D. Waddell as my boss. I would love to hear from Ron Ferguson, Bev Stanley, Donna Corcoran, Doug Waddel, Janet Robinson, Jo Anne Porter. I was tall, young, and stuttered.

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From: Bernie Vermette

Date: February 27, 2009

What a joy of finding this site, it brought great memories of my 20 years at Towers. In 1963 I started working for this great organization in Cyrville “Ottawa” at the tender age of 18. I was then given an opportunity to work in Montreal, London, Scarborough and Dixie. Managed numerous stores in Montreal area and transferred to Toronto head office as toy buyer. I still have great memories of my extended family and keep in touch with some of you. 

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From: Art Large

Date: February 20, 2009

MY first job was at Jane and Finch, then over to Brampton and finished off at Dixie. Great memories of the Towers. Lots of friends I still talk to.

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From: Terrence Blizzard 

Date: February 18, 2009

Saint John NB had one. Just thought you might like this for your list. The neat feature of this store was that there was no above ground parking. You had to park in the basement (underground) and come up into the mall to get into the store. The cafeteria was excellent. 

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From: Jacqueline Shaftoe-Stonhill

Date: January 15, 2009


I keep coming back to see who else has been here. It is great to see new people sign in and remember them from Head Office. I am curious if anyone knows updates on Greg Rambo, Don Cameron and of course my mentor Janet Robertson.

I send my best wishes for 2009 to all!

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From: Rick Keddy

Date: January 15, 2009

Started at Towers as a part-time stock boy in high school (1971, Owen Sound), then upon graduation went full time in Owen Sound. Transferred to Jane and Finch as department manager of various departments (toys/sports/seasonal, hardware/housewares, health and beauty/tobacco). Jane and Finch was a great bunch of people. We had a good hockey team as well. 

My first manager was Bruce Downey and his assistant was Jim French.

Anyone in the Owen Sound store remember our maintenance man Jack Fisher - what a guy! My first manager in Owen Sound was Bruce Downey (where is he now?)

Left towers in 1976 to join Beaver Lumber and have been in that business since then. Wonder where everyone from that time is today. 

This is a great site and I will try to pass it on. Will watch regularly.

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From: Gord Adams

Date: January 7, 2009

Andre, yes, I'm here. I do check this site from time to time. There is a Towers account on FACEBOOK and I'm in it. 

I do know you will remember my father. Unfortunately, he passed away one week after my sister got married. 

I do miss the fun working at Towers Head Office with all the people but Greg Rambo was my favourite employee there. He would come to the mailroom and pick my dad so bad he wouldn't have a chance against him. But hey, I got my shots against Greg and loved those moments. 

I left the company and came back later to work with Oshawa Foods Head Office. The people were great, but the Towers staff, well they were family and one better. 

This is one company saw it's own death come reality once "PAPA" Ray Wolfe passed away. He was one man whose hand I shook not only at Towers Head Office, but Oshawa Foods Head Office and East Mall Office. He was a very friendly person who loved to talk to the staff and get their feedback. R.I.P. "PAPA" Ray. I'm leaving my address, give me a shout gorshe6769@hotmail.com  

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From: Jo-Anne Porter

Date: January 2, 2009

Great site and an even greater place to work. Over the years, I worked at Head Office on Orfus Rd and on Airport Rd. I worked in Ad Control with Wally Mulholland and Janet Robertson. I worked for the Toy buyer (Karen Baillargeon and Peter Skewes, Menswear Buyer (Sid Zon) and Notions buyers (Bev Stanley and Donna Corcoran). 

I also worked in the Brampton store on Queen Street, (Mrs. McGregor and Carm Caravaggie) on the courtesy desk and cashier. I love this site and it's great to see some old (not too old) familiar names. 

I wish you all well and would like get in touch with some of you.

2008

From: Martin Catto

Date: December 31, 2008


FYI: I twice attempted to leave the message set out below in your website "guestbook" but in both cases, before I could sign off, my comments mysteriously disappeared from my screen and were replaced by somewhat strange pop-ups. I tell you this in case they should equally mysteriously reappear somewhere else on your site.

Basically, I wanted to convey to you that your entry regarding Bill Atkinson under the heading "where are they" was drawn to my attention while chatting with Bill today when he pointed out with some amusement that you record that he "passed away in 1992". While Bill may have a somewhat grave outlook on current economic conditions I am very pleased to report he is alive and well and living in retirement in Oakville and is generally in excellent health and good humor.

A few aging former employees may remember me from when I was at Towers 1978 -- 1981 when I was SVP & CFO. I'm also pleased to report that I am alive and well and living in Upper Nyack, New York and officially retired as I have reached an age where I correctly appear to be generally considered unemployable.

Thank you for taking the time to create your interesting site.

 

 

 

From: Susan Bihuniak

Date: December 30, 2008


So great to see familiar names. I started with Towers back in 1974 in the reproduction department. Many of you will remember me and Pat Slaughter on the switchboard with our big heavy headsets and the old cord board with all the wires.

Good memories.

Or you might remember me and Cliff Adams running thru the halls whenever there was an any problem to take care of. I married Bob MacDonald the buyer at Towers and I'm sure many of you remember him he was with Towers over 25 years. If anyone out there remembers it would be great to hear from you. Memories of Towers are great ones that we still talk about today....

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From: Michel Charlebois

Date: December 12, 2008


Since I wrote you the last time I came up with more memories when I was a employee of Towers/Bonimart

I remember while working in the Cyrville store (Ottawa East) they would call a code and door number (doors that led to the outside from the storage area) on the PA signaling that there was a unauthorized opening of that door and all male personnel had to run to that door to check it out (I think they use to do it so we would get some exercise).

When working in Camera/Records Department we use to have commission sheets for some photographic equipment and accessories all we had to do is when we wrung up (departments such has camera, jewellery, health and beauty,... had there own cash) a sale we would put down the department number and the price every week we would enter our sheets in to the office and the last pay of the month we would get a little bonus. 

Again I was in the Cyrville store when Rexdale store was open (69 or 70 no Sunday shopping) This was the new concept store the 2 floors, special escalator for the carts, the seven foot shelving units, Sights and Sound( high end audio and video equipment)... So to show off the new store all Towers employees were invited to attend a Sunday day off shopping, I remember being pick up early that Sunday by a co worker by the name off Sheryl in her VW fastback. The thing that sticks out in my mind is when we were allowed in the Rexdale store Sheryl and I went to the snack bar for a cup a coffee we were chatting in French when the waitress came up and asked what we wanted in FRENCH now that was quite mind boggling for a suburb of Toronto. Afterwards we found out that there was allot of francophone's in Rexdale. 

Now some memories of the Sudbury store - like the Rexdale store this was the new concepts in action.

I don't remember if this was a company wide policy or the Sudbury store was different but long hair on male employees was not allowed so the part timers, with shoulder length or longer hair, wore wigs to hide it. 

One thing that was unique to Sudbury was the Wednesday noon closing Bylaw. No we did not get the afternoon off. We took advantage of restocking the shelves and doing our weekly orders.

Well that's it for now.

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From: Tony Cordi

Date: November 16, 2008


Hi. I started working at towers in 1985/86. My store was at the Westwood Mall. I had a sister and brother-in-law that worked for stores and became managers and went on to work at head office at Airport Road. I have to say as a company, and for the people that i worked with, it was a group that really cared about there work and the company. To this day I think the take over by Zellers was a travesty.

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From: Emily Twigg

Date: November 8, 2008


WOW!!!!!!!!!! Can't begin to tell you how excited I was to find this web site. Towers was such a big part of our lives. We had a reunion a few years ago. I would love to see that happen again. I worked at several stores and head office for a total of 24 years. Would love to hear from anyone.

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From: Bob Clubley

Date: November 2, 2008


I worked for Towers Rexdale for 14 years as Dept. Manager Toys, Sporting Goods, Seasonal Dept, Hardware, Housewares. Those were great years. Known all the people I have worked with: Bob Hogg (Store Manager), Paul Nowland, Jim Drysdale, Greg Rambo, Dave Balfour, Mike Jubville and  Les Payton. Would like to hear from all of you.

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From: Jeanne Dumont

Date: October 23, 2008


Hi, I looked at your website and it's great. In response to your question about the French stores, well, they still called it Teddy Sac! I still have mine and it was bought in Québec City. "Teddy" is a first name and "sac" means bag.  So technically, they didn't have to translate it as it almost made sense. 

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From: John

Date: October 19, 2008


In 1966, as a business school student at York University, I did a marketing paper on the phenomenon of “discount department stores”. In the course of doing my research I came across Riteway Stores, Allied Towers Merchant (ATM), and The Oshawa Wholesale’s involvement. Intrigued by what looked like an interesting and dynamic business, I wrote a personal letter to Ray Wolfe to inquire about summer student job prospects. 

Within a few weeks I was sitting in front of Norman Pentecost, the corporate VP of Personnel. He told me that there were no openings at ATM but that there might be an opportunity on the food side. Initially disappointed, I spent the summer of 1967 as a buyer’s assistant in the food division head office on the Queensway and another 8 years in various merchandising roles. In the course of this work I had many discussions with people like Morris Osak about the internal, and inevitably friendly, competition between the two divisions.

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From: Anneke Dubash

Date: October 17, 2008


Skimming some of the postings from many people about their memories of the stores, I came across one about the time "Fred and Barney" made a Towers appearance promoting Flintstones Vitamins. My brother, Jim, then about 5, I guess, was so excited that we were going to see Fred and Barney! We older kids knew the scoop that Fred and Barney were just regular people dressed up as the characters.

We arrived in the store and all headed off to look for Fred and Barney. About half way down the aisle, they rounded the corner and started waving at us. Jim took one look, let out a blood-curdling scream (trust me... BLOOD CURDLING!) and disappeared in the opposite direction.

Poor "Fred" and "Barney". They looked (as far as you could tell, because their faces were simply fabric-covered foam) downright shaken.

We found Jim sometime later, after a thorough search of the store, hiding under a clothing rack in Men's Wear.

I think what freaked him out was that what he had actually expected was not two huge foamy, galumphing things ambling towards him. What he HAD expected was two walking cartoon characters, 10 or twelve inches tall.... the real thing.

Those two Towers employees are out there, somewhere. I wonder if they remember this. 

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From: Anneke Dubash

Date: October 17, 2008


I can't tell you how surprised I was to come across your page on Towers Stores!

I used to work at the Carlaw Store (made famous by having two episodes of Degrassi Jr. High filmed there!) and the store on Lawrence Avenue East. I started working a the Carlaw Store as a cashier when they still had the gold and plain dresses... circa 1978/9. Then I moved to the Lawrence Ave. store, working in Stationery. Oh, those horrible, bright red polyester uniforms! "Do you work here?"

I remember once there were several of us just coming on duty and we were in a little group. This woman came up, looked at us in our matching red poly uniforms with the Towers logo patch and asked "Do you work here?".

I turned to her and said "No. We are actually a club that gets together to wander around stores. This is our club uniform...."

She looked confused, stuttered an apology and wandered off...

Every time a customer ever asked my in my retail career "Do you work here?" I think fondly of that moment.

Thanks for the wander down memory lane. 

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From: Reg Doyle

Date: October 7, 2008

 

I just dropped in to say hi. My father, Francis Doyle, worked at Tower's in Charlottetown, PEI for many years..

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From: Pat Downey

Date: October 6, 2008

Great Site...not too sure how I found it.

My father was manager of several Towers stores including St Catharines, Dixie and Owen Sound. While we were in St. Catharines, my brother and a friend set fire to the Towers washroom. He is sure to this day our father knew about it and awaited for the axe to fall when our father came home, but nothing was ever said about it.

I also have a more personal connection to the chain.

Because of my fathers connections I had my first full time job pumping gas at the gas bar. I eventually became a manger of the Jane Finch gas bar till 1973. Bob Browne at the time was in charge of the gas bars for Towers. He sort of took me under his wing and he became my mentor in a way. I always appreciated this and wish I could find out what happened to him and what is he doing now. 

If anyone has any information about this it would be much appreciated. 

His brother Dave was my best man and I have also lost touch with him.

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From: Bridget Haight-Perrin

Date: September 24, 2008


I grew up shopping at the North Bay Towers, located on Algonquin Ave where the Sobeys/Zellers now sits.

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From: André Roch

Date: September 13, 2008


Gord, if your still out here I would love to hear from you.

André

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From: C. Leduc, Montreal, QC

Date: September 9, 2008

 

Hi there.

I passed by this website, did not know that such a good website about one of the department stores I roamed when I was a kid (and a teen).

I was 3 or 4 at the time, always did remember the local TOWERS store in St-Leonard, on Viau Boulevard close to Metropolitan (highway 40). I remember before the makeover in the beginning of the 70s (when It changed to Bonimart, never knew why), it had this giant façade with the TOWERS sign. 

Next door was an IGA-Top Valu supermarket which connected with the said store. The other one which looked alike was the Châteauguay store (my paternal grandparents lived there), where as far as I remembered, I purchased a Corgi car with "THE SAINT" logo on it. Yep, the Roger Moore famous series was quite famous then.

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From: Jacqueline Shaftoe-Stonhill

Date: August 31, 2008


I happen to stumble upon this site via the FB Towers Dept. Store Group. Wow it is so good that people still remember the GOOD times. It has been a long time but to this day I still say the BEST job I ever had was with Towers. It is funny when you mention Towers how many people remember them and how they miss the stores.


Towers Head Office - some buyers and associates

I started at Head Office in the advertising/sales promotion department with Janet Robertson, Greg Rambo, Dave Stellar and Don Cameron then moved to the Mens & Boys Wear. The Boy's Wear group where I worked at the end of Towers consisted of Horst Schulz, Jackie Hughes, David Turner, Giles Charlesbois, Brian Weeks, Helen Di Filippo, June, Doreen, Blanche, Ronnia, Georgia, Glennis and myself. Age has caused me to forget a few surnames but I will never forget this group. I would love to catch up with anyone that remembers me. 


Towers Head Office - Men's & Boy's Wear Group

I still use my Towers Cookbooks and miss the "family" we created throughout HO and all stores. The cookbooks were in house but they bring back memories and I use them a lot. My children who were born while at Towers use them too. 


Towers Head Office cookbook

Some of the cookbook contributors will bring back memories for a lot of people. June Main (Ed Harsant's secretary), Madeleine Stewart, Susan Sutherland - Restaurant Division, Pat Tales, Marilyn Sword, Ron Ferguson (Houseware Buyer) just to name a few.

I actually worked right up until the front doors were locked for the last time. If you should need any further assistance with anything further please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kindest Regards,
Jacqueline

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From: Michel Charlebois

Date: August 3, 2008


I just discovered your website on Towers/Bonimart.

My Towers/Bonimart experience started in 1968 at the Towers store in Cyrville (Ottawa) store number 51.

I worked part time in the camera and records department my supervisors were Marion Law and Iona Kenneally around 1970 I was asked to become one the of the six management trainees in Ottawa.

In the fall of 1971 a week after the opening of the Sudbury store 4 of us from the Cyrville management training program were ask if we would like to transfer to Sudbury.

A little background on why the request.

Sudbury had supervisors (department managers), a store manager and assistant managers (the assistants store managers where two brothers from the Maritimes by the last name Leblanc) from outside Sudbury the plan was to train locals to take over the positions in about 3 to 4 months after the opening but business was so over whelming that experience help was needed right away.

The four of us flew out of Ottawa and met the VP Mister Kennedy in Toronto and the fifth member of the group that was from Barrie at Head Office.

We stayed for a week in the Holiday Inn across the mall from the store .

- The Sudbury store the main department store in the new City Center mall in the downtown (the Eaton store was still in planning stages)

- The store was two stories with the flat escalator that shopping carts could go up (the same set-up that Rexdale had)

- The loading dock where underneath the building with access from Elm street. The reason I'm mentioning this is that when the first transport truck that used it was empty it could not get 
out seeing it was taller so the tires had to be deflated to lower the truck. The problem was rectified when a layer of bricks was removed to enlarge the height of the entrance

- How busy was the Sudbury store remember its fall of 1971 and one hour before closing the day before being open 1 month, 1 million dollars worth of sales where made. The week before Christmas that year the buyers had to go out on a Saturday in Toronto to the different toy companies to get anything that was left because the shelves where empty.

I left Towers/ Bonimart in the spring of 1972. 

I have great memories of my time with Towers/Bonimart organization the people I met the life experiences that I got.

These are only a few of the memories and stories that I have of my Towers/Bonimart years 

I will probably EMAIL you again 

Thanks for a GREAT WEB SITE

Michel Charlebois (Ottawa)

From: C. Leduc, Montreal, QC

Date: September 9, 2008

 

Hi there.

I passed by this website, did not know that such a good website about one of the department stores I roamed when I was a kid (and a teen).

I was 3 or 4 at the time, always did remember the local TOWERS store in St-Leonard, on Viau Boulevard close to Metropolitan (highway 40). I remember before the makeover in the beginning of the 70s (when It changed to Bonimart, never knew why), it had this giant façade with the TOWERS sign. Next door was an IGA-Top Valu supermarket which connected with the said store. The other one which looked alike was the Châteauguay store (my paternal grandparents lived there), where as far as I remembered, I purchased a Corgi car with "THE SAINT" logo on it. Yep, the Roger Moore famous series was quite famous then.

Well, just to give you whatever happened to the stores we had in Quebec as well as the Food City stores we had (had name like Aliments Bonimart and Aliments Hypermarché before IGA and Steinberg's took over, see below.)

QUÉBEC CITY STORE
Build in what would become Quebec's largest Shopping Mall: Place Laurier. The store had at first the original 60s facade before the so many makeovers over the years. Around the mid-60s, a second floor was added over, but used for the shopping mall for trade shows. The east side of the store had later a Dominion store for about 10 years (a competitor for the A&P across the street). Today, Zellers took over, at one point, there was 2 Zellers at Place Laurier, but the old TOWERS spot has the actual store.

By the way, the Quebec City Store never changed for the Bonimart name, it remained a Towers until the Zellers takeover...

 

SOREL STORE
Like the previous email, the Sorel store was the last Bonimart store being built in Quebec, it turned into a Zellers.

LONGUEUIL (PLACE DESORMEAUX)
Built in 1972, there was no outside door. It shared anchors at Place Desormeaux with Zellers and Steinberg's (my uncle worked at the latter). Since Zellers was there at the time, the store was not used until Metro (yes, those who will replace Dominion and A&P in Ontario) rented the spot and turned into a Super C supermarket and threw away the IGA who took the place of Steinbergs (now a Winners store.)

GREENFIELD PARK (TASCHEREAU BLVD)
One of the original TOWERS built in the beginning of the 60s, shared with a IGA-Top Valu store and a Volkswagen dealer (no joke !). It had the infamous Bonimart face lift. The food store changed names many times: Dionne Econo-Mart (Loblaws franchise in Quebec for so many years!), Provigain, Provigo, then a used car dealership. Since a Zellers was built nearby, the store became the SUPER MERCADO flea market up to 2004, then the whole store was torn down to make way for a HOME DEPOT, and a IGA Extra nearby.

ST-LEONARD (VIAU BLVD)
Another Original 60s TOWERS, shared anchor with a couple of stores, plus a IGA Top Valu (later, became Dionne Econo-Mart, Provigain, Provigo and finally MAXI, who closed to move in a close-by former Steinberg-Miracle Mart complex). It had the Bonimart face-lift as well. Today, it is still a Zellers, who also took over the former Maxi space. The complex was called "Place Viau", and had several stores, a Canada Post office, now an infamous night club.

COTE DES NEIGES (DECARIE SQUARE)
In what was in one of Quebec's first 'Dead Malls' built in 1976, Square Decarie housed what was first a "Magasin Hypermarché" before turning to Bonimart. However the store was located in a semi-posh neighbourhood like Hampstead, no luck. People preferred the nearby Plaza Cote des Neiges. It closed at the end of the 80s. It was then turned into a Winners/Home Sense Store.

LAVAL (DUVERNAY)
The store was built as part of an expansion to turn a 60’s strip mall with already existing anchors like Steinberg's (now Metro), Woolworths (no more) and Zellers (which closed when Bonimart opened, then came back - see below). It opened in 1972. It was part of the Zellers takeover (a good excuse to be back in the mall). Dubbed unprofitable, Zellers closed to make way to Hart's, which remains in these days.

LAVAL (CENTRE 2000)
The store was known first as Hypermarché and opened in 1973. The combination of a TOWERS/FOOD CITY in one stop-shopping. However, Steinberg's did put a competition a few blocks away with Steinberg Beaucoup, the same concept at Carrefour Laval. In 1976, the food and department store segments split and the Magasin Hypermarché became a Bonimart shortly. Was a Zellers for a while then closed down due to unprofitability. It shared with Leon's Furniture, which is still standing. While Hypermarché is now torn down. Rumour says it might become Quebec's first Wal-Mart super-store.

CHATEAUGUAY
This is the last of the original 60’s stores. Shared anchor with Spot Discount-O Market (later a IGA then closed) and with "Consumers Distributing". It was part of the "Bonimart" makeover and was until the Zellers takeover. It is still a Zellers, and gained some unwanted fame in summer 1990 when the store was next to the Mohawk barricades and local residents took the parking for a protest.

ST-JEAN (BOUL DU SEMINAIRE)
It was a 70’s shopping mall with Bonimart and Food City (named Aliments Bonimart). Today, Zellers and IGA took over. It is still there!

A section of FOOD CITY bore the name of "ALIMENTS BONIMART" and "ALIMENTS HYPERMARCHÉ".  There was also BONIPRIX and BONI-SOIR who were send-offs.

QUÉBEC CITY (GALERIES QUATRE BOURGEOIS)
Part of a shopping mall had anchors like K-Mart and Beaver Lumber in the 70’s. Aliments Bonimart became "Aliments Hypermarché" before being bought by Steinberg's. When Steinberg was bought in 1992, IGA took the spot, then later moved in the former K-Mart. It is now a Rossy Department store.

SHERBROOKE (STAND ALONE STORE IN GRANDES FOURCHES BLVD)
It started as a "Aliments Hypermarché" for many years. When Steinberg's bought the store, it remained a Hypermarché before it closed. No other tenants since. Store might be demolished.

ST-LÉONARD (PLACE LANGELIER)
When IGA bought UNION MARKETS and SPOT DISCOUNT-O, this store was turned into Aliments Bonimart in 1975 (at the time, IGA was not part of Sobeys, but with Oshawa Group), then Aliments Hypermarché took over. When Hypermarché was sold to Steinberg's, IGA took the store and it located the spot until the beginning of 2000 when they moved across the street. Today it is a health food store shared with an audio-video store.

LAVAL (CENTRE 2000)
Laval was part of the Hypermarché (above) before the split and became Aliments Hypermarché. Steinberg bought the store and turned it into a fancy market place called Marché du Jour. When Steinberg went out of business, Provigo bought the store and turned into a giant Maxi. The store closed at the same time as Zellers, as it was deemed unprofitable. Centre 2000 became a dead mall and it is now demolished, stand alone a Leons Furniture and what may become a Walmart.

COTE DES NEIGES (DECARIE SQUARE)
The Aliments Hypermarché store was unique: it was one of the first markets to cater to the close-by Jewish community with a "Kosher Corner". There was also a "snack bar". The store was bought by Steinberg's. It kept the Hypermarché name, but at the front, the "S" logo was next. Later, the store reduced in size and it became a real Steinberg until 1992. However, another grocer took over and it did not work as the mall was not as popular as it should have been. (Decarie Square did never lift up as a popular shopping destination). Today, several stores occupy the spaces.

Mail St-Roch
There used to be another store in Quebec City. It was in the downtown portion part of Mail St-Roch (which does not exist anymore, thank God !), and was named Bonimart.

It was a "Bonimart" that was purchased at the end of the 70s from one of Quebec City's major department stores which went out of business. Bonimart was installed where "La Compagnie Paquet" used to do business for so many years in Quebec City, along with big department stores like "Laliberté" (still exists), "Pollack" (closed) and "Syndicat".

Bonimart took the Paquet space on Charest Boulevard (not related with a certain "Jean" who is Premier here in Quebec) and was there until Zellers took over up until the mid-90s.

However the Zellers closed too. The reason is that "Mail St-Roch" was not a popular place: it took over St-Joseph street in whole, cut a neighborhood like the former "Berlin Wall" (yep, part of the mall cut more than 5 streets, too much for traffic blocking...) and was infested with tramps. And the mall was not esthetic (trust me, I lived in Quebec City for a year, it was the real pits !)

However, a few years ago, the civic administration decided to tear down the strip mall and let the street be a street again.

But Bonimart did not live long enough to see this beautiful change...

Well, this concludes the adventures of "the Oshawa Group" in Quebec.

TOWERS remained a good memory of my early childhood. I maybe did not like the ugly popcorn machine at the beginning of the store, but I did enjoy one of my first root beer, coming out of the Hires "giant keg" tap at the snack bar.

Wish I had photos from these treasured times! Cheers and keep up the good work!

From: Alessandro Cornacchia

Date: July 27, 2008


WOW! It's amazing the things we can stumble on surfing around! I remember shopping at the Towers/Food City at Midland & Lawrence as a kid. I even still have family living there, so I've had the misfortune of seeing the evolution of that little plaza. With my retailing background and living my whole life in Toronto, I really appreciate seeing stuff like this. Great job, and thank you very much!

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From: Kevin Payne

Date: July 25, 2008


I love this site. As a kid growing up in the City of York in Toronto, my families weekly shopping trip consisted of shopping at both Towers and Food City at Westside Mall.

I remember the routine customer bag check stand. First it was a "manned" station where you were given a claim number. Then when it took too long to find "missing" parcels, it was switched to a lovely girl in her red and white trimmed uniform standing at the entrance with dated coloured strips of paper to staple to the bags as customers entered.

I also remember when 70's singing sensation Bobby Curtola made an appearance at the Westside Mall Store. Unfortunately the enclosed mall no longer stands. It was converted to a big box format type plaza a few years ago.

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From: John Trivisonno

Date: July 23, 2008

 

Dave, Very cool of you to send this to the Towers guy...

There was a Towers right over the backyard fence from my house when I was a kid (on Viau Street in Montreal). I think the name only changed to Bonimart sometime in the mid-70s (after someone bombed the place! I think the powers-that-be at Towers figured Bonimart might be a more "francophone-friendly" name, making the store less of a target for possible separatist/terrorist activities). That Towers location is now a Zeller's, by the way...

However, I was always more of a Miracle Mart kid (the department store that, I think, was owned by the late lamented Steinberg's grocery store chain in Montreal)... they had a pet department that sold actual live bats and monkeys. Can't beat that!

Best, John Trivisonno

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From: Dave LeBlanc

Date: July 23, 2008

 

Hey there,

A friend in Montreal (hey, John!) sent me a link to your site. I must say that at age 40, my memories of Towers are fairly foggy. I do remember going to the one at Lawrence and Midland with my parents when I was really little, but we lived rather far away in East York. By the time we moved to Scarborough in 1980, it had seen better days but I think I must have gone to it during that time too. 

Funnily enough, I now live about a 5 minute walk north of that first location (now a Price Chopper) in a neighbourhood built between 1958 - 61 called "Midland Park." It's a very Leave It To Beaver kind of place with carports and split-levels and big wide yards...good places to fill full of crap you would have bought at Towers, I guess.

I write a newspaper column for the Globe and Mail on housing and architecture and I often discuss this wonderful postwar era, by the way. I also work at venerable old radio station CFRB. In our rather limited audio archives, I came across this spot which aired before that Lawrence store opened. Voiced by Bill Deegan, I think. Love that "CBV". Anyhow, a little piece of radio history to go with your very good site.

You mention Woolco. I remember going there, too, but only because they had this big popcorn-like machine that made air-popped potato chips called "Flip Chips" that were very similar to today's Munchos in taste and texture...the only difference was you'd ask the clerk to shake on the flavour of your choice! Mmmmmmm, tasty memories.

Cheers,

Dave LeBlanc
AUDIO ENGINEER & "THE ARCHITOURIST"
Listen on CFRB Sunday & Wednesday
Read it in the GLOBE AND MAIL Friday
Astral Media Radio GP

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From: Jeff Sutton

Date: July 14, 2008

I came across your site today and I have to say, what a trip! I worked at the Waterloo store from 1984 to 1989 and have some great memories of the place!

Regarding your store list, there were in fact three Towers stores in the K-W area:

Kitchener had two stores: one at Stanley Park Mall (I don't remember the store number off hand - could have been store #3 but don't quote me on that) and one on Strasburg Road (store #57).

Waterloo had one store: 70 Bridgeport Road East (store #27).

I've still got a bunch of photos of the Waterloo store, taken right after the "Store of the Future" renovation. Let me know if you want to post them on your site.

I remember when we introduced bar-code scanning at the checkouts - Towers was the first retailer to introduce this futuristic technology, which of course is now a standard thing. I worked in a couple of different departments but from time to time during a busy period I had to do cash register duty - this was BEFORE bar codes!

Being a guy, I was glad we didn't have to wear the polyester uniforms! The dorky red jacket was bad enough. We had a strict manager who was really picky about the dress code - had to be a white shirt, black pants, black tie.

Oh and don't mention the word PLANOGRAM! Nightmares! LOL! I worked in Electronics/Health & Beauty/Stationery and saw my share of planograms. Toothpaste, school supplies, camera film...

While I don't live in K-W any longer, most of my friends who I still keep in touch with all worked at Towers back in the day. Thanks for the memories!

Jeff Sutton
Chief Operating Officer, Audit - Russia and the CIS
KPMG
Naberezhnaya Tower Complex, Block C
18, Krasnopresnenskaya Naberezhnaya
123317, Moscow, Russia 

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From: Mary Findlay

Date: July 7, 2008


I worked in Towers at Lawrence and Midland for 15 years. My name at that time was Mary Baillie and I worked on the courtesy desk with Myrna Camilleri, Linda Duncan, Dot Beagan and Sheila Cox. I always took my break with Betty Mclean. 

I loved working at Towers and think it was just like an extended family because everyone knew each other. Hope to hear from some fellow employees. We had a reunion a few years ago and I wish we could have another, soon.

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From: Randy McKeown

Date: July 8, 2008


I worked at the Villager Restaurant when I was 17 some 27 years ago. I learned a lot from a lady name Beryl and worked with Susan. I remember Towers for the midnight madness sales. The store I worked at was at Lawrence and Midland. We had McDonalds across the street and Burger King at the corner.

I remember we were having a big party and one of the girls working cash wanted me to go so much that she asked my mother to ask me to go. I had to close that Saturday night and not having any wheels, I did not make that party. I wish I did. Thanks for all the memories. Thanks for this site.

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From: Ron Chenier

Date: June 29, 2008


The original Towers store was opened in November 1960 in the Scarborough district of Toronto. This store was actually the first discount department store opened in Canada.

The Scarborough store and 12 stores which followed within a year and a half, in Ontario and Quebec, were owned by a company called Towers Marts and Properties (Canada) Limited. This was a Canadian subsidiary of a United States company known as International Towers Marts and Properties Limited.

Towers Marts acted as a landlord only, and not as a merchant. All the space within Towers stores was "rented ". The merchants who operated the various departments were concessionaires. The concessionaire was wholly responsible for the procurement of inventory and the operation of the individual departments within the store.

Towers Marts was responsible for the management of the shopping centres and provided services as cashiering, building maintenance, advertising and overall store management. 

In March 1963, the concessionaires formed Allied Towers Merchants Limited, and assumed the various property leases. From 1963 through 1966 the profitability increased tremendously.

In May 1967, The Oshawa Wholesale Limited acquired controlling interest in Towers and implemented the integration of Towers with Rite-Way Department Stores Limited.

COMPANY EXECUTIVES

 

  • William L. Atkinson (President & Chief Executive Officer)

  • Donald Beaumont (Vice President Marketing)

  • Edward Harsant (Vice President Operations)

  • Gordon Murray (Vice President Personnel)

  • John Share (Vice President Distribution & Warehousing)

  • Hugh Simpson (Vice President Merchandise Services)

  • Peter Davidson (Controller)

  • Wayne Cammack (Director Electronic Data Processing)

  • Robert Wilson (Director Loss Prevention)


When I was transferred to Sudbury in 1979 it was still under the name of Bonimart and the address is 100 Elm Street east Sudbury Ontario.

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From: Paul Okeefe

Date: June 9, 2008

Worked at Towers @ Kipling and Queensway from 1980 to 1987 as a stock-boy and paint dept part time guy all the way through high school and university on and off. Had a good time.

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From: Jay Smith

Date: June 7, 2008

 

Hi there,

First I want to commend you for bringing back memories of the old Towers Department Stores that existed in Canada, I particularly remember the one in Stratford. Here's a few locations for your consideration of the old Towers stores...

Stratford: 1067 Ontario Street

Owen Sound: 911 10th St W (it was a Zellers, and I am pretty positive it was a Towers, because the in and out signs to the parking lot had the exact same font used on the Towers logo.)

Kitchener-Waterloo: Two stores, one was I believe in the Stanley Park Mall and the other was, I think 70 Bridgeport Street in Waterloo.

They sure don't have stores like they used to anymore, I will say that. Thanks for the website and the pictures they bring back good times when I was a kid! Keep up the good work.

___________________________

 

From: Brian Hillier

Date: June 5, 2008


Hello Folks;

Just reviewing some of the posted memories with respect to Towers. I worked at the Lawrence Avenue East/Midland Avenue store in Scarborough in the early '70s. I was part of store security. My partner was Rae Veniot. We had some great times. 

Some people simply weren't satisfied with being in a discount retail store....they wanted to take the "five-finger" discount route. Even the odd police officer made it into our security office claiming "Oops..I forgot to pay".

I also have fond memories of working with great people. By the way, it's not an urban legend, the late John Candy did work at the store. This, of course, was before he became a big Hollywood talent.

I appreciate the contributions to this site and will check in on occasion to see if I come across some familiar names. 

___________________________

 

From: Neil Madore

Date: May 14, 2008

When I was younger, every Friday night my parents would go to Westside Mall (Towers) in Toronto/Eglinton Ave. to shop, and we would always eat at "The Villager" Cafeteria I believe it was called.

But I still have a clear view of the place in my head. As depressing as it is now, The Mall was all torn down now in the past 5 years and made into an outdoor\outside mall. I could remember the exact layout of the mall top to bottom.

Did I forget to thank WalMart (YEAH RIGHT) for ruining everything great about Canada. ZELLERS will be next probably, along with many more.

___________________________

 

From: Sammy

Date: May 10, 2008

 Hi, the Niagara Falls store was at Dorchester and Morrison. I think the Welland store was on East Main. Thanks!

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From: Jim Lowe

Date: May 8, 2008

 

Hi. I love the site! Thanks for bringing back some memories. Just some supplementary info on your listing for Barrie.

1) The first two photos are actually of the 320 Bayfield Street (Bayfield Mall) location - not the 450 Bayfield location. The Bayfield Mall location was not a Towers for very long - it became a Zellers for a few years before closing. Once Zellers closed, the location was turned into a more general mall area (including a bowling alley). A much larger Canadian Tire was eventually built out from the Zellers/Towers footprint.

2) The third photo is the 450 Bayfield location, but I'm pretty certain that the photo is of the current Walmart that was built on the site years later.

3) The 450 Bayfield location was fairly unique and one of the original large stores on Barrie's "Golden Mile". It was a large building with just two tenants (Towers & a grocery store - perhaps Miracle Food Mart?). The odd thing was that the stores shared a fairly small, common entrance with a few children's coin-op rides and (perhaps) a smoke-shop type of kiosk. It always struck me as strange that they didn't have street facing entrances for either store or, of course, any windows!  Best wishes.

___________________________

 

From: Mariellen Penrose

Date: May 4, 2008

 

Worked in the Towers Dept Store in the Rexdale Plaza, biggest store-2 floors- with special escalator taking the shopping carts from one floor to another. watching the ads being filming in the Store, the one I remember most-- for rugs.. curtains etc..

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From: Jeff Albert

Date: May 1, 2008

My dad Gerald Albert, his father Irving S. Albert, his uncle Alan Albert, and his brother Harvey Albert were all from the original group that started this great chain.

He and his father sold their family business Albert's Hardware Stores to open the Hardware & Houseware Concessions at what used to be called Allied Towers. I have lots of great pictures of store openings that I intend on sharing later. 

My father along with many other original concessioners, opened the 1st store on November 20th, 1960. 

In fact, he went onto to physically open 47 more. 

My dad started as the Houseware buyer and eventually was promoted to Merchandise Manager Houseware/Hardware/Pet. 

My father left Towers in 1974 to become the Vice President of Kent Drugs Limited another great company owned and operated by the Oshawa Group. My father will be 75 this year and has since retired. He now works with me 5 days a week in the Import and Distribution business. 

Can't keep a good man down!

More in the near future.

___________________________

 

From: Jason Boelhouwer

Date: April 25, 2008

 Good site and information.

This building (124 Plains Rd West, Burlington, Ontario) was just torn down last week. It was till then a Zellers location but as a child I grew up with it being a TOWERS. At the road there was an overhead lit “Entrance/Exit” sign with a big ‘T’ over it. I was able to salvage the sign from demolition and am in the process of trying to restore it. I do not however have a picture of the sign so I don’t know the colours.....

When I get it rebuilt, I’ll try to remember to send you a photo. Would this sign have been a standard sign ? would you have any pictures or other ones ? 

Local newspaper article from 2007 mentions dates for the store, as well as the owners (?) being the Wolfe family. As long as I can remember the site, it was part of the plaza. My oldest memories were that there was a Liquor store (filling out order cards from the list boards, to give the workers who would go get your order from the back) and a Dominion store that housed the first Aldershot Library (in the basement!!)

Have a great day.

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From: Paul Nowlan

Date: April 10, 2008

 

Good site and information.

Towers in Westwood Mall in Malton was previously another small Toronto area retail chain which Towers bought around 1974-75, and converted to Towers. 

At the time I was assistant manager in the Scarborough (Midland and Lawrence store). Received a call from Alex Kennedy who at the time was VP Operations, called me to his office on Orfus Rd. and informed that I was promoted to store manager of this Westwood Mall Store.

Went on to manage stores in Charlottetown, St. Catharine’s, High Park and Jane and Finch. 

Spent 4 weeks in Laval helping the setup of the Hypermarché in Laval, what a great time we had. Glen Hacking was the GM of this new concept.

When in Charlottetown Ed Harsant was my district manager and when in St. Catharine’s Jonathan Wolfe and George Campbell were my DM’s. Jonathan who went on to become CEO of the Oshawa Group and later resigned, family dispute.

Remember those plan-o-grams well as I did the project for the health and beauty aids dept. Bill Mitchell was the head buyer for this dept at the time and on the operations end Howard Bidloff was in charge.

Got lots of great memories of my years at Towers.

The last day of one sale is the first day of the next, remember the crazy TV commercials, those were produced on location in the Rexdale Blvd. store where I was first working for Towers. Manager was Bob Hoag...

Will keep in touch.

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From: Craig Jackman

Date: April 1, 2008

 

Hey!

I used to work at the Kanata store, started there before it opened in fact … ah, the memories … Planograms … and still might have one of the crappy red jackets in the back of the closet.

You're missing 2 Ottawa stores from your list.

- Shoppers City West at the corner of Baseline Rd and Woodroffe Ave. Now demolished to make way for new development … good thing too, it was a rats nest.

- Cyrville Rd. The building might still exist.

Craig Jackman - Production Supervisor
105.3 KISS FM - CHEZ 106 - Y101- Oldies 1310 - 92.3 JACK FM 

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From: Don Segal

Date: March 22, 2008

 

Ely Segal and the beginning of Towers

Ely is my father. He is currently very ill but his illness caused me to check the internet for Towers information.

Ely Segal went to Toronto from his home in Connecticut in 1960 to start the Canadian branch of the Towers Department Stores in 1960 in conjunction with Canadian president Ben Rosenberg. He was vice president and was paid per store opening, so I believe he opened 10 stores in the 12 months we lived there, from Ontario to Quebec. 

I remember going to the recording studio to make the jingles, "Hey Look Us Over" in both English and French. My father's French classes in high school served him well. Who would have known!

Anyways, we lived across the street from the Rosenbergs on Strathearn Road in Toronto for one year, then returned to the home office then based on New York City. Then of course, by 1963 the American operation went bankrupt, but the Canadian one went on in glory to be eventually absorbed by Zellers.

My Dad has several stories about the hoards of people lining up hours before grand openings to get free stuff. The best story was that for one grand opening in Quebec, they were offering Spider Monkeys, yes, real Spider Monkeys, for either free or very cheap. Well, they were shocked that they ran out of inventory!!! Who would have thought...

Anyways, we had a wonderful year in Toronto before returning to New Jersey. 

Take care

Don Segal

[Editor:  Don sent an electronic copy of an extraordinary document - the Towers Times from July 1962. Click here to see a web page devoted to it.]

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From: Arnold Smith

Date: February 28, 2008

 

The Flintstones come to Towers! I remember being about 4 years old (1968) when "Fred" &"Barney" from The Flintstones came to the Towers Parking Lot at the Scarborough store. I lived just south of Lawrence, off Brimley Road.

 

There was a stage where the oversized characters (much like you would see at Wonderland today) sang and danced and told jokes. Funny...even at 4, I was still aware and yet slightly disappointed that they were only guys in suits...and not the real Fred & Barney. Just like when I fell asleep when my parents took me to see The Ice Follies featuring Snoopy. (It's not Snoopy, just some guy in a Snoopy outfit!!) But I enjoyed the show no less.

But I think the highlight of the Fred & Barney show was that they had Fred's Flintmobile car set up at the west end of the store and I got my picture taken in it. I still have the photo somewhere. If I can find it, and if you would like a scanned copy, I can send it to you.

Many years later, like 1977, there was a guy in my high school that used to have a steal-to-order Record shoplifting enterprise. Students (not me, I guarantee you. My parents would have put me under bright lights and attached electrodes to my armpits while they interrogated me where the record came from) would basically tell the shoplifter what record they wanted, he would go to Towers during lunch, and come back with the record (or 2 or 3) in the front of his coat, obviously a vocation only performed in colder temperatures.

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From: Rob

Date: February 25, 2008


Nice web site. I remember Towers fondly. Was there not a Towers at Bridlewood Mall in Scarborough (north/west corner of Warden & Finch)? You may want to check into that. I seem to remember that it was in the lower level at the north end of the mall (there also used to be a Kmart on the upper level at the south end of the mall). The Towers then ended up as a Zellers and then the Zellers itself moved into the old Kmart space about six or seven years ago. 
 

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From: Wil S.

Date: February 16, 2008


Thanks for choosing my Flickr pic of my Towers button for your front page! Much appreciated!

As a teenager, I worked for a summer at the Food City in Belleville, that was paired with a Towers (of course, both being part of the Oshawa Food Group). But I grew up with Towers, and I remember, as a kid, wandering all around the store, buying snacks at the restaurant, looking at and buying movie and music posters, books, etc. 

There was a pharmacy there where my family got prescriptions; there was a gas station at the far end of the property, where I often filled up when I got my '365'. 

It is so strange to drive by there now, and see a call centre, Stream. Ah well; times change. But nice to see lots of folks remembering Towers fondly. Love your site!

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From: Bj Arsenault

Date: February 10, 2008


I worked for Towers in the Summerside store in the Waterfront Mall on Water Street East for the summer of 1975 when I was 19 years old. 

I was working in the Records and Cameras section because I had been also a student disc jockey (BJ the DJ on CJRW) since the age of 15 at the local radio station CJRW so it was an appropriate match. 

Towers is no more there like everywhere else. 

Zellers took it over as a second Zellers, then closed it down, and there is now a Wal*Mart at the other end of town not far from the surviving Zellers. 

That radio station which ran the "The last day of one sale ..." jingles is another sign of the times: computer operated, no longer Island or family-owned, and part of a large chain of radio stations. 

Good luck with your site. 

Bj

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From: Doug (Brampton, Ontario)

Date: February 9, 2008


The picture you have of the Brampton store is actually the second Towers location on Main St. North. The original was on the comer of Queen St West and McLaughlin Rd. -- it closed and moved to the 2nd location. I used to work at the adjoining IGA. The first Brampton store was originally a Rite-Way Discount store that Towers purchased in the 1960s.

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From: S. Vendrame

Date: February 6, 2008


Just a slight correction. The mall that Towers was in Malton is called Westwood Mall, not Malton Mall. Also, you may also want to know that that Towers location was converted to a Zellers store, which closed not too long after Zellers opened another store in the nearby Woodbine mall.

Since then the upper floor of the store has been closed to the public. The bottom part was used as storage for a while, and then briefly for a low budget discount store (I think it may have been Bi-way, but I'm not sure). Now it's a small furniture store, which only uses a fraction of the bottom floor.

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From: Rafal Bilyk

Date: February 6, 2008


There was a Towers store in St. Catharines, ON, on Carlton and Bunting Streets. 

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From: Gord Adams

Date: February 4, 2008

My father worked at the Head Office for 20+ years until it was sold to Zellers. I remember the office on Orfus Road in Toronto. The memories from the office staff (so many to be exact) they were so wonderful to me.

My father worked as a supervisor in the mailroom. Not much to control but he had more on his plate then anyone could imagine. He almost ran the office. LOL.

As it moved to Mississauga, they ran into headaches do to the airplanes leaving the runway. That industrial park in Malton has changed and I miss working up there.

As time marched on I joined the sister division Oshawa Foods (Food City's Head Office). Lot's of memories there 2.

That's it for now, if I remember more I know where to leave my memories.

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From: Carole Miller

Date: February 2, 2008

The Sudbury Towers Store #48 (I believe) when it open was a Bonimart for a number of years until they exchanged the sign for a Towers sign with a Quebec store. In doing so, the special flyers that were been produce for us & them were a savings. The location in the City Center today is presently a Hart Dept Store after the Zellers closed. 

I started with Towers in Sudbury in 1974, worked for them till it purchases. Stores that were Towers that I have work in was the old Barrie store (to help clear) & the new Barrie Store (to help set-up), the Bracebridge Store (to help set-up), Finch & Warden (but at the time it was Zellers) as I return after a month of been off. I also work in store #58.

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From: Mac Sinclair

Date: January 1, 2008


Great site. Hope to see some names I recognize! Worked in Owen Sound, Belleville and Kanata.

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From: Patrick Perron

Date: January 20, 2008


I came across your site via Wikipedia. It's really great. I have great memories on the towers in Ottawa from when I was a child --my grand-parent's used to take me shopping for toys ;-)
I recently moved in a new house and I'm having fun painting a picture of what the neighbourhood looked like when it was built in the early 70s.

A nearby mall, Place Desormeaux, had a Bonimart. The current location is now a Super C grocery store.

Great site ...
Thanks,
Pat

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From: Mac Sinclair

Date: January 16, 2008

There was a store In Owen Sound, Ont. I believe it was on 10th St W. Not sure when it opened but I started working there in 1974 before being transferred at the age of 19 to Belleville and then Kanata.

I will try to recall the store numbers and get back to you.

Great site, brings back many memories. Hope you keep adding info as you go.

It would be great if you could set-up some sort of “Guest Book” that former employees could sign and possibly leave their email addresses. Just a thought.

Thanks again,
Mac Sinclair

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From: Elayne (Naiman) Freeman

Date: January 5, 2008

Thanks for creating the Towers Site, which my cousin Linda Rossman emailed me today. 

The opening of the first Towers Store at Lawrence and Midland in November 1960 stands out vividly in my mind today. 

Although I was only 9, I recall being taken there by our grandfather LEO HERTZMAN*. (Leo was the founder and owner of UNITED CLOTHING STORES and brought my father ARNOLD NAIMAN and his son HAROLD HERTZMAN into the men’s clothing business.) As mentioned they were responsible for the men’s department of the Towers Department Stores.

When we arrived at the store that day it felt like the circus with lots of excitement, bright lights, activity and hoopla. I remember frequent announcements being made on what was then referred to as the loudspeaker system. I had never been behind the scenes in a big department store and felt very privileged to be allowed into the stock room. I especially recall piles of men's pants and socks. 

In the years that followed, my dad always brought home lots of socks around Christmas time, not to be hung by the chimney (we did not celebrate Christmas) but to be given out as gifts to the postman, the mailman and milkman. To this day I think of that when I’m trying to figure out what to give to our mailman. 

When my dad passed away in 2000 we had a call from a man who had read his obit in the paper and he related the following story:

In 1960, this fellow of 16 and had just come to Canada from Italy. The first job he applied for was as a stock boy at Towers. My dad asked him if he had any retail experience. He said no, but my dad noticed he had a yo-yo in his pocket. My dad then asked him if he could do any yo-yo tricks: walk the dog, around the world, the zipper. Although his English was lousy his yo-yo tricks were great. My dad, who had been a yo-yo champ himself, hired him on the spot. 

If I can recall any more Towers memories I’ll forward them to you.

Thanks again for your efforts.

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From: Linda Rossman

Date: January 3, 2008


My brother told me about your website and I just looked at it for the first time tonight (Jan. 3- 2008). Kudos to whomever it was that started the site; sentimentality has an important place as we grow older. 

My father and 2 uncles were the founders and owners of the Towers menswear section; they were involved from the very outset & inception of the Towers chain. They ran a very successful operation for many years and were proud to be part of the discount revolution. My dad worked very hard and was away on business a lot. 

My brothers and I recall going to the openings of various Tower stores in the Toronto area as they were all 'an event' complete with balloons and huge crowds. I felt so special as 'the owner's daughter'!! We would play and roam in the inventory and warehouses at the back of the stores, feeling very privileged to be there. It was a lot of fun for us as young teens. 

My family eventually sold their business interests to an American company (around 1964 I think). If of interest, I can supply more info.

 

2007

 

From: Jean-François De Gagné (Laval)

Date: December 26, 2007

Hello There,
There was a Bonimart retail store in Laval Quebec. It was located in the Centre Duvernay, located at 3100 boul. Concorde East. It changed to Zellers in 1990 and to Hart in 2004.

Regards 
Jean-François De Gagné

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From: Jane Clarkson (Ontario)

Date: December 22, 2007

Hi, my maiden name was Jane Denison McKenzie. I worked in the head office 110 Orfus Road from 1974-1979. I left as a Home Furnishings Buyer, worked for Doug Waddell as my boss. I bought curtains and draperies, and the category of lighting. I also worked with Ron Furgeson. Don Beaumont became the CEO. I attended Chamber School of Retailing, does anybody remember me. Is Doug Waddell still alive?

I was just wondering if there is anybody still alive. I was very young then, a full buyer by the time I was 28, well now I'm 55, so most of the people I worked with were at least 20 years older than I am, age 75 at least.

I just wondered if any of them might remember me, or if they get in contact with you, forward it on to me. I did a lot of store visits also, and I knew there was 50 stores back then. Jane

I also remembered that a lot of the curtains and drapes were supplied by Daisy Decorative, The Cader family. 

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From: Ben (Renfrew, Ontario)

Date: December 14, 2007

Hi there! Came across your site and I have some stuff to contribute. I have attached some Google Earth shots showing where Towers was in Barrie and Kanata, plus some other aerial shots showing the Peterborough and Collingwood locations, as well as the later Barrie location shortly after the change to Zellers.

Stores in Ontario:
Barrie - 450 Bayfield St. - not sure when this Towers-Food City duplex closed, most likely when the Bayfield Mall store opened. The building became a flea market, and in 1998-99 the building was torn down to make way for the city's second Wal-Mart store.

Barrie - Bayfield Mall - I think Towers opened up shop here in the early 80s, when the mall expanded. This location became a Zellers, even though there was already a big two-level Zellers in the Kozlov Centre a few blocks up. The Bayfield Mall Zellers closed in the mid-late 90s, and part of that former store is now occupied by Canadian Tire. Price Chopper and CDI College are now in CTC's former space, which I have heard was a Sayvette store when Bayfield Mall first opened.

Belleville - 540 Dundas St. W. - this Towers-Food City complex on the city's southwest edge closed in 1999 or 2000, and is now partly occupied by a Stream International call centre - Belleville's second-largest employer. The Towers store became Zellers, and Food City was eventually branded IGA in the late 90's. Zellers is still open in Belleville, but in a newer, larger freestanding store on Bell Boulevard, the city's major retail strip. Last time I came to the old store was in spring 1999, pretty close to the end.

Collingwood - 55 Mountain Rd. - I was born in Collingwood, and spent my first three years just down the road in Stayner. At the time, my mother was a cashier at Collingwood's Towers store, now a Zellers which has since expanded. I think this is how we got a Towers toy tractor-trailer when we were kids. Wasn't it Tonka who made those big toy trucks? What comes to mind when I think of the Collingwood Towers store?

▪ the candy shelves (and packs of Maltesers) near the checkout lanes
▪ Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" playing over the speakers
▪ walking (or running) to the toys in the southeast corner of the store

Oshawa - Bond Street downtown. In 2002 I passed through downtown Oshawa on a Greyhound bus, and vaguely remember seeing the "Towers" logo on a building across from the city bus terminal. From what I could see in Google Earth, it looks like they had a store at the NE corner of Bond and Centre Streets.

Peterborough - 950 Lansdowne St. W. - this Towers-Food City duplex first opened in the mid-1960s, and the Towers store is now a Zellers which has since gone through two expansions. The Food City store is now a Price Chopper. I remember getting lost one time in Peterborough's Towers store in the late 1980s, and was so embarrassed when I heard my misfortune being announced over the intercom. Who hasn't gone missing in a department store at a young age? Also, during a visit to Peterborough in 2002, I spotted a rusted/faded Towers trailer outside the IGA on Sherbrooke Street. Chances are it's still there. 

Other little memories of Towers Peterborough:

▪ those weird juice dispensers in the restaurant
▪ the breezeway/smoke shop/whatever it was that separated Towers from Food City
▪ a poster for Michael Jackson's "Moonwalker" in the electronics dept.
▪ it seemed like there was always at least one "dead" letter on the sign above the main entrance, e.g. "to ers"

Other general memories of Towers:
▪ radio and TV ads (the "everything connects" line doesn't really ring a bell for me)
▪ the fancy NCR cash registers, and no barcode scanners that I remember
▪ cashiers had to manually key in SKUs or whatever was on the price sticker.
▪ the Degrassi scene(s) shot at one of the Toronto-area stores (Carlaw?)

Good job so far, and I'd love to see some more photos etc. from Towers stores through the 1980s!

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From: Eric

Date: December 8, 2007

Hello. Had fun reading your site. Irecall some Bonimart stores in Quebec:

Laval (Centre 2000) 
Sorel (Promenades de Sorel) - must have been one of the newest Bonimart open in Quebec, it opened in a new shopping center and approx 2 years later the switch to Zellers was made.

I also recall a towers store in Collingwood Ontario.

ciao

Éric L

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From: Jason

Date: November 29, 2007

I was looking at your website about Towers stores. Great fun. I know of 4 locations in Montreal. 

There was one on Viau Street, near the Met. It was a Bonimart/IGA and something else. The something else space is now a huge nightclub. The Bonimart a Zellers and the IGA now a Loblaws owned maxi store. 

The Decarie Square location is now a Winners/Homesense and offices. (Decarie Square is a mall that flopped, very modern, never successful.) 

There was the Chateauguay store. The building had an IGA, Bonimart and a Consumers Distributing. The IGA closed in 95 and became Aventure Electronique, moved to the Consumers location in 96 before going under. The Zellers has since taken over the IGA space as well. 

Finally the Super Mercado flea market (now torn down) in Greenfield Park was probably the last intact Bonimart around. I went to this flea market in 1995 and it was still red and white - inside even the washrooms claimed to be inspected hourly by the Bonimart manager.

Also in Ottawa near St Laurent there was a Towers that is still standing but is now something to do with the federal government. They built a 6 story office building on the front of the store. 

The Ottawa, Greenfield Park, Chateauguay and Viau locations were architecturally identical.

Bonimart was a part of my childhood. They had the greatest toy department. For a company that was doing so bad the place was always packed on weekends right up until the end. Zellers never got those crowds!

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From: Jamie

Date: November 23, 2007

Cool site, I really liked the vintage ad pictures. There was a Towers store located in London, ON at Wellington Road, south of the 401. Hope this helps.

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From: Andrew

Date: November 19, 2007

My community of Bedford Nova Scotia had a Towers Store in the Bedford Place Mall. This store had opened around 1978. I remember my mom taking me to Towers to buy toys when I was very small though I vaguely remember it. 

The unique thing about this store is that Bedford already had a Zellers store across the street and at the time of buyout so this store had become a Bay Department Store. 

In 1996 Zellers moved across the street into the former Towers store as it was bigger than it's old location. 

I currently work for Zellers at this location and periodically I get customers who still remember when it was Towers. An interesting point is that the local taxi company still refers to the Bedford Place Mall main entrance as the "Towers entrance" instead of Zellers. Another location for Towers was in Cole Harbour Nova Scotia which is now Zellers store 091.