Stores

Last update May 13, 2019

It was common knowledge that much of the Towers look was "inspired" by a major retailer in the United States - Target. The red and white colour scheme is a good example. Even the overhead signing - nothing fancy, just a piece of wood, painted red with large white lettering - was the same. Merchandising of department counters and checkouts matched closely Target's approach. Target's control of where and how merchandise would be placed was through the use of Planograms.  If you worked for Towers you KNEW what a planogram was!

Towers/Bonimart stores - alphabetical

Aldershot 23  (Towers)

  • 124 Plains Road, Burlington, Ontario (Aldershot Plaza)

  • Opened August 22, 1961

  • "There may be some who feel business dangers are presented to a community with a venture of this kind," said Burlington mayor John A. Lockhart. "But I feel certain it will attract thousands of people for miles around." (The Hamilton Spectator, October 26, 2007)

  • Towers Store on Plains Road West. Before and after photos in Aldershot where Towers department store was built in the early 1960s." Article

 

Barrie 55  (Towers)

Baseline 54  (Towers)

  • 1980 Baseline Rd., Ottawa, Ontario 

  • Opened ~1970s

  • Now a Loblaws.

 

Bedford 61  (Towers)

  • 1658 Bedford Hwy., Bedford, Nova Scotia (Bedford Place Mall) Google Earth

  • Opened in 1977, became the Bay in 1991, closed in 1995. Zellers opened in 1996 and closed on March 13, 2013. Became a Target on September 17, 2013 and closed on April 12, 2015.

 

Belleville 25  (Towers)

 

Bridgewater 74  (Towers)

 

Bracebridge 67 (Towers)    

  • 505 Hwy. 118 W, Bracebridge, Ontario (Bracebridge Shopping Centre) Google Earth view

 

Brantford 40 (Towers)

 

Brampton 46  (Towers)

  • 400 Queen St. West, Brampton, Ontario Google Earth

  • This store later closed and moved to Hwy 10.

  •  Later moved to Kingspoint Plaza (Main St., Hwy 10 and English), became a Zellers, currently divided into retail space. Google Earth view

  • What it looks like now.
     

Chateauguay 44 (Bonimart)

  • 15 Boul. St. Jean Baptiste, Montréal, Québec Google Earth

  • C. Leduc writes: "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."

  • Facebook page

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "Châteauguay store is now torn down for a residential complex. Part of the parking lot is now used to connect both St-Francis and Industrial Boulevards."

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

Charlottetown 71 (Towers)    

 

Cole Harbour 64 (Towers)   

Collingwood 63 (Towers)   

  • 55 Mountain Road, Collingwood, Ontario (Blue Mountain Mall) Google Earth view

  • Opened October 21, 1980

  • Became a Zellers, closed 2013

 

Cyrville 42 (Towers)   

  • 1205 Cyrville Road, Ottawa, Ontario Google Earth

  • Opened 1962

  • The Ottawa Citizen article about the opening - published Monday, August 13, 1962.

  • Here's a CBC film shot in the store on April 14, 1963 - Easter.

 

Dartmouth 64 (Towers)


Decairie 73 (Bonimart) 

  • 6855 Clanranald Ave., Montreal, Québec (Decairie SquareGoogle Earth

  • Opened late 70s

  • C. Leduc writes: "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."

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "Rumors mention that Decarie Square might be transformed due to new ownership. Time will tell."

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

 
Dixie 26  (Towers)

  • Dixie and Dundas, Mississauga, Ontario (Dixie Plaza) Google Earth

  • Opened July 1961

  • Circa 1970 photo

  • What it looks like now.
     

Dufferin & Dupont 47 (Towers)

 

Finch & Warden 59 (Towers)   

  • 2900 Warden Ave. , Toronto, Ontario (Bridlewood MallGoogle Earth 

  • Opened 1975

  • Toronto Star article, February 8, 1982: "Al Ilumji has come a long way since a car accident three years ago turned his world upside down. In Scarborough, 130 employees of Towers department store at Warden and Finch, where his father works,raised about $2,500 to buy him a wheelchair, walker, leg braces and an orthopedic bed. ​Store manager Earl Wilson said everyone benefited from this project. 'We were able to help Al and we also helped ourselves because we did something as a group outside the workplace which brought us a lot closer together.'"

  • "I used to love the Towers Department store in Bridlewood Mall. Personally, I think the mall just isn't the same without it. I think I liked it better in the mid-1980s. I saw a Towers shopping cart outside of a storeroom at The Bay not too long ago." May 3, 2010

  • What it looks like now.
     

Goreway 60 (Towers)

Greenfield Park 28 (Bonimart)

  • 5000 Boul. Taschereau, Montreal, Québec (Mall Carnaval) Google Earth

  • Opened October 5, 1961

  • Some history

  • C. Leduc writes: "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."

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

Hazeldean 62 (Towers)

  • 300 Eagleson Rd. , Kanata, Ontario (Hazeldean Mall) Google Earth view  

  • Opened 1979

  • "In the beginning, the north-end anchor was Towers department store which was eventually replaced by Zellers. When Zellers closed, it was replaced by a Target department store. Since Target Canada went bankrupt, this anchor space has been vacant. Many smaller retailers have also left the mall."

  • Became a Zellers, as of September 17, 2013, became a Target.

High Park 22 (Towers)

  • 2290 Dundas St. West, Toronto, Ontario (High Park) Google Earth

  • Opened June 14, 1962

  • Currently empty.

  • Time capsule buried somewhere outside store: "TIME CAPSULE. Not to be opened to the year 2062. Containing Canadian Educational Historical And Photographic Data Of The Year 1962. Sponsored by Towers Marts and Properties Limited."

  • What it looks like now.

Jane and Finch 38 (Towers)

3929 Jane St. Toronto, Ontario (Jane Finch Mall) Google Earth

  • Towers Jane and Finch is referenced many times throughout this 1975 report from the Ontario Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs (Taxation and Fiscal Policy Branch) entitled "Minimum adequate budget lines for families and single individuals in Toronto, 1975"

  • Jane and Finch store advertises for people to  "...join us to help us extend fast and effective service to our new TOWERS customers in our 28th store!
    We need people for Stock Boys, Cash Room Clerk, Bookkeeping Clerk, Staff Supervisor/Head Cashier, Janitor​, Hardware, Housewares and Pets,Toys, Sporting Goods, and Stationery, Cameras and Records, Furniture and appliances.​
    Towers has excellent programmed salary scales and many employee benefits which range all the way from special Christmas Bonus for all employees to 3 weeks vacation after 5 years for full time employees."

  • A memory

  • What it looks like now.
     

Kipling/Queensway 53 (Towers)   

1255 The Queensway, Toronto, Ontario Google Earth

 

Kitchener 65 (Towers)

700 Strasburg Road, Kitchener, Ontario (Forest Glen Mall) Google Earth

 

Laval 70 (Bonimart)   
Montreal, Québec (Centre Commercial Deux Mall)

  • Opened late 1970s

  • C. Leduc writes: "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."

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

Laval, Centre 2000 (Bonimart)

  • C. Leduc writes: 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."

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "Hypermarché Laval, torn down a way long ago, will be replaced by residential and business suites after a long debate. Yes, a Walmart was built, but on a field 250 metres west from the real site !"

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

  

London 32 (Towers) Google Earth

1441 Wellington Road, London, Ontario  (Treasure Island Plaza)

 

Metropolitan 24 (Bonimart) Google Earth

7600 rue Viau, Montreal, Québec (Place Viau)       

  • Opened October 6, 1961

  • C. Leduc writes: "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. The complex was called "Place Viau", and had several stores, a Canada Post office, now an infamous night club."

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "Place Viau store was torn down and now replaced by a new complex including Walmart superstore, Dollarama, Marshalls and Michaels Art store."

 
New Minas 45 (Towers)
Google Earth
9121 Commercial St., New Minas, Nova Scotia

Niagara Falls 39 (Towers) Google Earth

6777 Morrison St. , Niagara Falls, Ontario (Niagara Falls Plaza)   

 

Newmarket 66 (Towers)

1-1111 Davis Dr, Newmarket, Ontario Google Earth

  • Though on the planning board, this location never did open.

  • Location now a Walmart.

 

North Bay 58 (Towers)

1899 Algonquin Ave.,North Bay, Ontario Google Earth

 

Oakville 41 (Towers) 

Trafalgar Rd. & Leighland, Oakville, Ontario Google Earth

 

Owen Sound 37 (Towers)   

911 10th St W, Owen Sound, Ontario (Sunset Strip) Google Earth 

  • Opened May 1967  

  • "Goodbye to Zellers/Towers (Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, October 21, 2003) The Zellers Select store on the Sunset Strip will close its doors for the last time Saturday at 6 p.m. after 35 years in business. The store was called Towers when it opened in June 1968 – the first “big-box” store to set up shop in or near the city. Towers and adjoining grocery store Food City – now IGA – opened up the strip to the Grey County Mall, McDonald’s, Burger King, Canadian Tire and numerous automobile dealerships. Zellers took over the Towers chain in 1991."

 

Peterborough 35  (Towers)

950 Lansdowne St. W., Peterborough, Ontario Google Earth  

  • Opened late 1960s     

 

Place Desormeaux 50 (Bonimart)

2877 Chemin de Chambly, Montreal, Québec (Place Desormeaux ) Google Earth

  • Opened May 19, 1971

  • 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.)

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

 
Place Duvernay 51 (Bonimart)

3100 Boul. de la Concorde E., Laval, Québec (Place Duvernay) Google Earth

  • Opened mid 1970s     

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "Duvernay Laval store is shared by "Hart", "SAQ" (equivalent of LCBO), a mega-gym and "Pharmaprix/Shoppers Drug Mart"."

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

 

Place St. Jean 49 (Bonimart)

400 Boul. Seminaire, Montreal, Québec (Place St-Jean) Google Earth

  • C. Leduc writes: "It was a 70’s shopping mall with Bonimart and Food City (named Aliments Bonimart). 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."

  • Now an IGA Extra

  • ~1970 photo

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "St-Jean's Bonimart store became an IGA Extra after it's Zellers' run, moved from the former "Aliments Bonimart/Hypermarché". The old "Place St-Jean" was remodeled."

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

Quebec City (GALERIES QUATRE BOURGEOIS)

  • C. Leduc writes: "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."

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "The Bonimart in downtown Quebec City (which was "La Compagnie Paquet") which was also a Zellers, is now a major toy shop."

 

Rexdale 43 (Towers)   

2267 Islington Ave., Toronto, Ontario (Rexdale Mall) Google Earth

Riverdale 30 (Towers)   

447 Carlaw Ave., Toronto, Ontario Google Earth

Saint John 52 (Towers)

  • Prince Edward St., Saint John, NB Google Earth

  • Opened 1973

 
Scarborough 21 (Towers)

2650 Lawrence Ave. E., Toronto, Ontario Google Earth

  • Read about alumnus John Candy, comedic actor - he worked part-time, in the pet department, 1968-69.

  • What it looks like now.

 

Sorel 68 (Bonimart)   

450 Boul. Poliquin, Québec City, Québec Google Earth

  • The Sorel store was the last Bonimart store built in Quebec.  

  • Became a Zellers; as of October 18, 2012, became a Walmart.

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "Sorel's Bonimart became a Walmart after its Zellers run by 2013."

 

Ste. Foy 29 (Towers/Bonimart)   

2700 Boul. Laurier, Québec City, Québec Google Earth

  • Opened October 1, 1961

  • C. Leduc writes: "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). By the way, the Quebec City Store never changed for the Bonimart name, it remained a Towers until the Zellers takeover..."

  • Became a Zellers; on October 18, 2013, became a Target.

  • Claude Leduc provides an update (June 3, 2019): "I mentioned that Quebec City Place Laurier's store kept the Towers name. But I do stand corrected: it was renamed Bonimart in the 1980s. (Got a photo for proof). It is now a Walmart superstore after being Zellers and the short-runned Target."

  • Photos - Bonimart stores in Quebec

Ste. Roche 41 (Boninmart)

​Mail Saint-Rock, St-Joseph street, Quebec City

 

Stoney Creek 31 (Towers)   

640 Queenston Rd., Hamilton, Ontario Google Earth

 

Stratford 57 (Towers)   

1067 Ontario St.,, Stratford, Ontario Google Earth

  • Opened 1961     

 

Sudbury 48 (Towers)   

100 Elm St., Sudbury, Ontario  (City Centre Mall) Google Earth

 

St. Catherines 33 (Towers)   

366 Bunting Rd., St. Catherines, Ontario Google Earth 

  • Opened September 14, 1961

 
Summerside 72  (Towers)   
100 Water St., Summerside, PEI (Waterfront Mall)
Google Earth

  • Opened 1974     

 

Westside 34 (Towers)   

2400 Eglinton Ave. W., Toronto, Ontario (Westside Mall) Google Earth

  • What it looks like now.
     

Waterloo 27 (Towers)   

70 Bridgeport Road East Waterloo, Ontario (First City Plaza) Google Earth

  • Opened 1961

  • Became a Zellers; now a Walmart.

 

Welland 36 (Towers)   

1000 East Main St., Welland, Ontario Google Earth

  • As a Zellers store, it closes - video.      

 
Woodstock 56 (Towers)   

645 Dundas St., Woodstock, Ontario Google Earth

  • Now a Foodland.

 

 

Towers/Bonimart stores by district

Thanks to Bill Douglas for providing this list of stores by district as at 1990.

 

District 1
Dale Stoke, District Manager
25    Belleville
35    Peterborough
42    Cyrville
54    Baseline
62    Hazeldean
      
District 2
Al Waechter, District Manager
27    Waterloo
32    London
40    Brantford
56    Woodstock
57    Stratford
65    Kitchener
      
District 3
Bob Hogg, District Manager
23    Aldershot
26    Dixie
31    Stoney Creek
33    St. Catherine
36    Welland
39    Niagara Falls
      
District 4
Roger Delledone, District Manager
34    Westside
38    Jane & Finch
43    Rexdale
46    Brampton
53    Kipling & Queensway
60    Goreway
      
District 5
George Campbell, District Manager
21    Scarborough
22    High Park
30    Riverdale
47    Dufferin & Dupont
59    Finch & Warden
66    Newmarket
      
District 6
Al Hammond, District Manager
37    Owen Sound
48    Sudbury
55    Barrie
58    North Bay
63    Collingwood
67    Bracebridge
      
District 7
Jacques Valence, District Manager
24    Metropolitan
29    Ste. Foy
41    Ste. Roche
44    Chateauguay
51    Place Duvernay
      
District 8
Mike Sanfacon, District Manager
28    Greenfield Park
49    Place St. Jean
50    Place Desormeaux
68    Sorel
70    Laval
      
District 9
Art Peck, District Manager
45    New Minas
52    Saint John
61    Bedford
64    Dartmouth
71    Charlottetown
72    Summerside

Towers/Bonimart map

Map of all Towers and Bonimart store locations.  Thanks to Kevin. K. for this contribution.

Going. Going. Gone. How much for a store?

Chain  |  Date  |  $Millions/Store  |  Store Size (sq.ft.)
Simpsons    1979    $14.0    150,000
Future Shop    2001    $7.0    25,000
Towers/Bonimart    1990    $3.6    67,000
Miracle Food Mart    1990    $3.4    25,000
Woolco    1994    $2.9    120,000
Dominion    1984    $1.5    25,000
Zellers    1980    $1.2    65,000
K-Mart    1997    $1.2    85,000
BiWay    2001    $0.4    5,000

Other defunct Canadian retailers

  • Andrew's

  • The Arcade - St. John's, Nfld.-based discount variety store chain (1938-1995).

  • Ayre and Sons - Newfoundland-based department store chain. Once operated as many as 80 stores coast-to-coast (1859-1991).

  • Bargain Harold's - A 135 location Discount store chain based in Ontario with locations in Ontario, Manitoba and the Maritimes went Bankrupt in 1992.

  • Biway - Discount store based in Ontario, defunct 2001.

  • The Bon Marché - Independent discount variety store in St. John's, Nfld. (1919-1971).

  • Bowring - St. John's, Nfld. department store. Also national home decor store chain.

  • Bretton's - High end department store 1985-1996.

  • Consumers Distributing - Catalogue store 1957-1996.

  • Corvette

  • Creaghan's - New Brunswick department store chain.

  • Creed's - founded 1916, defunct 1991, high-end family-owned retailer.

  • Dupuis Frères - Quebec-based chain, symbol of French-Canadian commerce and pride.

  • Eaton's - Went Bankrupt in 1999, and acquired by Sears Canada. Defunct in 2002.

  • Freimans - Longtime Ottawa retailer, acquired by The Bay in 1972.

  • Fortin - In downtown Trois-Rivières, Quebec; bought by Dupuis Frères.

  • Greenberg - Merged with SAAN.

  • Horizon - Discount department store operated by Eaton's, 1967-1978.

  • Kmart Canada - Discount department store, usually in the suburbs, created by S.S. Kresge - sold Canadian stores to Hudson's Bay Company in 1997.

  • S.S. Kresge - Smaller, downtown locations.

  • Laroque's Department Store - 169-177 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario. Catering to the Francophone community of

  • Lowertown - Closed circa 1970-1971 - Now The Mercury Court Building housing offices and shops.

  • Lasalle - Discount department store.

  • Letendre - On Saint Catherine Street East, Montreal; bought by CDS, then Eaton. The store closed after Eaton's expansion in the west. The building remains at the corner of Montcalm (NE).

  • The London, New York and Paris - St. John's, Nfld. department store chain (1916-1991).

  • Marks and Spencer - Closed Canadian stores in 1999.

  • Metropolitan Stores Ltd. - Sister chain of SAAN, stores later converted to the SAAN name.

  • Miracle Mart - Discount department store operated by Steinberg's, defunct 1996. Some stores acquired by Dominion Stores.

  • Morgan's - Merged with Hudson's Bay Company.

  • Murphy-Gamble - Ottawa store, acquired by Simpson's.Ogilvy's (Charles Ogilvy Limited) - Ottawa-area chain, merged with Robinson's in 1980s, defunct 1990s.

  • La Compagnie Paquet - 6 stores in Quebec City area. Closed June 1981. Some stores acquired by The Bay.

  • Peoples - (1914-1995) discount store closed in the same time as its parent company Wise Stores.

  • Plazamart - On St-Hubert Street in Montreal.

  • Pryce Jones - Calgary branch of United Kingdom mail-order company, operated 1911 to 1916.

  • Pollack - In Quebec City area and Trois-Rivières - bankrupted in 1978.

  • The Right House - Higher-end department stores, last store closed in the 90's.

  • Robinson's - Southern Ontario chain, merged with Charles Ogilvy Limited in 1980s, acquired by Hudson's Bay Company in 1990s.

  • Royal Stores - Newfoundland department store chain (1895-1977).

  • Sayvette - Discount department store, defunct 1970s.

  • Sentry - Ontario chain of retail department stores. Chain closed in mid-1980s.

  • Shop-Rite - Catalogue store operated by Hudson's Bay Company in 1970s-1992.

  • Simpson's - Acquired by the Hudson's Bay Company.

  • Simpsons-Sears Limited - Renamed Sears Canada Inc.

  • Spencer's - Western Canada, bought by Eaton's.

  • Le Syndicat de Québec - Acquired by La Compagnie Paquet in 1974.

  • Target - Newfoundland discount variety store chain (1981-1995) - never related to American company.

  • Towers Department Stores/BoniMart - Sold out to Zellers in 1990.

  • Walker Department Store - Galt, Ontario.

  • Wise Stores - Similar to Hart Stores.

  • Wood Brothers - Halifax department store chain.

  • Woodward's - Western Canada, defunct 1993. most stores converted to Zellers and The Bay.

  • Woodwynn - Junior department store owned by Woodward's, defunct 1993.

  • Woolco - Discount department store, usually in the suburbs, acquired by Wal-Mart in 1994.

  • Woolworth - Closed Canadian stores in 1994, though some became Woolco (such as the Whitehorse outlet).

  • Young Canada - Toys and children's clothes; around since at least the early 1960s.

Dead Retailers Graveyard

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