Tuesday, June 27, 2006

vintage leaside high school yearbook ad of the day

Thanks From the Simpson's Collegiate Club

Clearing out some of the old scanned material before moving on to a fresh batch of recent finds. Let's just say I recently came into the possession of a stack of 70s goodness...

We're setting the wayback machine to 1961 for today's presentation, discovered in the back of one of my father's high school yearbooks. For those of you new to these woods, Simpson's was a Canadian department store chain whose flagship store was located at Queen and Yonge, later used as the setting for Today's Special. They were partners in bringing Sears to Canada in the 1950s (the Canadian branch was known as Simpsons-Sears for years, a tag which remained on many Sears doors for years after the partnership ended). Hudson's Bay Company acquired Simpson's in 1978, gradually converting stores to The Bay moniker until the name was retired in 1991.

Wikipedia lists where stores were located - I remember being excited when the basement of the Windsor store would convert entirely to toys at Christmas. That store bears few remaining traces of its Simpson's days inside (its Arcadian Court was converted to retail floor space - I remember eating in its large seats as an occasional change from burgers at the cafeteria in Sears), though the side entrance maintains its bright, curvy orange tile.

I have not found any information online about Simpson's high school program, or its claim to be "Canada's Youth Centre". My guess is these folks kept dibs on what was popular so that the store could tailor products towards the emerging teen market. Imagine the furor if Wal-Mart sought volunteers to act as its reps in city schools. Just guessing that two folks in greeter outfits from the Bentonville Behemoth would be greeted with jeers and worse.

Source: Leaside High School Clan Call, 1960/61 edition - JB

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