Monday, September 24, 2007

vintage toronto star ad of the day

Vintage Ad #370: The Devil's Polyester
Satanic slacks? Some of those bends look highly uncomfortable, given how unnaturally skinny the legs are drawn. The wide bell bottoms may have been the devil's subtle form of mischief, if the wearer tripped while wearing them.

Towers was one of Canada's early discount department stores, operated by the Oshawa Group, who also ran the Food City grocery chain. Based on scant info I've read about Towers, it appears that locations included or were built next to Oshawa's grocery stores. This may explain why the Galleria now contains a Zellers (Hudson's Bay Company bought Towers in 1990 and converted many of the remaining locations) and a Price Chopper (one of the last chains launched by Oshawa Group before they were bought by Sobeys).

I don't think Towers ever set up shop in Windsor, with London being the closest location I recall. The local competition to K-Mart, Woolco and Zellers in the late 1970s/early 1980s was Sentry, a store I know very little about other than memories of hanging out its toy section. Its location in Dorwin Plaza has seen many stores come and go over the years, mostly A&P-owned grocery stores where the company often tested new concepts, including one of Windsor's last Dominion stores (which I think was called Dominion Food Fair and featured an an abnormally large selection of vacuum-packed cold cuts) and the lone Canadian branch of Farmer Jack. The site currently houses a Food Basics.

Source: Toronto Star, October 2, 1972 - JB

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