Here’s what Canadian Tire looked like in the 1940s


Published February 9, 2023 at 12:48 pm

Remember Canadian Tires looking like this? No? Don't feel badly as very few people do.

These days, Canadian Tire outlets are huge, compared to the past. Indeed, the recent expansion of the Welland outlet recently saw it boosted to 120,000 square feet in retail size, making it the third largest Canadian Tire in Canada.

But back in the days of yore, Canadian Tires looked like any other business – a house with a retail component on the street level with residential upstairs.

While no one has put an exact date on the above and below photo, the Canadian Tire on Queenston St in St. Catharines looks to be from the early 1940s, based solely on the cars in the picture.

That said, when the picture was posted on a Facebook page, numerous residents chipped in their memories of it and other buildings in the immediate area.

For starters, there seems to be some confusion as to whether this outlet, owned and operated by C.F. Jones, was on Queenston or Riorden Dr.

Said one eagle-eyed poster, the confusion was natural. “One door was on Queenston, another door was on the street behind, Riordan. Same store, two entrances.”

As well, some remember this building being at some point “Jones Toy Town,” an incarnation thought of fondly by a number of folks.

Another remembered a personal connection to the outlet. “My uncle was a mechanic out back of this store in early 1950s. As a matter of fact, they would load their dead batteries on my Dad’s 1948 GMC truck for free and he would unload them someplace and get 50 cents apiece. I remember going there with him around 56.” Back then, $28 was a sizeable chunk of change.

One poster remembered what the store became afterwards. “When I moved here it was a bike shop. Now it’s a real estate company, I believe. One of my long time customers owned it when it was a bike shop.”

However the building is remembered, one thing is certain. They don’t make Canadian Tires like this anymore.

While precious few remember this being the Canadian Tire owned by C.F. Jones, several people do remember a later version of the store being Jones’ Toy Town.

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