Dominion (supermarket)

Dominion Stores was a national chain of supermarkets in Canada, which was known as the Dominion of Canada when the chain was founded. The chain was founded in 1919 in Ontario and was later acquired by the Argus Corporation. It was later sold to The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which restricted the chain to the Greater Toronto Area. Stores outside Ontario were converted to the A&P banner or sold to third parties. A&P's Canadian division was later acquired by Metro Inc., which rebranded the remaining Dominion stores to its namesake banner in 2008.[1]

Dominion Stores Ltd.
FateRebranded as Metro
Founded1919 (1919) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
FoundersJ. William Pentland
Robert Jackson
DefunctDecember 2008 (2008-12)
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
BrandsPrivate labels:
Master Choice
ParentMetro Inc.


Dominion started from one Toronto store on May 23, 1919. The store was founded by American businessmen Robert Jackson of New Hampshire and William J. Pentland of Connecticut.[2] Pentland was manager of A&P stores in Connecticut and was hired by Jackson. By the end of 1919, they had a 20-store chain of which 18 were acquired from rival Loblaws. A year later, they had 61 stores.[2] In 1929, Dominion tried to acquire a stake in Loblaws, but the stock market crash ended the growth. During the Depression, Dominion lost both founders: Jackson went bankrupt and Pentland was killed in an auto accident in 1933.[2]

Dominion's leadership was not resolved until 1939, when J. William Horsey became president.[3] He in turn sold Dominion Stores to Argus Corporation. Smaller stores were consolidated from 574 to 195 by 1954.[2] In the 1950s, Dominion began to build large stores with airy ceilings and large glass fronts.[4] The chain also expanded beyond Toronto to other parts of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba,[5] Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada.

Dominion Stores were acquired by A&P's Canadian division, A&P Canada, from Hollinger in 1985.[6] Some Dominion locations, rebranded "Mr. Grocer" in an attempt to break union contracts and convert company-owned stores to franchise locations, were not part of the A&P transaction. These were sold to National Grocers, which phased out the "Mr. Grocer" brand and signage.

In the 1990s, A&P rebranded all of its stores in the Greater Toronto Area as Dominion stores, absorbing Miracle Food Mart, while Dominion locations elsewhere in Ontario took the A&P or Food Basics name.

The territory of Dominion stores was approximately the following: Toronto; York Region, excluding Stouffville; Mississauga and Oakville; and Pickering and Ajax.

In northwestern Ontario, Safeway acquired at least two stores in Thunder Bay. (Safeway's presence in Thunder Bay prevents Metro from offering Air Miles at its Thunder Bay locations.)

In Western Canada, Dominion stores were closed, leaving many suburban shopping malls scrambling to fill large, now-vacant sections. This event, coupled with the subsequent collapse of several department store chains, sparked a wave of mall renovations in many parts of the country. Alberta stores were acquired by Safeway in the late 1960s.

The remainder of the chain in eastern Canada was acquired by Loblaw Companies, through several unrelated transactions:

  • Newfoundland: Dominion stores in Newfoundland were sold to local owners, who then resold them to Loblaw in 1995. The Newfoundland locations are the only ones to continue under the Dominion banner; see Dominion Stores (Newfoundland).
  • New Brunswick: Shortly after the A&P acquisition, these stores were sold to Food Group Inc., which operated them under the Village banner until Food Group was sold to Loblaw and merged into its Atlantic Superstore unit in 1995.
  • Nova Scotia: These locations were sold to Oshawa Group and became IGA stores. However, after Sobeys purchased Oshawa in 1999, Loblaw took over IGA's Atlantic Canada locations
  • Quebec: Dominion stores in Quebec were sold to Provigo in 1981;[7] Provigo was acquired by Loblaws in 1998.


Metro, which had operated solely in Quebec and the Ottawa area, acquired A&P Canada from the U.S.-based parent company effective August 15, 2005. A&P retained a minority ownership share of the combined company for a time.

On August 7, 2008, Metro announced it would invest $200 million consolidating the company's conventional food stores under the Metro banner. Over a period of 15 months, all stores were converted to the Metro name, beginning with the Dominion stores in the Toronto area.[8]

Dominion's distribution centres in Toronto and Mississauga retained the old Dominion banner until 2009.


  • "Mainly because of the meat"
  • "We're Fresh Obsessed" (A&P's slogan before re-branding as Metro)
  • "There's a definite difference at Dominion"
  • "We do that little bit more"


List of stores in Ontario:

Greater Toronto Area
  • Bathurst Manor Plaza (Wilmington Avenue and Overbrook Place) — became Sunnybrook Market, abandoned for 10+ years, now demolished.
  • Bayview Avenue and Cummer Avenue — Became Mr. Grocer in the 1980s, now Valu-mart on Bayview
  • 150 Berry Road at Stonegate Plaza; plaza demolished for condo development
  • 174 Wallace Avenue — first store; street renumbered (likely now 152 Wallace at Emerson Avenue, today Henriques Supermarket
  • 779 Queen Street East — second store and now a bridal store
  • City Hall Market on Queen Street West — discontinued 1960s
  • 614 Rogers Road near Keele Street — site now a mall and Value Village store
  • York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue — opened 1952 as Dominion Market, now operating as Metro
  • 243 Alberta Avenue — closed mid-1980s, sold and now a No Frills outlet
  • 1277 York Mills Road — converted to Food Basics
  • Kingston Rd and Victoria Park Ave, Scarborough
  • Finch Avenue East and Leslie Street — Sunny Supermarket
  • College Park (Yonge & College, lower level) — converted to Metro
  • Thornhill Square Shopping Centre (Bayview Avenue & John Street) — converted to Food Basics
  • Royal Orchard Plaza (Yonge and Royal Orchard) — formerly a Miracle Food Mart, converted to Food Basics
  • Don Mills Shopping Centre at Lawrence Avenue East and Don Mills Road — converted to Metro
  • Kennedy Commons at Kennedy Road and Highway 401 — converted to Metro
  • Lake Shore Boulevard West, at Browns Line — later became a Thrift supermarket, now demolished
  • Markington Square at Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue East — converted to Metro
  • Lawrence Avenue West & Keele Street — converted to Metro
  • Lawrence Avenue West & Bathurst Street — converted to Metro
  • 3000 Bathurst St. South of Lawrence. Demolished. Now an apartment building.
  • Wilson Avenue & Keele Street — converted to Metro
  • Yonge Street & Church Street — converted to Metro
  • The Villages of Abbey Lane (Rylander Boulevard) — now a Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Sheppard Avenue West & Bathurst Street — converted to Metro
  • Yonge Eglinton Centre — converted to Metro
  • Yonge Street & Sheppard Avenue East — converted to Metro, later demolished
  • Jane Street and Finch Avenue — converted to a Price Chopper, now a FreshCo.
  • Woodside Square, McCowan Road and Finch Aveue East, converted to a Dominion Save-A-Centre (before Dominion's demise), now a Food Basics in another part of the mall (formerly Zellers). Space now occupied by Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • Bridlewood Mall, Warden Avenue and Finch Avenue East (roughly 4 km west of the Woodside Square location, and also converted to a Dominion Save-A-Centre), now a Metro
  • Kipling Avenue at The Westway — now Food Basics
  • Islington Avenue and Rexdale Boulevard (Rexdale Plaza) — demolished
  • 89 Gould Street, Toronto — converted to Metro
  • Ajax, Ajax Market Place — converted to Metro, now Food Basics
  • Aurora, Aurora Village — converted to Metro
  • Burlington, Appleby Mall — became a Mr. Grocer, then Fortino's
  • Burlington, Burlington Mall (777 Guelph Line) — closed early 1990s, becoming K-Mart expansion until firm left Canada in 1998; now Canadian Tire
  • Dundas, University Plaza — became a Barn and is now a Shopper's Drug Mart
  • Markham, Highway 7 and McCowan (south west side) — became an A&P in the early 1990s, then a Food Basics, now an independent Korean supermarket
  • Markham, Highway 7 East at Gallsworthy — became a Mr. Grocer in the early 1980s, space then occupied by Zipp Drugs, Big V, now a Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Milton, Laurier Plaza — converted to A&P, now Food Basics
  • Mississauga, Applewood Village Plaza — converted to Metro, closed in January 2014, now demolished. Now a Longo's.
  • Mississauga, Clarkson Crossing — converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Derry Road & 10th Line — converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Square One Shopping Centre — converted to mall space
  • Mississauga, Iona Square — converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Lakeshore Plaza — converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Meadowvale Town Centre — converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Roseborough Centre — converted to Metro, closed in June 2012, now Adonis.
  • Mississauga, Sheridan Place — converted to Metro
  • Mississauga, Westdale Mall — converted to Metro, closed in September 2011, now a FreshCo
  • Mississauga, Woodchester Plaza — converted to an IGA, then Sobeys, now closed.
  • Newmarket, Yonge Street & Mulock Road — converted to Metro
  • Newmarket, Dominion Plus Centre — converted to Metro, closed in January 2014, now a Food Basics.
  • Newmarket, 404 Town Centre — converted to Metro
  • Oakville, Hopedale Mall — converted to Metro
  • Oakville, Oakville Town Centre I — converted to Metro
  • Oakville, Rio Can Centre (Dundas Street/Neyagawa) — converted to Metro, closed in March 2014, now a Food Basics.
  • Oakville, Trafalgar Mall — became A&P, converted to Food Basics, now No Frills
  • Oakville, Upper Oakville Shopping Centre — converted to Metro
  • Oshawa, Midtown Mall — became an A&P, converted to Metro, closed in November 2015.
  • Oshawa, 199 Wentworth St. West — had been a Safeway, converted to Price Chopper, now a FreshCo.
  • Pickering, Amberlea Shopping Centre — converted to Metro
  • Pickering, Pickering Town Centre — store was closed in mid-1990s when the mall underwent extensive renovations. The location is where PJ's Pets and Sport Chek are located
  • Richmond Hill, Major Mackenzie/Bayview — converted to Metro, closed in September 2013, now a Food Basics.
  • Vaughan, Islington Ave. — converted to Metro, closed in October 2014. Re-opened in 2017 as a Food Basics
  • Vaughan, Weston/Rutherford — converted to Metro, closed in August 2012, now a Longo's.
  • Whitby, 104 Dundas St. W (Brock) — opened in 1928, closed in 1955.
  • 425 Bloor Street West — converted to Metro
  • Brampton Kennedy Road and Queen
Eastern Ontario
  • Belleville, Belleville Plaza — closed mid-1980s
  • Brockville, downtown, King Street West at Chase — now a Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Brockville, Central Avenue at Park St. Now a Giant Tiger Store
  • Cobourg, County Fair Shopping Centre — converted to a Sav-A-Centre and re-located when development converted into Northumberland Mall in late 1980s. later rebranded to A&P now converted and expanded to Metro
  • Cobourg, Midtown Mall — rebrand to Mr Grocer then rebranded as a No Frills. Currently the Mall was demolished making way for a larger No Frills
  • Kingston, Frontenac Mall — converted to A&P, now Food Basics
  • Kingston, Barrack Street, downtown — converted to A&P, now Food Basics
  • Nepean, Merivale Mall — converted to A&P, now a Farm Boy
  • Orleans, Place d'Orleans Shopping Centre
  • Ottawa, Bank Street at Heron Road — now a Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Ottawa, 10 Byward Market — closed in 1983
  • Ottawa, Hampton Park Plaza — converted to A&P, now Food Basics
  • Ottawa, Herongate Mall — converted to A&P, now Food Basics
  • Ottawa, Pinecrest Mall — converted to Dominion's Warehouse Plus format in the early 1980s, now replaced by an IKEA
  • Ottawa, St. Laurent Shopping Centre — converted to Dominion's Warehouse Plus format in the early 1980s, now a Toys 'R' Us
  • Peterborough, Brookdale Plaza (Chemong Road) — converted to A&P closed 1990s. Store Relocated to Portage Place.
  • Peterborough, K-Mart Plaza (Landsdowne Street) — Closed late 1980s, now The Brick
  • Renfrew, downtown — relocated to Pinnacle Mall in early 1980s, downtown store space is now Giant Tiger
  • Renfrew, Pinnacle Mall — became Mr. Grocer, then Your Independent Grocer, later Liquidation World, mall demolished in 2009
  • Trenton, Dundas Street East, at Byron Street — converted to Mr. Grocer, now a Liquidation World
Northern Ontario
  • North Bay, Nipissing Plaza — converted to A&P, now Metro
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Churchill Plaza — converted to A&P, now Metro
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Zellers Plaza — converted to A&P, now Metro
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Station Mall — converted to A&P, now closed
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Second Line West, at People's Road — closed, now Transcom call centre.
Southern Ontario
  • Amherstburg, 80 Richmond St.
  • Barrie, Georgian Mall — converted to A&P, closed and later became a Herbie's Drug & Food store, was demolished during mall's expansion in 2006
  • Barrie, Simcoe Plaza — converted to A&P. Currently a No Frills.
  • Brantford, 371 St Paul Avenue — converted to A&P, now Metro
  • Cambridge, 150 Main Street (The Mall, Downtown Cambridge) — later became a Mr. Grocer before the grocery store anchor space was expanded/renovated into a multi-story office for Stantec. The Mall was purchased by the Region of Waterloo and the space is now Region of Waterloo Public Health
  • Guelph — Eramosa Road and Stevenson Street, closed 1986; now Zehrs
  • Guelph — Speedvale Avenue East and Stevenson Street, closed 1984; later Knechtels, then IGA, now FreshCo
  • London, southwest corner of Wellington Street and York Street, closed and location demolished (now a parking lot)
  • London, Westmount Mall — converted to A&P, then Metro, closed in December 2012. Now a Superking Supermarket.
  • Midland, Mountainview Mall — converted to A&P, now Food Basics
  • Orillia, Memorial Avenue-converted to National Grocers
  • Orillia, Mississauga Street, next door to Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Orillia, Orillia Square Mall, Converted to a Zehrs
  • Orillia, County Fair Plaza on Coldwater Road(with Zellers)
  • Sarnia, Northgate Shopping Centre — converted to A&P, now Metro
  • St. Catharines, Fairview Mall — now Food Basics
  • St. Catharines, 333 Ontario Street — later became the Brick
  • St. Catharines, Pen Centre — demolished, now Zehrs
  • Stoney Creek, Hwy 8/Grays Road, now closed
  • St. Catharines, Linwell Plaza — now Shoppers Drug Mart/First Ontario Credit Union
  • Windsor, 655 Crawford Ave. (Wyandotte) — closed, became Thrift Food Stores, later became Elias Markets, now a bingo hall.
  • Windsor, 2515 Dougall Ave (Dorwin Plaza) — converted to A&P, then Canada's only Farmer Jack location then closed and became A&P again. Closed again and later became an 'Aren't We Naughty'. Food Basics opened at the other end of the plaza, which closed in July 2014.
  • Windsor, 3220 Dougall Ave (Gateway Plaza) — originally a Loblaws, converted to Gordons which closed in November 1978. Opened in April 1979 as Dominion to replace location at 3830 Dougall Ave.
  • Windsor, 3830 Dougall Ave. (Cabana) — closed in April 1979.
  • Windsor, 1440 Huron Church Rd. (Ambassador Plaza) — converted to A&P then closed down. Later became a Rogers Video & Bulk Barn, now a PetValu, Pharmasave & Bulk Barn.
  • Windsor, 1262 Ottawa St. (Hall) — closed in February 1976.
  • Windsor, 631 Ouellette Ave. (Wyandotte)
  • Windsor, Tecumseh Mall — converted to A&P and closed in the mid 1990s. Later became the south mall entrance with tenants including CIBC bank (now Bluenotes), Payless Shoe Store and Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • Windsor, 2425 Tecumseh Rd. E (Walker Rd.). — closed, became Thrift Food Stores, later demolished.
  • Windsor, 3975 Wyandotte St. E (George Ave.) — closed in December 1984, re-opened as Mr. Grocer in February 1985, later became Hollywood Bingo, sat vacant for a number of years, now a No Frills.
  • Windsor, 8100 Wyandotte Street E (Laporte Ave.) — closed, later became a Howie's, Shoppers Drug Mart, Elias Markets,Price Chopper, now FreshCo.
  • Woodstock, Springbank Plaza — converted to Home Hardware when new store opened on Ingersoll Road. That store closed in 1979 due to tornado damage.
  • Bracebridge on Manitoba Street across from the old A&P which is now a plaza with a Shoppers Drug Mart. The Dominion store was converted to a Home Hardware. The store had a stone front
  • Orillia on Mississaga Street, Memorial Avenue, Orillia Square Mall

Head offices

  • 174 Wallace Avenue 1919-1924 — residential development
  • Soho and Phoebe Street 1924-1945 — old Weston Bakery; now residential neighbourhood Soho Square
  • Rogers Road and Keele 1945-1970s — old York Arsenal; now Value Village store
  • The West Mall 1970s-2008; now Metro Distribution Centre

Key people

See also


  1. Flavelle, Dana (August 8, 2008). "It's mainly about marketing, Dominion owners say". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  2. Bradburn, Jamie (April 17, 2010). "Historicist: Mainly Because of the Meat and More". Torontoist. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  3. "The long lost ghost of Dominion Stores | Canadian Grocer". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  4. Bradburn, Jamie (July 3, 2007). "Vintage Toronto Ad: Space-Age Grocery Shopping". Torontoist. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  6. Torontoist (July 22, 2015). "Vintage Toronto Ads: A&P". Torontoist. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  7. "23 magasins Dominion sont déjà Provigo". La Presse (Montreal). June 17, 1981. Retrieved June 4, 2018. (in French)
  8. "Metro to dump A&P, Dominion names". August 7, 2008. Retrieved May 24, 2011.


  • Dominion Stores: The First Sixty Years 1919-1979, Paul Nanton, Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Company, 1979
  • Dominion: Sixty Years of Dependability, Ted Wood, Toronto: Dominion Stores, 1979
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