The Andrew Turnbull Network

presents

Supermartifacts / The Artifacts of Dominion

[Dominion logo]

The name and company may be consigned to the history books today, but Dominion was at one time Canada's leading grocer. The company was founded in Toronto in 1919, and grew from one store to a chain of sixty-one in only a year. The company eventually maintained a near-national presence, with stores spanning the continent from Alberta to Newfoundland. That was then.

In 1985, Dominion was snapped up by A&P in a takeover bid. Some stores were excluded from the sale, and converted to Mr. Grocer in a union-busting ploy. A&P assimilated Dominion's store base with its own, with combined operations taking on the A&P name in some cities and Dominion in others. A&P then sold its Canadian division to Metro, who swept the last remnants of the Dominion name from sight in 2009.

Or did it? Way out in the isolated province of Newfoundland & Labrador, Dominion's stores were resold to local owners. Loblaws then bought the stores, and Loblaws has retained the Dominion name (albeit with Loblaws branding) to this day. But it's not quite the same.

Unless noted otherwise, all photos on these pages were taken by Andrew Turnbull.


[Dominion store]

595 Richmond St., London, ON
2018

This small downtown building is representative of Dominion's older locations, and this store survived in operation all the way up to the late 1970s. It now houses a Circle-K (née Mac's) convenience store.

[Dominion store] [Dominion store]

577 Hamilton Rd., London, ON
2018

This 1940s-era Dominion supermarket building is situated on an odd, trapezoidal plot of land and survives in surprisingly original condition. It closed in the late 1970s. Surprisingly, a small sign bearing the Dominion name is still visible near the back of the store four decades after it last operated as such!

[Dominion store]

496 Dundas St., London, ON
2018

Opened before 1955; closed as Dominion in the 1970s. Currently vacant.

[Dominion store]

215 Wharncliffe Rd. S., London, ON
2018

Opened before 1955; closed as Dominion in the 1970s. A virtual clone of the 496 Dundas St. store.

[Dominion store]

40 Charles St. W., Ingersoll, ON
2018

I don't know with 100% certainty that this building housed a Dominion store, but my hunch is 90% there. It's set back the same distance from the road as the three preceding London stores.

[Dominion store]

1154 Hamilton Rd., London, ON
2018

Opened circa 1960. Closed in the 1980s at the time of the A&P acquisition, and currently vacant.

[Dominion store]

1500 Dundas St., London, ON
2018

Opened circa 1960. Closed in the 1980s at the time of the A&P acquisition, and briefly reoccupied by an independent market.

[Dominion store]

131 Kent St. W., Lindsay, ON
2018

This small downtown store is a veritable grocery gem, with a perfect 1960s-era exterior. Listed as a Dominion location in a 1972 directory.

[Dominion store]

1345 Huron St., London, ON
2018

Opened in the early 1960s, converted to A&P in the 1980s, and closed after 2000. The rectangular frame over the entrance is a recent addition by the current tenant.

[Dominion store]

785 Wonderland Rd. S., London, ON
2018

A mall store forming part of Westmount Centre and opening in the 1970s. Later A&P and Metro, but converted to an Asian supermarket in 2013.

[Dominion store]

1200 Commissioner's Rd. E., London, ON
2018

This store opened in the 1980s as the last new Dominion in London. It features an elaborate entrance configuration, with a cylinder at the corner topped by glass block.

[Dominion store]

17725 Yonge St., Newmarket, ON
2018

Though I'm unclear when this store opened, it undoubtedly originated as a Dominion location. The most damning evidence of this is the name of the shopping centre it's in: Dominion Centre Plaza!

[Dominion store]

1111 Davis Dr., Newmarket, ON
2018

Another one of Newmarket's former Dominions. This one may have opened after the 1985 sale to A&P, when Dominion became "in name only" and limited to the Toronto area.

[Valu-Mart store]

42 Russell St. W., Lindsay, ON
2018

This is an example of a smaller store that assumed "Mr. Grocer" branding in the 1980s in lieu of being included in the A&P sale. It may have been built as a replacement for the 131 Kent St. W. store in the same town.







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Last update 1 September 2018.