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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do you remember Bi-Way?

remember bi-way?

Browsing through some photographs I captured last year, I came across this shot. Last June, on my birthday, the captain and I went on a mini-roadtrip, meandering east and then north, ending up in Orillia, Ontario. We walked around and I was quite surprised to see this empty store, windows papered over, with what is obviously an old Bi-Way sign with paint slapped over it.

I remember Bi-Way. I bought a grey flannel robe with a teddy bear on the front at our local Bi-Way many, many years ago; I still have that robe. For some reason I also recall that Bi-Way was a good source for wrapping paper, especially at Christmas. It's odd to remember that, but I do.

I also remember Woolworth's; do you? And Woolco? Simpson's? My first-ever credit card was from Simpson's. Or was it Simpson-Sears first?

I also remember shopping at Miracle Mart for groceries, where they'd put your bags in a plastic tub and whisk it down a conveyor belt that went outside. You got your car and drove up to the curb to retrieve your purchase. I don't think any supermarkets do that anymore.

Today in the news, it was announced that Target is coming to Canada. I love shopping at Target when in the U.S., so this is good news, but it looks like we Canadians are losing Zellers in the process. As the stores gradually become Target outlets, I'm guessing that Zellers will soon be just a memory. Like Bi-Way.

We all have memories of certain stores, of particular shopping experiences. What are yours?


Leslie Jane Moran said...

One of the most traumatic moments in my daughter's life occurred at the Dominion Food store. Indeed, they put the groceries in the plastic tub, scooted it along the rolling conveyor and out it went for what we called the "Parcely" pick-up. After loading two small children into an even smaller car, I got distracted and it was only when we were half way home that I realized I had forgotten to pick up! Jane was hysterical that all our groceries would be given to someone else, how would we get in the line, would we get everything we bought....she still tells that story. I'm happy about Target. I think The Bay will do better now.

martha brown said...

When I moved to Toronto I was very poor (starving artist poor) and I bought many of my groceries at BiWay! And I loved those grocery roller thingies. Of, course, being a non-driver, I've never used them, but my mom did!
I don't really miss it, But do you remember Bargain Harolds??? I do miss Eatons though.
And I'll miss Zellers....although I think that I'll welcome Target. But why will I ever need to visit the US then? Oh, right, Trader Joes :)

Lolita Sweet December said...

Cool. I had just went to flickr to comment on an old biway bag that someone uploaded after deciding to look up biway; to see whatever happened to it; and to hopefully see some photos to conjure up memories

I actually miss biway. Not because it was dirt cheap and cheaper than Zellers; but because my mother used to shop there alot for many years.

I was about 7 and now I am almost 23. When i go back to the store we used to go to; there is a Dollarama store (Dollarama; bought 60 of BiWay's 250 bankrupt stores)

My brother (older) always bantered my mother for the fact that she always bought everything from there and our clothing were f'ing UGLY and cheap: (according to him)

I never minded though and still don't; he's obsessed with high-priced crap. I never complained.

But I'm trying to figure out what the "plastic tub" things and the "roller thingies" are that martha mentioned

I wouldn't be surprised if Zellers disappears; it horrible; and I also wouldn't care or miss it. It's pretty irrelevant and seems old; like it belongs back in 2001.

I like that alot of U.S. stores are going to Canada; including stores now; like Marshalls.

Now; they just need; internet providers migrating to Canada; because internet is ridiculousy expensive; and Canadians pay the highest; at about 60.00/70.00 buck from these gravalicous PIGS while the U.S. can charge 20.00 bucks.

Rogers and Bell need some real competition; I bet their prices would plummet to keep up with I went off topic.

...and yes; I remember BiWay! and miss it

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