The 70's in Ontario

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Cornreaper, May 23, 2006.

  1. Cornreaper

    Cornreaper Member

    Hi all,

    I'm modelling Ontario in the early '70's, and have a few questions about that period that anyone older than me can answer (I was born in '74) to add some authenticity to my layout.

    1. What was the price of gas back then (before the oil crisis)?
    2. What was the major Canadian lumber chain of the time? I'm thinking Beaver Lumber?
    3. What are some of the retailers that were big then but now long gone?

    Thanks for the input!
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Hey, I hope you don't expect any of us old guys to remember that far back.:D :D Gas was cheap, I think maybe between mid-$.30s to mid-$.40s, and that was for a real (Imperial) gallon. I remember the "cheap" part mainly 'cause I was driving a '69 Chevelle that averaged 6 mpg, so I was at the gas station every day. As far as lumber companies go, Beaver, as you mentioned and around here, Cashway. The were still lots of independents around too: Hamilton Lumber and Atchison in Hamilton, and Turkstra was already in Stoney Creek and Smithville.
    As for big retailers, the first one that comes to mind is Eatons. Also Simpsons, Woolworths and Woolco, Kresges, and Stedmans for department stores. A few long-gone gas stations: Supertest, BP, Cities Service.
    If more comes back to me, I'll add it in. These days, the mind....., you know.....what were we talking about??:D

  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Add to DrWayne's list:
    Aikenhead's hardware.
    Anyone remember when gas went over the dollar a gallon mark? All the gas stations promply switched to litres.
    When did PetroCanada come in? And whom did it swallow?
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Wait, it's coming back to me now...what was that name...?:) You can add Towers to the department store names, and there was Steinberg's, which became Miracle Mart, and Red & White, both grocery stores. I don't know if they were province-wide or not, but Tamblyn Drugstores were common in the Hamilton area.

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't know about Ontario, but down here gas went over $1.00 per gallon at the first Opec oil embargo, I thnk it was around 1972 or 1973, then after a while the price dropped back down a just under $1.00 per gallon, then shot up again in the late 70's with the next shortage.
  6. Cornreaper

    Cornreaper Member

    I remember most of those stores.....and the Pop Shoppe just popped into my head! Ah, childhood memories.....Sorry if I'm making people feel old, but I'm at that age where it's starting to happen to me too!

    Also, I'm thinking a an old-school Tim Horton's is a must!

    Another question: Anyone know what was different about CP f-units besides having just the single headlight? I'd like to try my hand at detailing my locos.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The IGA & Dominion for grocery stores, although this is maybe creeping into the 1980's. There was a 5 and dime on the main drag in Orangeville (Broadway) and a Becker's Milk at the end of my street. I think Cashway is a good bet for the local lumber - if it wasn't an independent.

    Can't recall exactly when we went to metric, but it was sometime in the late 70's...? I don't know if they took over anything, or just appeared?

    Tim's is a good addition - remember the TimBit character?

  8. Relic

    Relic Member

    When I made my second trip west (in good maritime fashon) in 1970 gas was twenty five CENTS a gollon. That took me a long way in my '66 Envoy Epic coupe.
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    IGA and Dominion go back to the 50s at least. Also Red and White groceries.
    Sometime in the mid-70s the Eaton's catalog outlets disappeared -- along with the catalog. Suspect that Simpsons-Sears outlets went as well. (Small towns would have a storefront Eaton's that handled catalog orders and distributed the goods.)
    Banks: mostly as today, but more Trust companies -- they seemed to be starting to be visible in smaller places.
    I remember that gas seemed to be 39.9 a gallon through the 50s and early 60s. My father had a small car and the gas station had an offer of a free steak knife with a $3 fillup; my father couldn't get $3 worth of gas in his tank! Garage owner let him have a knife every second time. My best friend had a mini; he'd fill up with "a dollar's worth of regular and a dollar's worth of premium".

Share This Page