Mixed blessings as an old retail friend vanishes


The Grand and Toy stationery and copy shop chain has retired from the retail storefront market. I have spent many a dollar there over the decades, and its demise means the disappearance of yet another [formerly] Canadian business. Storefront copy shops are now big-chain US brands. Ottawa will look increasingly like a generic North American downtown.

One thing I won’t miss are the large window wraps that turned the glass into seldom-changed advertising bland-assity. Maybe, just maybe, we will get tenants in the spaces vacated by Grand and Toy that have windows and something interesting to see as one goes by.

Naaah. We’ll probably get just another ground floor cubicle farm. Going downtown is getting less and less exciting, and more and more a mono-use of sterile offices. Have you noticed how many buildings now have ground floors with nothing of interest?

Who knows what was on the last set of big window wraps at Grand and Toy? If no one knows, maybe they weren’t effective.

3 thoughts on “Mixed blessings as an old retail friend vanishes

  1. Grand and Toy got killed by Staples/Office Depot and Wal-Mart etc. I don’t think I’ve been aware of a Grand and Toy for about 10 years when I recall one at Bayshore. My wife is in school administration and they order school supplies from them.

    I’m not sure what opportunities Grand and Toy were missing in terms of engaging ground level window displays etc. There is only so much excitement to be gained from a display of staplers, file folders, duo-tangs, paper etc. ;);)

  2. Finally room for another Tim Horton’s. I don’t think there is one within 20 feet of that location.

  3. Grand & Toy merged with OfficeMax a year or so ago, and while it still does good business online the retail portion was not very profitable. It was very handy when I needed to pick something up that Staples was out of and I didn’t have time to wait a day for it to arrive (or I wouldn’t be in a place where I could wait for it to be delivered). There were three different stores downtown I could get to if one or the other was out of an item I needed, especially if you’re running an event or conference and you need, say, a hundred more lanyards.

    The closure of the G&T across from the World Exchange Plaza also means that there is one fewer place to get copying/printing done, and which means Staples is one of the only affordable options, except that they only print on a very limited selection of coloured cardstock (only half of the ones that I need for my recurring project).

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