fur flied

By: Lesley

Mar 31 2011

Category: SIGNS, Toronto


Focal Length:32.1mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Here is a case where I was not in time to photograph the neon “Open Sundays” sign in [Glen & Paul] Magder Furs on Spadina Ave in Toronto. For anyone living in Toronto in the 1980s you would remember Paul Magder’s fight with the local and provincial governments over Sunday shopping. He was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for his refusal to be closed on Sundays before it was finally legalized in 1992. He went bankrupt, later reopening his store in the same location as it had been in for 50 years under his sons names, though business was never the same. Now he is sharing space with another furrier in a different location but, ironically, will not work Sundays. At 74, he is happy to have the choice to work or not, and he chooses to not.

Participating in signs, signs

12 comments on “fur flied”

  1. Interesting about closed for business on Sundays rule. It’s not anymore, right?

  2. That’s an interesting story.

  3. I marvel at people who are that stubborn~! But At 74 he well-deserves to work or not as he chooses (I choose not, and I’m not quite as old as that.)

  4. We still don’t have general Sunday shopping, just a few small grocery stores that stay open. Usually the last two Sundays before Christmas the shops get dispensation to stay open. We’re a bit behind over here 🙂
    That must have been a nice little shop. Why freeze, indeed!

    • Part of what he was fighting was the arbitrary rule that tourist areas and certain ‘important’ businesses could open on Sundays, but not just anyone.

  5. A true patriot! I love fur coats (I’m not a “PETA” person)!

  6. I don’t remember all the details, but I sure remember the controversy at the time! Too bad the fighters for freedoms to choose get beat up on the way. When I first saw the photo I thought spring would be a good time to close a fur store. Good post, Lesley.

    [And yes, I would never have survived the past 40 years without a sense of humour!]

  7. wow, i didn’t know there was a “close-door policy” for Sundays in Toronto. amazing! i remember shops were closed on Sunday when i was a kid but don’t know if it was a gov’t imposed rule. now everybody’s open on Sunday…and the only holiday stores close is on Good Friday.

  8. Some stores here in my woods are closed on a Sunday for religious reasons. But big malls and stores they are never closed except on a January 1 and Good Friday.

  9. bonne histoire, et j’aime les photos qui racontent une histoire

    Publicity ;o) Every Friday (and the Weekend), The Challenge “Walk In The Street Photography”

  10. I well remember the controversy over “blue laws” in the Southern US. After several years of turmoil, controversy and court cases, their clearly religious bases was recognized by the courts and they were declared unconstitutional. Now a business can choose whether or not to be open on Sundays, but in urban areas, Sunday sales are a matter of economic necessity.

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