Who Remembers Carload Grocery Store?
Carload Grocery

This was the original location of Carload Grocery on Elm Street. The photo was taken in September 1936. Photo: Greater Sudbury Public Library MK0916

We saw this photo at Greater Sudbury Public Library and thought, at first, it was taken in the 1950s because of the exterior design, and we were surprised that this grocery store was actually built over eighty years ago.

The first Carload Grocery store was located at 45 Elm Street around where the TD Canada Trust building is today. As the photo shows, the “carload” in Carload Grocery referred to train cars. Swift’s was one of the first companies in Canada that had refrigerated train cars so they were able to bring in meats and other refrigerated food from their plant in Etobicoke. There was a railway siding track right beside the original store. The train in the photo above beside the store shows that the train car held 20 tons of food that was on sale at the store and it also advertised Swift’s Jewel Shortening, which apparently was used by many Canadian households.

Carload Grocery was opened in 1934 by Swift Canadian Company (think Swift Premium meats), a wholesaler for many goods including meats, dairy, poultry, shortening, animal feed and other products so that they could have a retail and wholesale store in the community. Swift’s owned the company until it was sold to the Bertrand Brothers, Paul and George, in 1940.

The Bertrand Brothers expanded the business opening locations at 499 Notre Dame (where Maria’s Restaurant is today), 306 Whittaker (on the corner with Douglas Street),  16 Elm Street (near Notre Dame) and 59 Eyre Street (close to Spruce).

By 1953 Carload Grocery had closed and it became home to Edwards Sudbury, the propane division of Victoria Paper Company. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any information about why Carload Grocery closed. The building came down when space was made for the City Centre (Rainbow Mall) in 1967. The Bertrand Brothers both continued their careers at Sudbury Wholesale when Carload Grocery closed.

If anyone knows anything else about the Bertrand Brothers and Carload Grocery please let us know by emailing share@southsidestory.ca.

In 1942 the speed limit on area highways was 40 miles per hour.
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