Canadian Confectionery: 403- 5 Street South
People have been drawn to downtown Lethbridge since the early 1900s, when numerous stores were located in the business district on 5th Street (Round Street), west of the Public Square (now Galt Gardens). As other businesses demanded space in prime locations, streets were added and the Canadian Confectionery found a favorable location in the 400 block.
The building, nestled between Sydney Jackson’s drugstore and the Independent Meat Market, was constructed in 1912, and housed many businesses before it became a grocery store. The piano company Heintzman’s opened a piano shop at 403 for two years. The next tenant was the Superior Mercantile & Fruit Company in 1932, then Nagler’s Grocery, and finally the Canadian Confectionery in 1938.
The interior accommodated a counter, wall shelving, and isle shelves full of canned goods, bread, milk products, and other daily needs. A special item offered for the 1940 Christmas season was “delicious Maple Leaf ham”. Other specials were coffee at 25 cents per pound, two pounds of cocoa for 23 cents, and two heads of cabbage for 13 cents.
The first Confectionery proprietor, long-time city merchant Jim Hong, added this to his other retail interests. He operated it until 1942 when he sold it to York Chow, who became proprietor for six years. It was during this time the building was divided. The left side for Dean’s Shoes – operated by John Dean – at 403, and the Confectionery at 403a.
George Dong was the last proprietor to operate the confectionery, from 1948 to 1954; he sold out to Cam Barnes, manager and by now owner of Dean’s Shoes. Mr. Barnes opened up and renovated the store areas, expanded the size of the inventory, and renamed it Cam’s Shoes. It was in operation there until 1985. Today, Bernard Callebaut and Quiznos Eatery share 403, and Zephyr Impressions is 405, the original location for 403a.
Local corner and neighbourhood stores will be featured in the exhibit “Not Just Apples and Oranges” starting February 15 at the Galt, and are also included in the revised and newly published The Grocery List by Trish Purkis, available at the Galt Museum Store. For details visit www.galtmuseum.com.