Yesterday morning I couldn’t help but stop in the empty parking lot at Carlingwood and stare at the sight of what was Simpsons-Sears, then later Sears – now no longer.
My family immigrated to Canada in 1953. From Montreal, my father applied for a job at the new Simpsons-Sears to be opened around 1955 or ‘56.
He became the first camera and stationary manager upon opening. I still have a full page Ottawa Journal copy of photos of all the new management staff upon the official opening.
Letter writer Robert de Hartog’s father (centre) from an ad in the Ottawa Journal, 1955.
We moved from Montreal to 980 Byron Ave., Apt. 8, shortly thereafter which was located a short walk to the north of Carlingwood. I remember as a young boy then, my father taking me to his work on the odd Saturday and allowing me to go behind the camera counter and ‘help’ clean the glass showcases. I still can smell the smells of new metal-bodied cameras and the leather camera cases of that time.
I miss both my father and that time in our lives.
Robert de Hartog
Oct. 14, 2018.
Editor’s note: The owners of the Carlingwood Mall have applied to tear down the old Sears location and replace it with something else.
This letter has been lightly edited for clarity.