Silver and Gold Magazine Summer 2020 - Page 6

+ Did you know? click for an interesting tidbit! SENIORS MOMENTS – By Don Crossley Bill Line and the new Canadian Tire Store In the spring of 1974, I was the newly elected President of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. In that capacity, I received a phone call from the Mayor of Burlington, George Harrington. George asked if I could join him for lunch; he was meeting with a businessman who was interested in making a significant retailing investment and happened to be in town for the day. It was at that lunch that I met G. W. (Bill) Line. Bill and his wife Hilda were very interested in purchasing a Canadian Tire franchise, and he had learned that the store in central Burlington might be available. Bill had apparently already looked at several store locations across Canada. Burlington was a smaller community in those days, but Bill could sense its future potential. At the time, that store was in an older, smaller building, on the south-west corner of New Street, at Guelph Line. He wanted to hear from us, as community leaders, about our own growth projections – population, infrastructure, mass transit, and general quality of life. Over lunch, Mayor Harrington and I and laid out our vision for the future of our community. We used this opportunity to encourage Mr. Line to give the Burlington store top priority. We both offered to assist in any way that we could. He thanked us for taking the time to meet with him, and assured us both that the Burlington store would receive serious consideration. He also promised to keep us posted regarding his final decision. Some time later, we were both delighted to hear from Mr. Line. After careful analysis, he had decided to put in an offer to purchase the Burlington store. He also informed us that Canadian Tire Corporation was determined to relocate the existing location on New Street, building a brand-new store in an area adjacent to the Burlington Mall. The Mall had become Burlington’s de facto central business district, having opened just 7 years earlier. Mayor Harrington and I both attended the grand opening of the new store. So began an almost 40-year history of the Line family operating the Canadian Tire store in our community. The store was a huge success under their ownership and continues to be very successful today. Mr. & Mrs. Line retired in January, 2013. Over the years, there were a number of occasions when I approached Mr. Line concerning community projects I was working on. He was always very happy to help. As an example, when my late wife, Joan and I started the fundraising campaign to build the Burlington Seniors’ Centre, one of the first business leaders I approached was Mr. Line. He immediately agreed to provide financial assistance, and further suggested I make up signs showing the proposed project, while encouraging people to donate. Of course, I was welcomed to place a sign at both the entrance and exit to his store. I am very grateful that the Line family agreed to make Burlington their home. There are Canadian Tire stores in every city and town in Canada, and they truly have contributed to our community in ways that go above and beyond. We wish them all the very best in their retirement.• In 1922, Toronto brothers John and Alfred Billes buy “Hamilton Tire and Garage Ltd.” at the corner of Gerrard and Hamilton Streets in Toronto, with a combined savings of $1800 dollars. 6 Read + hear more: www.silvergoldmagazine.ca In 1927, Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd. was officially incorporated and named “Canadian Tire” because co-founder A.J. Billes thought it “sounded big”.