By the 1890s, the Mom & Pop style grocery and dry goods stores had taken hold in Peterborough. In 1899 there were almost eighty such stores located about town. They continued to flourish up until the 1920s. Thereafter the demographics begin to change. For a time, some of the established store owners began opening second and third small grocery stores, but by the early 1930s, all corner stores were down in numbers, there being some seventy plus shops still in existence. By 1949, roughly only sixty such stores in town. The presence of the corner store continued to decline until, in the 1960s, it can clearly be seen that the larger, chain style grocery stores had taken over the business.
Among the twenty five grocers listed in town in 1962 were A & P stores, Loblaw’s Groceterias and Steinbergs Limited. Locally, Farmboy and Brookside Markets also had a significant customer attraction.
Mom & Pop style grocery stores continued to fade from the local scene. Gradually, by the 1980s they had nearly all faded away to be replaced by variety and convenience stores.
Origins in Devonshire, England
The Routly Grocery Store family of Peterborough, leads back through the village of Brooklin, Ontario and on to Devonshire, England. Thomas Routly, was born in Devonshire in January 1819. He married Sarah Manning who also had been born in Devonshire. Sarah and Thomas had a family of at least seven children, all born in England. The youngest, James, born in 1858, was barely a toddler when the family immigrated to Canada West.
Photo Credit: Credit: By Romazur (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons