Canadian Fashion Connection – Goudies department store

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Celadon oatmeal tweed suit labelled ‘Goudies, Kitchener’, c. 1965

Pronounced ‘gow’ as in cow, this Kitchener, Ontario department store began as Weeloh-Goudies Ltd. in 1909 when Arthur Russell Goudie (1884-1960) became the manager and vice president of a new dry goods shop. After a fire destroyed the stock in 1918, the store was reopened but just under the name of Goudies. In 1925 Goudies moved to a new location at the northeast corner of King and Queen streets and became the largest department store in Ontario outside of Toronto and Ottawa when it expanded in 1934 up King street to include more┬áthan 50,000 square feet of retail space. The store was at its height of success from the late 1940s to the early 1960s but with the completion of highway 401 in 1964, which connected Toronto to Kitchener within an hour’s drive, and the gradual decline of the local manufacturing sector, the store began to wane, closing in 1988.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.

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