Skip to main content

1 of 10

Leon’s founder Ablan Leon began his business life as a door-to-door salesman, selling clothing from a suitcase. By 1909, he had saved enough to start a small general store, stocking clothing, shoes and other such goods. He later branched into furniture, mattresses and appliances.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

2 of 10

Company founder Ablan Leon. An immigrant to Canada himself, Mr. Leon extended credit to other new Canadians, building loyalty among his working-class customers.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

3 of 10

The location of the first Leon’s store, in Welland, Ont., can be seen on the side of a company truck. Founder Ablan Leon chose Welland to start his company in 1909 because, as the largest city on the Welland Canal, it was a properous place.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

4 of 10

Company trucks and drivers are lined up outside a Leon’s store in this undated photo.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 10

The A. Leon Co. Ltd. started out as a general merchandise store. But when the company founder discovered that the profit margin was bigger on mattresses, he branched out.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

6 of 10

Leon’s staff get set to deliver a truckload of General Electric ringer washers in 1947.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

7 of 10

By 1956, the sons and daughters of founder Ablan Leon, who died in 1942, had begun expanding the business and changed the signs to Leon’s.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

8 of 10

By 1969, Leon’s went public, listing its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Flush with new money, the company broke ground on its first ‘big box’ store in Weston, Ont., which opened in 1973.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

9 of 10

By the 1960s, the A. Leon Co. was opening stores throughout Southern Ontario.

Leon’s Furniture Ltd.

10 of 10

Terry Leon, president and CEO of Leon’s Furniture, relaxes in his flagship Toronto store after announcing the purchase of the Brick.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/J.P. MOCZULSKI

Report an error
Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.