After more than a century in business, Douro’s general store is closing its doors. The owner of P.G. Towns and Sons says it’s been struggling to fill the shelves for the past few years. Sarah Deeth reports:
After 124 years in business, P.G. Towns and Sons is closing its doors for good after Labour Day weekend.
“Things have become very challenging and it was just getting to that point where it was too much to keep the doors open,” owner Michelle Towns said.
The store has been a staple in the Douro Community…
Some say it’s the heart of Douro.
“Every body is sad, Sad they’re gone. It’s really going to be awful-it’s going to kill the community. Kill it,” Douro resident Paul Meade said.
The store originally opened in Peterborough in 1892;
It moved to its current location on Douro’s 8th Line in 1896.
Mike Towns once ran the business alongside his father, and remembers growing up among the store’s shelves.
“It has been traditionally the place to stop if you’re going through Douro, and I feel very sad that there’s no place to stop now, to buy a newspaper, or a coke,” he said.
To many, the store represents a bygone way of life, tokens of that era are everywhere, from tins of lard and old weigh scales that still sit on the store’s upper shelves, to old dye boxes and wooden storage crates.
But its owners say it’s been increasingly hard to keep those lower shelves well-stocked…
as consumers’ needs and shopping habits shift.
“In the 11 years since we’ve had the business we’ve seen a lot of big box stores open, and I think the grocery shopping experience has changed a lot so I think it makes it difficult to carry the wide range of products,” Michelle Towns said.
While the store is closing the building will remain in the hands of the Towns family.
They’re looking for a tenant to set up a new business.
And the owners say the sense of community the store has inspired isn’t going anywhere.
“It’s the people that are coming in the doors that make it that heart. It’s not the building itself. So without the people in our community there would be no heart.”