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City Surplus leaving downtown for Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Boys is, in turn, moving down the road to 555 Notre Dame Ave. City Surplus outgrew its current 128 Cedar St. location a decade ago, said the store's owner Bruno Gauthier.
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Bruno Gauthier is the third-generation owner of City Surplus. The outdoor equipment and workwear store will be moving from its current 128 Cedar St. location, where it's been for more than three decades, and moving to 685 Notre Dame Ave. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.
The Notre Dame Boys is, in turn, moving down the road to 555 Notre Dame Ave.

City Surplus outgrew its current 128 Cedar St. location a decade ago, said the store's owner Bruno Gauthier.

“I've been actively looking for a property for that long,” he said. “You don't move just for the sake of moving, because commercial real estate doesn't come up every day. It's got to be the right mix. We've found the magic property.”

Gauthier said the new building has 12,000 square feet, up from the 5,000 square feet in the current City Surplus building. With the move, the business owner said he'll expand his inventory and double his staff from 12 to 25 people.

“It's a win-win-win-win situation for everybody involved,” Gauthier said. “We are doing our part in employing as many people as we can, moving forward.”

City Surplus is just the latest of several retailers to leave the downtown this year. This past winter, the convenience store Black Cat, music store Records on Wheels and clothing store Joe Lesar Men's Wear all closed their doors.

Gauthier said he's not sure if there's a trend towards retail stores leaving the downtown or not. “I don't know what's triggering that,” he said. “I really don't want to speak negatively.”

City Surplus has a long history in the city.

The family business has its origins in Harvey's Surplus, a second-hand store started by Gauthier's grandfather, Harvey, in 1944.

The store was purchased by Bruno's father, Reo, in the late 60s. He began selling outdoor equipment and work wear in the mid-70s, and changed the business' name to City Surplus.

In 1996, Gauthier became the third generation to own the business, when he purchased it from his father.

Over the years, the store has occupied various storefronts in the downtown and on Notre Dame Avenue, although it's been in its current location — next to what's now the downtown bus terminal — since 1981.

Gauthier said he'll definitely miss working in the downtown. “We've made some great connections and friends here,” he said.

He said he's sold the building to an out-of-town doctor. Gauthier said he's not sure exactly what the new property owner intends to do with it, but speculates “it could potentially be doctors' offices.”

City Surplus will likely open in its new location sometime in August or in early September, he said. For more information, visit www.citysurplus.ca or phone 705-674-9675.

Heidi Ulrichsen

About the Author: Heidi Ulrichsen

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