James Grand and Samuel Toy -
Founders of Grand & Toy, Toronto’s Oldest Office Supply Company
Plaque located at: 26 Spruce Street, Toronto, ON, Canada
James Grand 1857-1921
Samuel Toy 1859-1906
Grand & Toy, the family-owned, all-Canadian office furniture and supplies company, has been in operation for over a century. When his partnership in a printing business ended, James Grand began a solo effort from one room in a King Street home.
In 1882 Victorian Toronto was a young city bustling with enthusiasm in a very young Canada. It is believed that he was the first office supply salesman to go door-to-door selling stationery products. He carried his supplies in a wheelbarrow.
By 1883 his company had grown, so his brother-in-law, Samuel Toy, joined him as a 1/3 partner. This was the beginning of the Grand & Toy name.
The first store was at the corner of Leader Lane and Colborne Street. It was at this time that James Grand lived at 26 Spruce Street and Samuel Toy lived at 28 Spruce Street.
Grand and Toy represents one of the greatest business achievements in Canadian history. The company was run by the Grand family until 1990. Since then, it has had various owners (through mergers, etc.).
Both Grand and Toy are buried within yards of each other in St. James Cemetery.
Hear them talk: