Skip to main content

Stores | Our Story

A Family Affair Since 1840

The first pages of the story of Canada's oldest family business were written by John Simons in the heart of Old Quebec. Told with passion over generations, that story now stretches from coast to coast.

Archive photo

A Family Affair Since 1840

“Fashion has been our passion since 1840! A uniquely different and inspiring fashion retailer, we are known for offering the most sought-after styles and looks from the world's design capitals and providing a level of service available nowhere else. For five generations, we have been renowned for our devotion to customer care. Today, our more than dozen stores are a dazzling tribute to architecture, art, attentive service, and to a shopping experience second to none.”

- Richard and Peter Simons

Photo from our archives in Old Quebec

1840

|

Our origins

The birth of a legendary family business
Our story began in 1812 when Peter Simons arrived from Scotland and settled on a small farm near Quebec City to raise his family of five. In 1840 his son John moved into the city to open a small shop, where he sold dry goods and various imported wares. To make sure his business received the latest in goods from Europe, he made over 70 Atlantic crossings by sailing ship. In those early days, John Simons was already putting an emphasis on quality merchandise and attentive service, setting the stage for the future success of La Maison Simons.

Photo from our archives in Old Quebec

1870

|

Old Quebec

A golden history
In 1870, John Simons moved his shop to 20 côte de la Fabrique, where it remains to this day, along with the Simons head office. The building's charming 19th century façade and interior arches are just a few of the architectural elements that bear witness to the store's rich past. The store was enlarged in 2005 and renovated in 2007.

Photo from our archives in Old Quebec

Modern Times

Simons store at Place Ste-Foy

The Sixties

|

Creating exclusive brands

Donald Simons was part of that generation of young entrepreneurs who possessed remarkable intuition and a true spirit of innovation. In the booming postwar years, he quickly saw the importance of serving the needs of an increasingly modern society.

Under his influence, La Maison Simons created exciting new fashion brands in Quebec. The sixties saw the birth of Twik, in sync with the day's new young woman of 16 to 25. This exclusive brand broke with traditional codes and stood out with daring pieces by young designers driving a revolution in fashion.

Women 30 to 40 were also more and more on the move, and La Contemporaine moved right along with them, offering fashion in tune with their lifestyles. Le 31 pour homme, an original formula playing off the French expression for the sartorial man, was the name of the new shopping destination for men of all ages. La Lingère also became an innovation leader with its enticing and fashion-forward selection of home designs.

Old fashion advertisement by Simons
Old fashion advertisement by Simons

1961

|

Place Ste-Foy

Modern majesty
Our Place Ste-Foy store has always been a flagship for La Maison Simons. It was the first to open its doors in a shopping mall—a daring move at the time—and it was the first to give prominent play to men's fashions and to home linens.

The store was completely revamped in 2007, doubling in size to offer shoppers a totally new and exciting architectural concept. Its minimalist forms are a dazzle of pure white and light, making it a wonder of avant-garde design. Today the store embodies the Simons ideal of functional harmony and ordered beauty.

Simons store's facade at Place Ste-Foy

1981

|

Galeries de la Capitale

Remembering times past
Designed to serve a suburban clientele outside the centre of Quebec City, our original Galeries de la Capitale store took its inspiration from antiquity. Its roman-style pediment, ionic columns, and laurel wreaths fit in seamlessly with the latest trends.

The extraordinary work of art found in the cupola further embellished this exceptional space where history and modernity met.

Old Simons store's facade at Galeries de la Capitale
Old Simons store's cupola at Galeries de la Capitale

Expanding out

Tying Together Tradition and the Future

the fontaine de tourny

2008

|

Quebec city's 400th anniversary

A historic gift
To commemorate the founding of Quebec City, the Simons family wanted to give their fellow citizens a gift that would show their love for the city that welcomed their ancestors: the Fontaine de Tourny. First chanced upon in a Paris antique store, it now stands in front of Quebec's National Assembly, an exquisite focal point for the parliamentary grounds. This treasured urban antique, which won gold at the Paris world's fair of 1855, was cast to celebrate Bordeaux's new water supply system. After a complete restoration, it was inaugurated in July 2007 to kick off Quebec's 400th anniversary celebrations.

2010

|

Entering the digital age

Simons is branching out and offering our unique selection of fashion items to customers all over Canada via the web to spur new growth. In store or online, the same passion transmitted from generation to generation drives the entire Simons team to offer Canadians trendsetting fashions, a totally inspiring environment, and extraordinary customer service.

entering the digital age

A Luminous Presence

Flag of the United States

Are you in the United States?

Visit simons.com