Our History

In 1882, a young Toronto bread salesman and former baker’s apprentice named George Weston went into business for himself when he bought a bread route from his employer. By the turn of the century, Weston’s Bread was known throughout the city and George Weston had become Canada’s biggest baker.

In 1924, George’s eldest son, Garfield Weston, followed in his father’s footsteps and became president of George Weston Limited. In spite of war and the depression, Garfield transformed his father’s Toronto bakery into a commercial food empire with holdings on several continents.

In 1953, George Weston Limited expanded its grocery business, acquiring a majority control of Loblaw Inc. In 1956, Loblaw Companies Limited was incorporated, and over the next two decades, Loblaw continued to expand its operations throughout Canada and the Unites States.

In the early 1970s, a third generation took charge as W. Galen Weston successfully consolidated the large conglomerate, reinventing Loblaw in the process and transforming it into Canada’s largest grocery chain and George Weston’s largest asset.

In 2006, Galen G. Weston assumed responsibility for Loblaw, and guided Loblaw through a period of transformation and growth in response to a rapidly changing business environment, including the creation and initial public offering of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (“Choice Properties”) in 2013 and the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart shortly thereafter. In 2017, as part of a long-term succession plan, Galen G. Weston was appointed CEO of George Weston Limited.

In 2018, as part of George Weston’s transformation initiative and on-going mission to drive shareholder value, the company completed a reorganization where Loblaw spun out its majority interest in Choice Properties to George Weston.

George Weston's acquisition of a majority ownership of Choice Properties was a critical milestone in the recent history of the company. As a result of this spin out, George Weston became the majority owner of Choice Properties. With the addition of Choice Properties to the portfolio, George Weston became more balanced and diversified, with three strong and well-positioned businesses in retail, real estate and consumer goods.

In 2021, George Weston Limited made the decision to sell its Weston Foods bakery business. The business had been the foundation for the Weston Group in Canada since its establishment in 1882. The sale of the business was completed at the end of 2021, positioning GWL to focus on its market-leading retail and real estate businesses.

For more than a century and a quarter, thousands of employees of George Weston Limited and its subsidiaries have built an enterprise that has persevered and prospered through good times and bad to become one of Canada’s most successful companies.

Here, we take a look at our past in the hope that it will inspire our future:

Baker’s Apprentice

“Perseverance and pluck combined with brains have brought many a man out of the rut. Such a man is Mr. George Weston.”

A Model Bakery

In 1897, George Weston unveiled his new and highly modern Model Bakery bread factory. Hailed for its efficiency and cleanliness, its appearance also set baker against baker to see who would make Toronto’s bread.

Weston Advertising

From George Weston’s first newspaper ads for his Real Home-Made Bread to today’s 30-second television commercials with Galen G. Weston, advertising has always played a crucial role in marketing Weston and Loblaw brands.

Britain’s Biggest Baker

The Depression hit Canadians hard, especially the country’s wheat farmers. But a young Toronto businessman named Garfield Weston had a plan — export more Canadian wheat and make a better British loaf of bread.

Weston Foods Employee History Working at Weston

A look at some of the dedicated employees who have made George Weston Limited one of Canada’s most successful companies.

Reinventing Loblaws

As W. Galen Weston took over as the new head of Loblaw Companies Limited in 1972, the company faced a stark reality — either reinvent itself or go broke.

Choice Properties - A Third Strategic Operating Segment

A look at how Choice Properties became the third operating segment of George Weston Limited.

Modernizing Retail

A look at how Loblaw retail has evolved in recent decades, most notably through the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart and through Loblaw’s consistent drive to embrace innovation, digitization and changing customer expectations.