A.J. Freiman Limited, or "Freimans", was a landmark department store on
Rideau Streetin Ottawa, Canada, founded in 1918 by Archibald J. Freiman.
A.J. Freiman was born in Lithuania in 1880, and emigrated to Ottawa. Freiman's rose to become the most successful department store in Ottawa because of its prominent location at Mosgrove and Rideau Streets, its aggressive marketing and its low prices. The company operated branches in Westgate and St. Laurent Shopping Centres, [Ward, Bruce. "Ottawa 1967". The Ottawa Citizen. June 30, 2007. [http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/city/story.html?id=685bdf4f-dae2-4ad1-8cfe-4c593f1d906c] (retrieved July 1, 2007)] as well as discount stores, called Freimart, in Shoppers City West and Shoppers City East.
Then owned by A.J. Freiman's son, Lawrence (who wrote a book about the store), the company was acquired by the
Hudson's Bay Companyin 1972. The former Freimans store still operates as an outlet of the Bay, and an adjoining arcade linking Rideau Street to the Byward Marketis named the Freiman Mallin honour of the longtime Ottawa retailer. In addition, a lane beside the nearby National Arts Centre has been named Lawrence Freiman Lane.
Freiman's was also the centre of an important battle against anti-semitism. In the 1930s Ottawa police officer Jean Tissot, affiliated with
Adrian Arcand's movement, attempted to rally Christian Canadians to boycott Jewish businesses. Freiman's, as the most prominent Jewish owned business in Ottawa was at the centre of his attacks. As a result Freiman filed a libel suit against Tissot, and Tissot was found guilt of criminal libel. The staunch condemnations of Tissot in the mainstream press and the utter failure of his movement to find support among the people led to a sound defeat for anti-semitism in Ottawa.
*List of Canadian department stores
*Charlesworth, Hector W., "A cyclopædia of Canadian biography : brief biographies of persons distinguished in the professional, military and political life and the commerce and industry of Canada, in the twentieth century", 1919, page 132 (reproduced at [http://www.ourroots.ca/e/viewpage.asp?ID=804226&size=2 Ourroots.ca] )
*Lo, Laurelle. "The Path From Peddling: Jewish Economic Activity in Ottawa Before 1939." "Ottawa: Making A Capital." Ottawa: Ottawa University Press, 2001.
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