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Larry's Shoes closes after 68 years

Al Levy

Larry's Shoes, a fixture on Queen Mary since 1940, closed its doors on August 31.

Back in the 1920s, Alan Levy's grandfather, a recent immigrant to Montreal, founded M. Levy Shoes on St-Laurent near Napoleon, not far from Moishe's Steakhouse. His son Larry followed Horace Greeley's famous advice to 'go West, young man' and opened the Queen Mary location in 1940. Alan joined in 1961 and assisted until 1986, when Larry retired at the age of 86. Alan then ran the shop on his own for 22 years. Until now – truly the end of an era.

The store was always family oriented. In 1997, the focus shifted to seniors, reflecting the changing demographic of the neighbourhood. In this age of Asian imports, Al Levy reminds us that Quebec was once a center of quality shoe manufacturing with brands like Slater, Tetrault, McFarland-Lefevbre and White Cross. In the 1970s, the U.S. invaded with names like Florsheim and Brown. More than shoe offerings are disappearing with this closing. Al Levy is known in the district for his humourous schmoozing and recollections of history. Larry's was always good for shoes and sympathy, and will be sadly missed.

"Summing it up, my clients were my extended family, and many are upset. When you build up a lot of trust, it goes a long way — the handshakes and the hugs hurt. This is the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another."



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