Montreal’s Oldest Paint Store, In Business Since 1898
City Paints was originally a hardware store called City Hardware Supply founded in 1898 in a small space directly across the street from our current location. The original owners, Esther and Harry Zuckerman, were both natives of Europe who immigrated to Canada as children. One of their sons, Michael, the youngest of 11 children, took over the business just after the war in 1945. It was around that time that the store started to specialize in paints. In 1959, Michael soon realized that the space occupied by City Hardware was too small and decided to re-build the store across the street, in its present location.
A few years later, Michael’s son Danny joined the business. He was followed by his other brothers Allan, who put in 25 years at the store, before setting out to expand his own sales territory independently in 1999. The 3rd brother Brahm, spent a few years there, but later left to become a quality painter and master carpenter. The 4th and youngest youngest brother, Howard, worked in the store until 2010. Together, they gradually specialized in paint and paint sundries only, and in 1980, changed the name of the store from “City Hardware Supply” to “City Paints”.
In 1994, the 4th generation joined the business. Jason Zuckerman, Danny’s son, worked in the business for 15 years before he bought out his Uncle Howard in 2010. Danny and Jason Zuckerman now continue to work there and are planning to keep the family business going for many more years to come.
In 1938, City Paints was one of Benjamin Moore’s first customers in Canada to sell their paint. When you come into the store you will see our small paint museum located on high shelves. We even have some old Valspar varnish cans that date back to the early 1920’s, and yes, they are still full and not dried out! Some of the old memorabilia is hidden away but if you ask we will be happy to show you.
The immense publicity received from various media outlets during our 100th birthday celebration has contributed to our success and visibility. City Paints was the cover story on A Montreal Landmark. Our story was chronicled on the CTV National News and in the Montreal Gazette and told in magazines from as far away as St. Louis. Several newspapers and TV shows have returned since to do follow-ups. It’s not often that you can walk into a 113 year-old store and be served by the 4th generation of the same family.
After 123 years, some are discovering City Paints for the first time and City Paints continues to discover new ways to attract customers.