A Beloved Westmount Shoe Shop Is Closing & Having A Huge Sale With Up to 85% Off

Tony Shoes is going out of business after 83 years.
Contributing Writer
A Beloved Westmount Shoe Shop Is Closing & Having A Huge Sale With Up to 85% Off

Tony Shoes is a shop where the owner, Tony Fargnoli, and his wife, Kathie, remember the brand and size their customers like, much the same way Tony’s father, Eddie, and his grandfather, Giantonio, did too. A Montreal landmark, it has occupied the same small storefront on Greene Avenue since 1937. But not for much longer.  

The 83-year-old shop first announced it would be shutting down in June and kicked off an "everything must go" sale.   

“We’ve been very lucky and blessed with the clientele we’ve had and we’re happy to be retiring,” said Kathie. “We’ll be able to play golf and play with our grandchildren.”  

The sale is huge, with discounts of up to 85% off. 

On Tuesday, Kathie said they still had about 3,000 pairs of shoes left in stock, which might sound like a lot but they’re going fast.  

“A lady came in yesterday and bought 17 pairs,” she said. 

Though 2020 has claimed many of our favourite businesses, Kathie said they’re not closing because of the pandemic even though COVID-19 has affected the shopping habits of customers in surprising ways.  

There are plenty of dress shoes but winter boots have been selling out fast “because a lot of snowbirds who haven’t spent a winter here in 15 years or more,” are about to do just that.  

Tony Shoes began with Giantonio Fargnoli, an Italian immigrant who opened the store on Greene and specialized in shoe repair.

Since then, the family has run the store for three generations. 

Giantonio eventually passed the shop over to his son, who transitioned into the retail business in the 1950s. Tony and Kathie carried on the tradition.  

“We’ve known generations of customers,” she said.  

They carried shoes in both very small and very large sizes and widths and their knowledgeable staff would help people with hard-to-fit feet find pairs that would look and feel good. 

Two staff members have 80 years of combined experience at the shop, said Kathie. 

“We can’t just hire anybody,” said Kathie. “You must know how to fit shoes. It’s not like a chain store. It takes time.”  

Celebrities and politicians including the Mulroneys, the Chrétiens, and the Trudeaus, would shop there, she said.   

“It’s been fun selling shoes and meeting people,” she said. “The outpouring of appreciation from our customers coming in, it makes my husband feel pretty proud.”

Narcity may receive a small commission if you purchase something we recommend in this article, which was created by the Narcity Shop team.

What a year this has been. We’ve survived lockdown, the Montreal Canadiens are in the NHL Playoffs, nature is healing.

Keep Reading Show less

Friday, June 11, marks the long-awaited return of Montreal bar terrasses —  an integral part of the city's summer culture. There will be a limit of two adults from different addresses per table, however.

Even more reopenings are on the horizon as Montreal prepares to enter the yellow zone.

Keep Reading Show less

Many Montreal companies faced a simple choice when the pandemic hit: get busy closing or get busy quacking.

Pam Petropoulos chose the latter with her small business, Le Petit Duck Shoppe, a novelty store in Old Montreal that sells rubber ducks and rubber duck accessories.

Keep Reading Show less

This Quebec home for sale could be a deal for anyone looking to get out of the city and own a treasured piece of local history.

The home, an hour outside Quebec City in the Chaudière-Appalaches town of Sainte-Agathe-de-Lotbinière, used to function as the neighbourhood general store, realtor William Boutin told MTL Blog.

Keep Reading Show less