The Disappearing Corner Store: Documenting the Demise of a Neighbourhood Institution

For generations the neighbourhood corner store has been an important fixture of local communities in Canada and the United States. However, with the appearance of supermarkets after the Second World War and the subsequent arrival of the local Macs Milk and 7-Elevens , the corner store has largely been relegated to selling lottery tickets, cigarettes, milk, soda drinks and junk food. Today the continued existence of many of these mom-and-pop operations is doubtful.

This portfolio is dedicated to preserving a record of these local institutions before many of them disappear, become only a dim memory and then are forgotten altogether. Indeed, since beginning this project, one of the stores I photographed, Yaghi's on Fifth Avenue in Ottawa has since closed it's doors, been torn down and replaced with a multi-unit apartment building.

The photographs in the portfolio were captured at dusk when the warm glow of the interior of these stores allowed a glimpse inside, while the light spilling from the windows illuminated the darkness surrounding them. For me it seems an appropriate metaphor symbolizing a defiant stand against a possible dark and unknowable future.

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