About Scholar’s Choice Toy Store

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Scholar’s Choice Toy Store History

Scholar’s Choice has been serving the needs of early childhood centres across Canada for 70 years. We are proud to be the oldest and largest distributor of educational materials and toys in Canada.

Our Company’s early predecessor was Jack Hood School Supplies, a company founded in Stratford, Ontario in 1939. Jack Hood School Supplies grew and prospered as a school supply company and library book distributor.

In 1969, Jack Hood and Nor-Ed School Supplies in North Bay, Ontario were purchased by Harlequin Enterprises “the romance book company” and merged under the name Scholar’s Choice. This company was run by Bill Webster until 1977, when he left for a position at Harlequin corporate office.

In 1978, Bill Webster and his wife Gael decided to return to their true love, the school supply business, and after a failed attempt to purchase Scholar’s Choice from Harlequin, purchased a competitor of Scholar’s Choice called Educator Supplies Limited founded in London, Ontario in 1952.

Educator Supplies had built a strong school supply and audiovisual business in Ontario and the Western provinces. In 1982, Harlequin decided to discontinue its educational division, and Bill and Gael purchased Scholar’s Choice.

In the 1980s Scholar’s Choice and Educator Supplies continued to expand the school market and expanded into the early childhood market. This market was a new and rapidly growing in Canada. Their two companies operated separately until they merged under the name Scholar’s Choice in 1990.

In 1998, Scholar’s Choice purchased its major competitor, Moyer’s, which had been founded in 1884. Moyer’s was a successful educational materials and toy distributor and retailer operating across Canada with a strong presence in Quebec and the Maritimes. With this acquisition, Scholar’s Choice became the largest distributor of educational toys and teaching materials for schools and early childhood centres in Canada.

In the 1980’s, Scholar’s Choice started to open educational stores dedicated to providing teaching materials, educational toys and arts and crafts materials for elementary school teachers and early childhood centres. These stores were located in Southwestern Ontario. After the acquisition of Moyer’s in 1998, Scholar’s Choice quickly opened stores across Canada. We now operate 27 stores across the country. We are the largest retailers of educational toys and teaching materials in Canada.

In 1990, Scott Webster, son of Bill and Gael Webster, joined the company as General Manager. Scott took over as President in 1996 and in 1998, with his wife Cindy purchased the company.

Today, Cindy and Scott operate a very vibrant company distributing and retailing educational toys and teaching materials to parents, teacher and early childhood educators in Canada and around the world. We currently have more than 380 staff members and our main distribution centre in London, Ontario.

Source: Scholar’s Choice Toy Store online

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