Unless you've been living completely sheltered from all local media, by now you've no doubt heard about the new Loblaws superstore that opened in the former Maple Leaf Gardens yesterday. Veteran UrbanToronto Forum member, roving photographer and tweeter Jason Paris was there chronicling the big opening. What follows is his photo reportage of one of the most exciting store openings in Toronto history.

Even before stepping foot into Loblaws, once you get off the subway at College subway station, we are welcomed and reminded that we're on our way to "food's greatest stage." Note the font used on this sign, which is also used in in-store signage. It's the original font used within Maple Leaf Gardens.

College station, leading Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens Store, TorontoCollege subway station, image by Jason Paris

College station, leading Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens Store, TorontoSteps leading out of College subway station, image by Jason Paris

Upon arrival at the place where the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup (a really, really long time ago).

Outside of Maple Leaf Gardens, home of new Loblaws in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Looking at the corner of Church and Carlton, new Loblaws in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Staff of the in-house Ace Bakery passing out freshly baked goodies to the many, many who stood in line for hours in order to be one of the first to enter (some, since the previous night). Remember when those lineups signified a big concert?

Ace Bakery handing out baked goods outside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens, T.Oimage by Jason Paris

Loblaws' Galen Weston, giving his speech inside Maple Leaf Gardens store openingLoblaws' Galen Weston, giving his speech inside Maple Leaf Gardens store opening, image by Jason Paris

Mr. Weston thought it appropriate (given the history of the Weston family bakeries) to opt for a bread-cutting ceremony, rather than the conventional ribbon-cutting, for the inaugural launch of his family's latest venture.

Bread cutting ceremony inside Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in TorontoCutting the ceremonial Ace Bakery baguette, Galen Weston and Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, image by Jason Paris

Mob of people outside of the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Throughout the store there are many reminders of the history behind one of Toronto's most notable buildings, and the many people and events it once hosted.  

Historical pictures inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Historical pictures inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Historical pictures inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

And, of course, Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens offers you a cornucopia of food from each important food group and — and more.

Meat section inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Dairy section inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Organic veggie section inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown T.O.image by Jason Paris

Cooking class space inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Sushi materials inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Canteen counter inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Patisserie section inside Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Ice cream/gelato varieties inside Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown T.O.image by Jason Paris

Cupcakes inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Coffee bar inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Tea wall inside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Recycling bin outside of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in Torontoimage by Jason Paris

Any Loblaws superstore today wouldn't be complete without a Joe Fresh... or an LCBO for that matter.

Inside Joe Fresh store in Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

LCBO & Joe Fresh upstairs of Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in Torontoimage by Jason Paris

In the underground parking lot:

Underground parking below Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Torontoimage by Jason Paris

For more pictures from Jason's visit to the Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens store, and to see how Loblaws pays homage to the history of the building, check out his flickr page.