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 subway station, image by Jason Paris

Steps 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).

image by Jason Paris

image 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?

image by Jason Paris

Loblaws' 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.

Cutting the ceremonial Ace Bakery baguette, Galen Weston and Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, image by Jason Paris

image 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.  

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image 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.

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

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

image by Jason Paris

image by Jason Paris

In the underground parking lot:

image 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.  

Related Companies:  BBB Architects, ERA Architects, Landini Associates, LEA Consulting, Loblaw Companies, Ryerson University, Stadium Consultants International, Turner Fleischer Architects