by Brent Eades
Almonte has an intriguing new store at 36 Mill Street, called L.G. Lee & Sons.
Opened this week by Lee Valley Tools founder Leonard Lee and his sons Robin and James, the store offers an eclectic mix of everything from gardening tools and heritage-style hardware fixtures to travel and camping items, books, puzzles, games and toys.
The store is in the space formerly occupied by Mr. Lee’s medical tool company, Canica Design, which he sold some time back. It retains its original tin ceilings and features distinctive oak display cabinets that Mr. Lee came across and purchased in New York many years ago.
By an interesting coincidence, the Lee family’s new store occupies the same premises in which a different Lee family established a successful hardware business back in 1924. Long-time Almonte residents will surely have fond memories of N.S. Lee and Son — later Lee Pro Hardware — which was run by three generations of that family before closing its doors in 1999.
Leonard Lee founded Lee Valley Tools in 1978. The company has 15 retail stores across Canada, and takes online orders from customers throughout the world. Mr. Lee was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2002.
He built a home on the 8th Line of Ramsay in 1996, on a farm property he bought in 1972.