Fortino, Founder of Canadian Specialty Chain, Dies at 76

HAMILTON, Ontario — Services were held here Thursday for John Fortino, an Italian immigrant steelworker who founded a chain of grocery stores bearing his name.

HAMILTON, Ontario — Services were held here Thursday for John Fortino, an Italian immigrant steelworker who founded a chain of grocery stores bearing his name.

Fortino, 76, died this week after a battle with cancer. In 1972 he founded Fortinos, renowned for its fresh food and service to Hamilton’s immigrant community.

The chain was acquired by Loblaw in 1988, which expanded it to Toronto and pioneered an "adventure store" concept resembling a European street market.