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Thursday, June 20, 2024
P12032 - John and Giuseppina LoMascolo inside Johnís Import. Courtesy of Lo Mascolo family
P12032 - John and Giuseppina LoMascolo inside John’s Import. Courtesy of Lo Mascolo family
P12034 - John Lo Mascolo in front of his store, Johnís Imports. Courtesy of Lo Mascolo family
P12034 - John Lo Mascolo in front of his store, John’s Import. Courtesy of Lo Mascolo family
  Giovanni was 26 years old when he decided to immigrate to Canada with his young wife, Giuseppina, and their six month old daughter, Anna. They landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 16, 1959. From there Lo Mascolo family traveled by train for two “unending” days to reach their relatives in Montreal, Quebec.

In Montreal it was very hard to find work. Giovanni’s first job was with the transport company to install new railroads. He worked there for three months, which was very demanding.

In 1960, Giovanni met a friend, Pasquale Bruno, who had come from Vancouver. He gave Giovanni the idea of getting in the business of selling bedspreads, tablecloths and carpets. Consequently, Lo Mascolo became a pedlar. He traveled for four years to almost all of the provinces, the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

In 1965, Giovanni met Mr. Cora from Chieri, Province of Torino, who encouraged him to open his business of imported goods from Italy. Mr. Cora helped Lo Mascolo financially, gave him many suggestions and names of new firms in Milan (Milano), Italy.

In February of 1966, Giovanni Lo Mascolo opened the store, John’s Import Textiles Ltd., on Ottawa Street in Windsor, Ontario. He remained there until 1970. Later he transferred the business to the corner of Erie Street and Marentette, where La Magenta Café stands today. At last, in 1975, Giovanni moved again the business to the current location at 673 Erie St. E.

Since 1966, Giovanni set out to import a new line of bedspreads and he expanded the business including bathroom linen, embroidered sheets, all types of tablecloths, woolen blankets, christening and first communion outfits, and a vast selection of men’s and women’s and children’s underclothing. Lo Mascolo included draperies in 1980.

As of today, Joh n’s Import Textile Ltd imports from many other countries besides Italy. His family, wife Giuseppina, and the three children, Anna Lo Mascolo Aleo, Tony Lo Mascolo and Giovanna Lo Mascolo Giglio, have helped and supported Giovanni through the years.

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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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