In the 1950s, Bill Hefler owned Lawrence Park Hardware in North Toronto. When a neighbour of his asked if Bill could find his growing sons some ski boots, Bill said, “Of course!” He found the boys their boots and he realized he was onto something. Ski clubs were opening north of the city and lots of families would need reliable ski equipment. Bill began to book appointments after hours at his hardware store. He’d schedule two families a night, fitting parents and their children with skis, boots, and eventually ski clothing. As a Level 3 ski instructor and father of three little girls, Bill knew what his customers needed and he loved to make them happy. Eventually, he followed his heart, bought another property on the corner, sold the hardware store, and opened The Sign of the Skier in 1971.
Now in his eighties, Bill no longer works at the store (“Would you buy a snowboard from an old guy like me?”), but he’s pleased to see that the next generation is still paying close attention to detail and keeping the customers happy.