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The Founder – Joseph Letellier
Joseph Letellier was born October 2, 1862 in Levis Quebec, which is on the east side of Quebec City on the St Lawrence River. In 1886, he married Alexina Dugal and in 1897 (or before – we aren’t totally sure!) he opened a men’s shoe store by the name Chaussures Letellier in Hull (Gatineau). In 1900, the store was destroyed in the fire that engulfed all of downtown Hull and a good part of the parliament buildings. He then moved to Ottawa at the corner of Rideau and Sussex.
Second Generation – Ernest Letellier
Joseph passed the store onto his second son of six children. Ernest Letellier who was born in 1888 in Levis, Quebec as well, married Laura Beaudry of Gatineau. Ernest moved the store across the street to 36 Rideau Street in 1913 after a fire destroyed the building. Ernest died in 1966.
Third Generation – Marc Letellier & Roger Letellier
They took over from Ernest in 1963. Roger the second son and Marc the fourth of six children. They were born in Ottawa. Roger married Irene Boivin and Marc married Carmen Lajoie. To this point Letellier was still a men’s only shoe store. Roger retired in 1978 to spend more time with family and help his sons in their business venture. In 1988 Marc retired and passed on the store to his two youngest of four sons.
Fourth Generation – Jean and Louis Letellier
Jean and Louis, second and third sons of Marc, took over the store in 1988 and added women’s shoes. As Jean said: “We planned it before we even took over!” It was a highly successful move as the women of Ottawa became loyal customers of this Ottawa institution. That lead to a major store expansion in 1994. Since then, Letellier Shoes has sustained its appeal for customers seeking superior quality and style.
In December 2014, Jean and Louis decided to sell the business to East Lake Limited, a family owned footwear retailing company with other footwear stores in Ontario. The torch has been passed but the tradition goes on. Excellence in footwear forever! And over 50 years at 146 Rideau St in Ottawa.