In August of 1950, Frank Colantonio witnessed an event which played a large part in the opening of his first safety footwear store in 1972.
Working as a labourer, Frank Colantonio saw an older, experienced man die due to a frayed extension cord which found its way into a puddle. Frank had noticed the extension cord earlier but did not feel that it was his place to say something.
That horrible experience taught young Frank two things. First, workplace safety is all about prevention and training. Secondly, never sit on your hands when speaking up is the right thing to do.
Using Frank’s experience as a grassroots organizer for the Carpenters’ Union, case administrator for the Italian Immigrant Aid Society, and safety instructor with the Construction Safety Association, along with his wife Nella’s retail experience, they got into the safety footwear business.
Frank and Nella would hear from construction customers that it was hard to find the Canadian Safety Standard boots required by law and the difficulty in the time it took to find these type of work boots was frustrating. Frank and Nella took this customer experience to heart and began to grow the business into larger locations; selling a wider selection of footwear at competitive prices. With Frank and Nella’s continued industry understanding they grew into safety footwear experts and this is where the promise of safety, expert fit and comfort in every safety boot was born.
In 1978, growth necessitated a move to a larger location at Finch and Weston Road, where the stores were re-branded as Mister Safety Shoes. This location has since evolved and expanded and remains our head office.