TORONTO — Famed Greater Toronto Area retailer Bad Boy Furniture Warehouse Ltd. has been around for 70 years, but the business begun by Mel Lastman, a flamboyant Toronto salesman (who went on to become the city’s mayor) and revived by his son has hit hard times. Amid higher interest rates and slow home sales, it is attempting to restructure its business under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
This is how Bad Boy got to this point:
1953: Marilyn Lastman gets her future husband Mel Lastman a job at an appliance store on College Street in Toronto. A video Bad Boy once shared detailing his history says Mel Lastman started on accounts receivable, but one night, when a salesman called in sick, he hit the floor, selling two stoves and a fridge, kick-starting his career in sales.
1954: Mel Lastman runs Heather Hill appliances in 1954, the Bad Boy video says. Sales were difficult to come by so he would follow an ice truck around noting their delivery stops and would later visit to pitch them on buying a refrigerator.
1955: Mel Lastman changed the name of his business to Bad Boy on the advice of a friend in marketing, the video says. He opened the first Bad Boy store on Weston Road in Toronto.
1969: Mel Lastman elected to the North York Board of Control.
Dec. 4, 1972: Lastman elected mayor of North York. He would serve 10 straight terms — 25 years — as the mayor of the now Toronto suburb.
1976: Mel Lastman sells the Bad Boy business. By then, the chain had 40 stores.
July 17, 1990: Bad Boy Furniture Warehouse Ltd. is incorporated in Ontario.
1991: Mel Lastman’s son Blayne Lastman revives the Bad Boy business with his first store on Kennedy Road in Scarborough, Ont. Because Canada was grappling with a recession, Mel Lastman thought his son was “out of his mind” to get into business, Bad Boy’s video said. Eventually, he came around and became a fixture in Bad Boy’s videos, shouting the chain’s famed “nooobody” slogan.
1993: Blayne Lastman hires look-alikes to play Bill and Hillary Clinton, then the U.S. president and first lady, in an ad promoting his stores. The White House sent a cease and desist letter to Bad Boy.
1998: Lastman becomes first mayor of the newly amalgamated City of Toronto. He was re-elected in 2000, serving two terms before announcing his retirement from politics ahead of the 2003 election.
2006: Blayne Lastman named Mel Lastman honorary chairman of the board of the newly minted Lastman’s Bad Boy brand.
Nov. 19, 2014: Bad Boy opens a store in landmark Honest Ed’s building in Toronto
Dec. 11, 2021: Mel Lastman dies at 88.
Nov. 9, 2023: Bad Boy files Notice of Intention in Ontario court in a bid to restructure its business amid high interest rates, slow home sales and a tight retail market.
Lastman had a bond and a love affair with the people of Toronto
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