Century-old apparel shop continues to serve Timmins clientele: Steinberg & Mahn launched in 1919 after founder's migration from Montreal.

AuthorKelly, Lindsay

In 1918, Max Steinberg arrived in Timmins from Montreal, looking to start a new life. More than a century later, the German entrepreneur's imprint is still going strong.

Upon arriving in the city, Steinberg launched a men's apparel store, M. Steinberg & Company, before bringing on his friend, Joe Mahn, as a partner.

Today, Steinberg & Mahn continues to offer up the latest in men's fashion.

"A lot of our ancestors came to Canada for opportunity, whether it be for mining, or lumber camps," said Darren Taylor, Steinberg's great-grandson and the fourth generation of the family to run the shop.

"Like a lot of people, they came to sell clothes to the miners and people in the lumber camps."

At the time the store opened, dress was more formal, with men wearing suits, ties and hats on a daily basis.

That's evolved over the years to what Taylor describes as a very casual approach to dressing. Most men only wear suits and ties on formal occasions--weddings and funerals primarily.

When Taylor took over operation of the store in the 1990s, baggy pants and big shoulder pads were the norm.

Nowadays, you're more likely to see men sport a slimmer, trimmer silhouette.

"I think menswear is alive right now," Taylor said. "There's a lot of fashion in a casual-type world where you can wear a crazy shirt with a wonderful jacket and finish it off with a nice, cotton pant or denim. This is what guys are looking for today."

The business has had its challenges, not the least of which was the arrival of big box stores and, more recently, online shopping.

But Taylor believes the shop fills a niche with its hands-on customer service.

"A lot of people out there still want to be fussed and pampered over," he said. "They want to feel; they want to touch; they want to feel important. You don't get that sense of feeling important when you're buying online."

It's not uncommon for a client to come in at 5 p.m. with just two hours to spare to find something to wear for a formal event that evening.

After serving many of the same clients--and generations of families --over several years, Taylor and his staff have developed personal relationships with many of them, a unique exchange he believes is lost through online transactions.

His shop focuses on high-quality...

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