Sid Leon's family has decided to close Irving's Famous Clothes on James Street North — capping a decades-old legacy in the downtown core.
Leon died back in December of a heart attack. He was 67 years old.
"We explored lots of different things, but at the end of the day, Dad did everything in that shop," said Leon's son, Mike.
To that end, the family decided the best way to respect Leon's legacy and memory was to close the shop on a high note, "in the spirit of the way it had been run before."
"We wanted to close it with dignity," the younger Leon said.
Established in 1915, the shop came into Leon's father Irving's possession in the 1940s. Leon apprenticed in the store in the '60s, and then took it over when his father died in the early 1970s.
Leon was described by his family as "tireless advocate" for downtown Hamilton and particularly for James Street North. He had been president of the Jamesville Business Improvement Area, which represented local businesses from the mid-'80s until 1991, when it disbanded.
"It's been tough walking past that shop and knowing Sid isn't in there," said CBC columnist Paul Wilson, who had shopped at Irving's over the years.
A "goodbye sale" will begin at the shop on Thursday, Feb. 14. The family plans to install a donation box in the store, with all proceeds going towards towards "Project Concern," a charitable initiative of Hamilton Police Service that benefits several charities in the Hamilton area.
Mike Leon says that he hopes people just remember the personal touch his father had.
"Whether you bought a suit or socks, he treated you like gold," Leon said. "And he was exactly like that out of the shop, too."