Officially known as the ROBERT SIMPSON COMPANY, the chain had its beginnings, in Newmarket, Ontario, in 1858. A new flagship store opened in Toronto in 1872, where retail rivalry with the EATON'S mercantile across the street became fierce. The chain was acquired by the HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY in 1978. The SIMPSONS and then SIMPSON (sans-possessive nameplate) remained in use in Quebec until 1989, when stores were rebranded as LA BAIE. Ontario SIMPSON'S stores were converted to THE BAY in 1991.