Address: 480 Granville St | Neighbourhood: Granville | Established: 1946 | Currently: Active
Image of Dunn's Tailors in 2012

Dunn’s Tailors opened its doors in 1936. Former owners and brothers George and Clarence Conn installed Dunn’s famous art-deco sign at their flagship store at 390 West Hastings in 1946. Dunn’s built a reputation for its superior customer service, its “made-to-measure” tailoring, and later, as a leading retailer of “off the rack” menswear.

In 1974, a young man named Robert Smith started working at the store. “I stood at a made-to-measure table and measured 200 people in a weekend,” he recalls. He worked hard. Six years later, he was named a partner. Now, he owns the business.

Robert moved Dunn’s to its current home at Granville and Pender from Hastings in 1995. The hardest yet most crucial part of the move was re-installing the neon sign, of which Robert has been a fierce and meticulous protector. “In my lifetime, it will not be changed,” he declares.

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Robert Smith
Robert Smith said…
“The sign person came along and said you know, ‘Why don’t we change the tubing to LED lighting?' I went, ‘Don’t touch that, you put it back...'"
Kevin Dale McKeown
Kevin Dale McKeown said…
“It gave me a taste of what it would be like to be a gentleman who could afford to spend some money on some nice clothes and be treated well..."
Robert Smith
Robert Smith wrote…
“Even today, [fashion]’s changing. [In earlier decades], it was very buttoned up. Tailor-made, three-piece suits, everyone wore them..."

“I’ve seen a huge amount of change. It’s incredible. Even today, [fashion]’s changing. [In earlier decades], it was very buttoned up. Tailor-made, three-piece suits, everyone wore them.

And then the casual dot-com wave came. People started wearing Chinos and the suits sort of waned. There were tailors that closed up and people were making all kinds of statements people weren’t going to wear suits anymore.

But it got so that wearing Chinos to the office is really not acceptable. I predicted this. I was a member of a fashion council and I spoke at a big convention. I told them that the problem with this Casual Friday is there are no rules to Casual Friday.

The suit’s an image. It’s part of what you should be wearing. When I go and deal with a lawyer, I don’t want to see a lawyer in a t-shirt and jeans. Because perception is, he’s just a little to casual for me.

So it’s changed again. There’s an evolution again. All the young guys are dressing to the nines. Absolutely to the nines.”

-Robert Smith, owner, Dunn’s Tailors


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Photo gallery

Get a closer look at this sign and the business it represents. All photos are provided by the MOV.
Dunn's Tailors Retirement Party
Dunn's Tailors 1940
Dunn's Tailors Interior 1968
Dunn's Tailors Window Display 1936
Jubilee Parade in front of Dunn's Tailors 1936
Ad for Dunn's Tailors 56th Anniversary 1990
Province Newspaper Article 1987
Clarence Conn outside Dunn's Tailors 1987
Dunn's Tailors Moving to Granville 1995
Rogers Building 2010

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