Oshawa’s largest bakery, Tod’s Bread Limited, was established in 1890 by David M. Tod. Mr. Tod was born in November 1865 in Bowmanville to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tod. At the age of 13, D.M. Tod quit school and began working in his father’s bakery. After a few years there, he travelled to the United States but eventually returned to Oshawa.
D.M. Tod’s bakery was located at the corner of Bond and Centre Streets. It was a solid brick, one storey building, sixty-six feet long and sixty feet wide. In this building was the flour store room, the shipping room, wagon shed and the bread shop proper as well as the latest machinery known to the science of bread making. The stable, which was located behind the bakery, was large enough to house 10 horses and had a separate harness room. It was also equipped with running water and electricity.
In 1895, a confectionery shop was opened by D.M. Tod at 20 King St. W., the old McChesney Bakery property. Here people were able to purchase some of his bakery products as well as visit the light lunch parlour, where ice cream was served in the summer and hot drinks in the winter. At the rear of the parlour was the confectionery shop where the “home made” taffies and chocolates were available.
In 1909, the bakery was averaging 1600 loaves of bread daily with an additional 1000 on Saturdays to meet the demand for their fine products. The bakery employed 5 bread makers, 3 fancy bakers, 5 delivery drivers, a stable hand and several clerks to run the operation. The delivery wagons were traveling throughout Oshawa, Port Perry, Brooklin, Myrtle, Ashburn, Raglan and Columbus on a daily basis.
In 1915, the confectionery shop located at 20 King St. W. was sold to Mr. J. Welsh.
By 1927, the bakery had prospered. D.M. Tod now had his son-in-law, R.L. Gray working as Assistant General Manager of the business. The bakery was equipped with more state of the art machinery that allowed for the output of 800 loaves of bread every 45 minutes. There were 20 employees whose combined wages totaled $30,000. The bakery had 10 delivery wagons on the road daily as well as delivery trucks for long distance hauls. The delivery trucks would travel 30 to 50 miles from Oshawa to reach the ever growing demand for their popular products. The bakery was the second largest industry in Oshawa to provide group insurance for its employees.
On October 26, 1930, there was an explosion of an oil furnace at the bakery resulted in an excess of $1,000 damage. However, due to the use of another oven, the bakery was still able to take care of business as usual and get their products out to the many patrons that came to expect the excellent service of Tod’s Bread Limited.
At the time of D.M. Tod’s death on December 26, 1949, his grandson, R.T. Gray was President and Managing director of Tod’s Bread Limited.
It is unknown when the bakery went out of business; however, the 1954 City Directory lists the property at Bond and Centre as vacant. In 1966 the building was demolished and today in 1998, the Bond Towers stands at this particular site.