Sandy McTire Would Approve

Like 5 AM hockey practice and the double-double, Canadian Tire money is a tradition in our fine country. Introduced nearly 50 years ago as a loyalty reward program by the Canadian Tire hardware & gas chain, these coupons featuring the visage of cheery Scotsman Sandy McTire have become so ubiquitous that they’re often referred to as “Canada’s second currency”. Check the glove compartment of any vehicle on the road in Canada, and you’re bound to find a few bucks worth of the colourful funny money.

Of course, if you only shop at CT occasionally, there’s always the question of what to do with this stuff when you end up with some. Saving it until the next time you need to pick up some tools or get an oil change is an option, but if you happen to live in Edmonton and would like to buy something a bit more fun with it, you now have another option:

A west Edmonton liquor store is accepting Canadian Tire money at par as a form of payment, and its owners say the program is a hit with shoppers. “There’s a liquor store on every corner nowadays, so you need to have a bit of an edge to get someone to stop by your liquor store,” said Don Calder, a part owner of Liquor International.

Calder, whose store takes in about $5 worth of the stuff on a slow day and up to $200 when things are hopping, put the policy in place about a year and a half ago.

It was supposed to be a short-term gimmick but proved so popular that he’s kept it up.

“We do have a fair amount starting to stock up,” he said. “And, I assure you, we actually look for items now to go to Canadian Tire and buy.”

Sadly, it’s unlikely that such a policy will ever be implemented at Ontario’s booze outlets. Not only are the stores here run by a government monopoly, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, Ontario retail tax laws state that such coupons “must be reimbursed by the franchisee”. Too bad – I’ve got a couple of bucks worth of this stuff myself that I’d be more likely to trade in for a bottle than a lug wrench…

6 Responses to Sandy McTire Would Approve

  1. There was a bar called affectionately “The Blue Box” just across the bridge in Quebec near Pembroke in the Ottawa Valley that would take Canadian Tire money for beer. It was near a depanneur set up pretty much only for the Ontario Sunday sales and was run by and named after a fictional Dutch family, DeBeaus.

  2. This is funny stuff … “DeBeaus” – near Ottawa – and Greg said “lug wrench.”

    Kolsch-Bock, anyone????

  3. Funny observations, Harry. Although what you’re thinking of is lug TREAD, not lug wrench. 🙂

    And Alan – I’ve heard of other bars accepting CT money as well. But it seems like a relic of the 80s to me for some reason. Maybe because my dad used to have so much CT money in his glove box, tool box, junk drawer, etc. so I was more aware of it. I hardly ever shop there myself.

  4. The Done Right Inn on Queen West at Niagara in Toronto used to take Canadian Tire money at par. I’m not sure if they still do. However, they do have MacLean’s Pale Ale on tap, and that’s all right by me.

  5. And it was pronounced “de booze” in Pembroke!

  6. Canadian Tire recently changed it’s payback formula – we pay more for gas and get less CT cash back.
    On 60 litres, I get about $1 less now that they reduced the percentage rewards formula.
    Is anyone else aware of this and can they lead me to more information?