In 1961, immigrant steelworker John Fortino opened his first Fortinos store in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1972, John took on seven partners and opened a second store on Hamilton Mountain. Due to their growing success, subsequent stores were opened in Hamilton, Burlington and Brampton. Fortinos then became a part of Loblaw Companies Limited in 1988. During the 1990s, Fortinos focused on the Greater Toronto Area, opening stores in Toronto, Woodbridge and Markham. Only two Toronto stores remain alongside with its Brampton and Woodbridge locations in the GTA.
Introduced in Burlington in 1996, the concept calls for a re-creation of a European streetscape. With small shops at the front, the store opens up to a large open-market-style fresh produce and deli area. The Butcher Block allows a customer to order special deli cuts.