Mel-o-Ripe Banana, 1963 Source: New Toronto Souvenir Booklet, 1963
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Corner of Birmingham and Eighth Street
New Toronto was once the “Home Of Canada's Largest Banana” importing organization. During the 1960s, if you passed by the corner of Birmingham and Eight Streets, you will see a half dozen huge tractor-trailers bearing the sign "MEL-O-RIPE" pulling in from New York City.
Mel-O-Ripe was founded in 1924 by Carmine Pitoscia, who travelled the Toronto streets selling bananas from a horse-drawn wagon.
For twice a week, Mel-O-Ripe's tractor-trailer fleet makes this round trip with 180,000 pounds of fresh bananas. In 1963, the company employed 34 workers and operated in an impressive 12,000 square feet plant in the corner of Birmingham and Eight Street.