Last night on my way home, I decided to stop off at the grocery store. I happened to have the flyers still in my car, so checked out the two 24-hour stores to determine which exit I should take in case there was something else on special I should pick up at either Sobey's or Ultra Mart. Nothing stood out, so I headed for Ultra Mart. Except when I pulled into the parking lot and walked towards the entrance I was greeted with a new glaring red sign 'metro'. The flyer said nothing about watching out for a new name. Of course, the flyer also says the name of the store is Ultra Food and Drug. No-one I know has ever called it that. Unless one read the business section of the newspapers (or indeed even read the newspapers) this new ownership and name change may be a new story for many people. There are still many who refer to the store as "...you know, that A&P, or whatever it is now...", that will likely not change for them. The instore house brand names were suddenly changed a few weeks ago from Master Choice and Equality to Irresistible and Merit, which was confusing.
All these mergers and acquisitions and resulting name changes are so confusing for us average citizens. Television and radio stations that keep changing their call letters. Highways, that change numbers and for years have a small sign under the new one saying "formerly HWY 93". Sporting events, like the Molson Indy which became the Molson Grand Prix, but is now the Honda-Steelback Grand Prix. Or the Rogers or Rogers AT&T Cup which used to be known as Player's then DuMaurier Tennis before cigarette advertising was banned. It has evolved from a Championship to an Open to a Masters and a Cup. No wonder most people will just say "did you watch the tennis?", nobody but the sponsor really cares what the name is in the title. Theatres and venues that keep changing names is also confusing. Once I and a friend were on our way to see The Lion King when he turns to me and asks the best way to get to the Canon Theatre. I'd never heard of it. He assumed I knew where places were in Toronto and I used to before all the name changes. Turns out it used to be the Pantages which used to be the Imperial (which used to be a Famous Players cinema before it became a Cineplex Odeon cinema) which was originally the Pantages as a vaudeville theatre. I have no idea what the new names are for all the buildings in Exhibition Place, and will not be surprised if or when one day the CNE is taken over by a new sponsor and suddenly becomes some long cumbersome- hyphenated-made-up name that is likely too embarrassing to say. It will forever and always just be the "Ex". Which should be the most appropriate name.