|Industry||Retail Optical and Manufacturing|
Number of locations
Number of employees
Hakim Optical Lab Ltd. is a Canadian optical chain, the largest privately owned optical chain in Canada. In 2016 it had about 160 stores. The head office is located on Hazelton Avenue in Toronto, Ontario.
Karim Hakimi, a native of Iran, learned to make lenses from old window glass as a child. After a stint in the navy, Hakimi worked in the optical industry in Switzerland. He then migrated to Canada and opened an optical laboratory in the former Elmwood Hotel (now the Elmwood Spa) in downtown Toronto, Ontario. He bought and rebuilt old equipment from a closed-down lab in Chicago. After making a variety of lenses, he began selling them to local optometrists. He soon began selling lenses directly from the Elmwood location.
As the business grew, he opened a small storefront near his home at Highway 10 and Dundas Street in 1967, enabling him to both manufacture and retail glasses. The next store was at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, near the current Finch subway station.
Hakim Optical has promoted its optical chain with its trademark jingle "Your Eyes Can Have it All at Hakim Optical" since 2003, which has been named by Huffington Post Canada as one of Canada's most memorable jingles and is still used.
On October 18, 2008, the City of Toronto government renamed Lebovic Avenue in Scarborough, Ontario, to Hakimi Avenue. The City of Toronto does not normally name streets after living persons, but made an exception in recognition of Hakimi's contributions.
On May 1, 2011, Hakim Optical opened its new flagship location at Yonge–Dundas Square in Toronto, two blocks away from the original 1967 location.
By 2016, Hakim Optical had 161 retail locations (including 140 one-hour factory outlets) across Canada. It also operates six lens factories. The company has sold over 40 million pairs of glasses. Karim Hakimi remains CEO, and runs the day-to-day operations at Hakim head office located at 128 Hazelton Avenue in Toronto.
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- Kearney, Mark and Ray, Randy (2002): I Know That Name! The People Behind Canada's Best Known Brand Names, pp. 278–279 ISBN 1-55002-407-8
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- "North Yorker Karim Hakimi named one of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants". North York Mirror, Jun 01, 2011 By Justin Skinner
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- "The Captain of Eyewear". Digital Journal, By David Silverberg August 2, 2005
- The Toronto Star, "The $25 Million Self-Made Man", Page D1. (1983, Jul 10).
- "Canadian Jingles: 25 Of The Catchiest Canadian Tunes". The Huffington Post Canada, 11/12/2012.
- "Hakimi Ave. Honours Hakim Optical Founder",. The Toronto Star,March 20, 2014.
- "Extra, Extra: Coach Drake, the Newest Toronto FC Midfielder, and a Weird Crosstown Name". The Torontoist, By David Hains
- "Sightseer – Sir Kirim Hakimi", Sjoerd Witteveen, Newmarket Era, May 05, 2008
- "Hakim: A Vision of Success". Omni TV.
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