History of Giffen-Mack Funeral Home & Cremation Centre
In the early 1920s, N. B. Cobbledick owned and operated the funeral home where the present Giffen-Mack Funeral Home & Cremation Centre on Danforth Ave. is located. Ernie McFarquare purchased the Cobbledick Funeral Home and changed the name. Several years later, the funeral home was sold to Mr. Mack, and the name was changed to The Mack Burial Company.
In November of 1948 or 1949, Peter Giffen and his wife, Doris, purchased the funeral home. Although our funeral name is named Giffen-Mack, Mr. Giffen and Mr. Mack were never partners. However, Mr. Giffen decided it would be better to keep half of the name, so that the community would still feel comfortable in dealing with a family-owned funeral home even though it was under different management. During 1948-1949, our records show that Giffen-Mack Funeral Home performed 185 services.
In 1965 the Main Street Subway station was built directly behind the funeral home, followed by the GO station stop over the Main Street Bridge, thus making Giffen-Mack Funeral Home easily accessible to our families.
In 1969 Mr. Giffen completed some necessary renovations in order to keep up with the changes in the community, as well as trying to keep up with the ever-growing business that was bursting at the seams. He also purchased three stores – a bakery, a shoe store and a fur store – that were attached to the west side of the funeral home and decided to build around the existing building in any way that he felt was possible.
The renovations included an upper level floor that housed six visitation rooms, a lounge, washrooms, a large prep room, a chapel and an elevator. The renovations also included more available parking on the west side of the building and a five-car garage. The existing two-story house in which Mr. Cobbledick lived when he owned the building can still be seen. The house has been moved from the curb-side location to the back and above the street level above the funeral home. The idea for these renovations paid off, because in 1973-1974, Giffen-Mack Funeral Home performed 958 services.
In 1982 Mr. Giffen retired after serving 50 years in the funeral service industry and passed his funeral home to his son, David Giffen.
Historical artifacts are still within the funeral home. The garage we have today was originally the prep room, and the original sink in this prep room is still in use in the present-day garage. The selection room on the lower level was the only lounge, and the office desk used downstairs is the large arrangement office is also original.
On June 6, 1986, David Giffen sold the funeral home to the Loewen Group Inc., and in 2006, the funeral home was acquired by an affiliate of Service Corporation International. The Giffen-Mack Funeral Home & Cremation Centre on Danforth Ave. remains as one of the most historical landmarks in the area.
Today we are proud to be a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. Dignity Memorial providers offer exclusive benefits, including National Transferability of Prearranged Services, the Bereavement Travel Program, the 24-Hour Compassion Helpline® and access to an acclaimed grief management library. As North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services, the Dignity Memorial brand is your assurance of quality, value, caring service and exceptional customer satisfaction.