TORONTO, Oct. 10 /CNW/ - Scarborough Community Council voted to rename
one section of their streets after Hakim Optical founder, Karim Hakim, in
honor of his entrepreneurial, business and philanthropic achievements. "Hakimi
Avenue" will be the new name of "Lebovic Avenue" in Scarborough, located west
of Warden Avenue, between Eglinton Avenue East and Ashtonbee Road. This
location was chosen because a Hakim Optical outlet, established in this
location in 1988, was removed for the extension of this avenue.
An exception was granted to the policy of not naming streets after living
persons was made based on Mr. Hakim's numerous achievements. Noted businessman
and philanthropist Harold G. Shipp says "I believe that it is fitting that the
City of Toronto should name a street after a man who so ably represents the
strong values and spirit of hard work that are cherished by our City and our
Country. Karim Hakim's a shining example of the opportunity for success that
awaits new Canadians, and a role model for people of all cultural
Mr. Hakim was born in Tehran, Iran. He was forced to leave school and
work at the age of 8 after his father died to help feed his impoverished
family. A few years later he found a job as an apprentice lens-maker and
returned to night school to finish his education. After finishing an
enlistment in the Iranian navy, he moved to Europe to perfect his lens-making
skills. He subsequently immigrated to Canada and after carefully saving his
money, opened his first optical lab in 1967. Gradually he expanded his
operations and today Hakim Optical serves the public with over 140 outlets.
Mr. Hakim says "I truly believe it's important to make a difference in
the lives of others. The golden rule at Hakim remains the same in 2008 as it
was in 1967: Serve as you would be served."
Mayor Hazel McCallion said "His personal involvement in many charitable
projects is reflective of his genuine concern for others and his many
contributions have helped to improve the quality of life for many in need".
Over the years, Mr. Hakim has helped to improve the vision of those in need
around the world by donating hundreds of thousands of pairs of eyeglasses in
co-operation with the Rotary Club and Lions International. He has also led the
Ride for Sight motorcycle charity parade in addition to supporting numerous
other charitable activities. In recognition of his generous contributions,
Mr. Hakim was knighted at Queen's Park in June 2005 by The Sovereign Order of
Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, thereafter having the title of
Sir Karim Hakimi.
What: Naming of Hakimi Avenue
Ceremony and speeches
When: Friday October 17, 2008
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Where: Hakim Optical Store located at 1900 Eglinton Avenue East (west of
Why: To celebrate the naming of a street section in honor of Mr. Hakim
Who: Attended by Mr. Hakim, current and former mayors of Toronto and
Mississauga, and other political representatives
About Hakim Optical
Hakim Optical began more than 40 years ago with Mr. Hakim grinding lenses
for the Canadian wholesale market. His craft was learned, as a youth, in his
native Iran and honed, in subsequent years, grinding lenses in Germany and
then camera lenses in Switzerland. Attracted by the excitement of retail
opportunities, Mr. Hakim began to pass the great deals he gave to wholesalers
on to the public. Today Hakim Optical serves the public with over 140 outlets
(including 127 one hour factory outlets) in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, Manitoba and Alberta.
For further information:
For further information: or to schedule an interview please contact:
John Worden, Hakim Optical, (416) 414-4011, or firstname.lastname@example.org.