The City Lumber & Millwork story began in 1937 in Northern Manitoba during the Great Depression. Zita and John Rosen, immigrants who came to Canada to escape the tide of anti-Semitism pervading much of Eastern Europe at that time, worked hard to forge a future in their isolated northern community.
The couple opened Northern Hardware, where they traded with trappers and fishermen, delivering goods in the harshest climate conditions. During this time Jack also operated three saw mills, which left him little choice but to spend long periods of time away from his family. This left Zita to stay home to operate the store and take care of the couple’s three children: Shirley, Beverly and Robert.