The story of how it all began

Hakim Optical, a company built from one man’s vision.

It’s hard to believe that it all started with a young Karim Hakimi grinding magnifying glass from old windowpanes in his native Iran. Modest as it may have been, he was able to learn many aspects of the eyewear business – from lens grinding to equipment maintenance and upkeep of worn machinery.


At the age of 19, Hakimi enlisted into the Iranian Navy where he enjoyed his first taste of the world beyond his own borders. He subsequently emigrated to Germany and then to Switzerland, to learn more about the modern methods of grinding optical lenses for precision instruments and eyeglasses.


In 1967, after making his big move to Canada, Hakimi decided to open his own optical business. He set up a laboratory in the dance hall of the former Elmwood Hotel on Elm Street in downtown Toronto. Next, he bought and rebuilt old equipment from a closed-down lab in Chicago. Armed with dozens of pairs of his very own and brand new lenses for sale, Hakimi began to knock on doors.

By consistently offering value, selection and excellent customer service, Hakimi has turned a one-man operation into one of the most successful optical companies in Canada, with over 40 million pairs of eyeglasses sold to date.

Today, Hakim Optical has over 160 showrooms and over 120 one-hour factory outlets in Ontario, Calgary, Edmonton, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Vancouver.