Remaining Sears Canada stores close their doors for good Sunday

It's the end of an era for retail in Canada.

Sears will close all of its stores today, including 17 in Ontario.

Among them, the Sears stores in St Catharines at the Pen Centre.

The long-time staple of Canada's retail landscape declared bankruptcy last year and announced in the fall that it would liquidate its remaining stores and lay off thousands of employees.  

Sales began in October, and only a fraction of the retailer's locations across Canada remained open to the bitter end.   

The chain's closure sparked a number of controversies.   

Sears Canada planned to dole out millions of dollars in retention bonuses to head office staff while grappling with a more than $260-million shortfall in its pension plan.

The company originally wanted to pay a total $7.6 million to 43 top employees, but revised that to a total of $6.5 million to 36 employees after a backlash.

Nearly 15,000 employees are affected.