TORONTO - Dack's Shoes, one of Canada's oldest and best-known retailer of quality men's footwear, has slipped into bankruptcy after 175 years in business.

The company announced Wednesday that it filed for bankruptcy Dec. 9 and plans to close all six of its remaining stores - four in Toronto and two in Alberta - after a chain-wide liquidation of merchandise.

Dack's cited declining market share and increasing overhead costs compounded by the recession for ending its run.

The company was founded by Matthew Dack, who emigrated to Canada from Stradbally, Ireland, and started a shoe and boot business in Kingston, Ont.

He moved to York in 1834, the same year the city with a then-population 10,000 was renamed Toronto.

There he opened the first Dack's Store at the corner of King and Jordan streets and managed to craft a successful men's shoe business based on good workmanship and using the finest leathers.

In more recent history, Dack's tried to restructure and bring in new business by adding women's shoes to it lineup.

Although the new lines did create a steady increase in sales, trying to restructure and capture market share during the global economic downturn and vastly reduced consumer spending proved impossible, the company said in a news release.