Sunday, January 4, 2009

Niagara Falls Then and Now: the A.C. Thorburn Drug Stores

below two views: Sept. 1977, looking at the north-west corner of Queen St. and Ontario Ave., Thorburn I.D.A. Drugs is seen at left, with Roberts Credit Jewellers at the corner. At the rear of this building was once the Rainbow Bowling Lanes; and the left side of the building at the front facing Queen St. (where the Thorburn sign is) was once Lanes Restaurant and Soda Bar.

above: same view, Dec.22, 2008; the same building has been remodelled into an office. (see also: Niagara Falls Then and Now: Old downtown - buildings lost, buildings found )
below: Jan.8, 1958 - looking at the south-east corner of Queen St. and St. Clair Ave. - at far left is Martin-Senour Paint store, then the Dorleen Shop, then Thorburn's Drugs on the corner. Note Thorburn's corner neon sign with the I.D.A. logo overhanging the sidewalk. The funny shape at the top right of the photo is actually a bit of the underneath of the Capitol Theatre marquee (you can see the lightbulbs) from under which the photographer took this photo. The theatre stood on the north-east corner of Queen and St. Clair.

above: same location, Dec.22, 2008; the building on the south-east corner of Queen St. and St. Clair Ave. in which the Dorleen Shop and Thorburn's Drugs once were has been remodelled and now is home to a radio station. The upper brackets and tiled faux-roof remain. The coining and parapets can still be seen on the same neighboring building to the left in both shots.
above: a closer view of the Thorburn Drugs location at the south-east corner of Queen St. and St. Clair Ave.
below: The Capitol Theatre, north-east corner of Queen St. and St. Clair Ave., ca.1929-30. (this is the rounded marquee under which the photographer from the third previous shot above was standing). Pew Drugs (seen at the far right) would later become Thorburn's Drugs. The vacant lot and what appear to be several houses east of the Capitol Theatre are where the Woolworth's Building would later be built. The Capitol Theatre (formerly Queen Theatre) building, built in 1913, was demolished in the summer of 1964 to make way for a new nineteen-sixties-modern-style Lincoln Trust building, which later became the Toronto Dominion bank, and is now TD Canada Trust, seen further below.above: note streetcar tracks on Queen St.above: 'modern' bank building on north-east corner of Queen St. and St. Clair Ave. as seen on Dec.22, 2008, on the former corner site of the Capitol Theater. The (now-vacant) former Woolworth's building stands beside it.
Below: Jan.4, 2009, looking at the south-west corner of Lundy's Lane and Main St. (or sometimes referred to as the intersection of Main St. and Ferry St., because Lundy's Lane begins west of Main St., whereas to the east of Main St. the street is called Ferry St. - as explained by the large blue street sign seen at the left of below photo. Confusingly, farther east (at the curve between Ellen Ave. and Magdalen St.) Ferry St. becomes Victoria Ave!)
Older photos from Niagara Falls Library Archives. Click photos to enlarge!

above: the same corner as it was ca.1900. At the front of the corner building was the A.C. Thorburn Drug Store, at the rear once was a post office, and later a police station.
above: same view, ca. 1950
below: Jan.4, 2008, looking west up the hill along Lundy's Lane, with Main St. crossing in the foreground.

above: same view as above, as it was on July 25, 1914 - Parade preparations celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Lundy's Lane.
above: same view, looking west up a nicely-treed Lundy's Lane hill. (undated photo) A.C. Thorburn's Drug Store is seen at the left (south-west) corner; at the right (on the north-east corner of Main St. and Ferry St.) is the Bank of Hamilton building.
Note streetcar tracks on Main St. turning east onto Ferry St.
Note the Queen Victoria Memorial Monument and Drinking Fountain, which was erected in 1901 on the north-west corner of Lundy's Lane and Main St.
The monument was moved in 1923, and now stands one block to the east, by the Lundy's Lane Historical Museum, at the south-west corner of Ferry St. and Sylvia Pl., as seen below at the lower right:
above: Queen Victoria's Memorial is seen at the far-right of the Lundy's Lane Historical Museum; gabled building at the left in the background is the St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church; rising above it in the distance is the Hilton Hotel under construction.
The museum building, built in 1874, was formerly the Stamford Township Hall, and served as a municipal office building until 1970. (update: even the above photo which I took, is now history (!) because the Memorial was moved again during the Museum's renovation, and as of 2012, the Memorial now sits at the far-left on the front lot, on the spot where the large sign is seen (to the left of the red doors)
below: closer view of the historical marker beside the Queen Victoria Fountain. Click on photo to read!
above: closer view of the Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain.
below: precursor of A.C. Thornburn's Drug Store on the south-west corner of Main St. and Lundy's Lane, ca. 1898.
above: same corner, date unknown.
below: Jan.4, 2008, view at centre looks at the south-west corner of Lundy's Lane and Main. St., at the same building which once housed the Thornburn Drugs Store. (The north-west corner of the same intersection is seen at the far right; the Queen Victoria Memorial once stood on the corner near where the square yellow sign now is. In fact, seeing that Lundy's Lane was much narrower back then, the Memorial most likely stood where the expanded road lanes now are.

above: same view as above, as seen on July 1925 during Niagara Falls Old Home Week Parade. Thorburn's Drug Store is now sporting a neon sign overhanging the sidewalk at the corner. The Queen Victoria Memorial fountain, which had once stood on the opposite corner (far right of photo), had already been relocated (in 1923) to a spot further east, down Ferry St. when this 1925 photo was taken. Note the leafy treed lot, by where the Memorial had stood - that is the corner where the Red Indian gasoline station would later be built. Note streetcar tracks curving from Main St. onto Ferry St.above: same view; the Thorburn Drug Store's corner sign now shows it is part of the I.D.A. chain.
On the opposite corner at the far right, where the Queen Victoria Monument had stood, there now stands a Texaco gasoline station; this is where that treed, grassed area had been, as seen in the previous photo above. The station was built on the side-lawn of the home seen behind the gas station. This was the site where the Red Indian, the first service station in Niagara Falls, opened in 1930 (see second next photo below)above: same view of the Thorburn's building, the tall brick facade on the corner building was still extant on photos taken in 2004. At some point since then, as seen earlier above, the flat top of the facade has been converted to a gable, and the familiar bold corner adornments and upper scrollwork were removed. (photo from the City of Niagara Falls, undated) On the opposite corner (at the far right) the former Texaco gas station has been remodelled as a coffee shop.
below: photo taken 1930, on the north-west corner of Main St. and Lundy's Lane (where the Queen Victoria Memorial once stood opposite Thorburn Drugs, until the Memorial was relocated in 1923): this is the Red Indian gas station, the first service station in Niagara Falls. (The Q.E.W. was still years away from opening) The gas station was built on the side lot of a large home which occupied the corner lot; part of the house is still visible behind the gas station.

above: Jul.2009 - same view as above of the site where the Red Indian gas station used to be; in the c. 1990's- 2000's a Coffee Time donut shop had occupied the building, now as of 2012, a convenience store occupies the site. (Note in both above shots the same side-gable is seen of the house in the rear, which faces onto Main St.)
below: Looking at the east side of Erie Ave., between Bridge St. and Park St. was this Thorburn Drug Store, taken 1916; advertising "Kodaks" on a painted sign overhanging the sidewalk, as well as on a billboard surrounding the utility pole in front of the store. Note streetcar track on cobblestoned Erie Ave.

above: same view, Jan.2, 2009, east side of Erie Ave., between Bridge St. and Park St. I believe the left side of this block (fuller view of three-storefront building seen below) was once Thorburn's Drugs.
Below: Oct.1975

above: Jan.2, 2009 - same view, this block of buildings has remained almost unchanged for over thirty-three years.

No comments: