Saturday, February 28, 2009

Niagara Falls Then and now: Old Storefronts on Queen St. (Part 10 of 10)

This post looks at the south side of Queen St., in Niagara Falls, Ont., going westward from St. Lawrence Ave. towards Valley Way/Buckley Ave. Click on photos to enlarge!*
Below: Sept.28, 1965 - at the south-west corner of Queen St. and St. Lawrence Ave. was Boswell's gifts. To the right is seen an insurance sign, over a very narrow storefront that's probably not more than eight feet wide.

Above: same view, Feb.27, 2009.
Below: Oct.4, 1964 - continuing west, Boswell's is at the left; next is the narrow office, built into what was a laneway between the two buildings; next is a black-vitrolite-clad Winn's Drugs with an overhanging plastic Coke sign. Reflected in Boswell's storefront window is the image of Oscar's Italian Imports sign, which was across the street. Check out the cars parked along Queen in these shots!

above: same view, Dec.22, 2008
below: Oct.4, 1964 - heading west, Winn's is seen at left, Dumont Aluminum Products at right.

above: same view, Mar.2, 2009.
below: Oct.4, 1964 - Dumont's is at the centre, Simpsons-Sears is at the right.

above: same location, Mar.3, 2009; Simpsons-Sears was at the right where the green sign is; closer view below, taken Jan.29, 2009.

above: Oct.5, 1965 -closer view of Simpsons-Sears.
below: Oct.4, 1964 - continuing west along Queen St., Simpsons-Sears is at the left; a General Motors car dealership is next. Check out that wagon in front! And is that a Ford Galaxie at the left? And to the right of the wagon, behind the window inside the store, isn't that a Parisienne, or maybe a 65 Pontiac Strato-Chief, peeking out, with its signature vertically-stacked headlights?

Above: same view, Mar.3, 2009.
Below: Oct. 4, 1964, looking further west at the same building, advertising Pontiac, Buick and GMC. A sign in the window is advertising 1965 Pontiacs. Also a large neon sign is shown overhanging the sidewalk. At this time the dealership was known as Border GMC - part of the 'Border' name is seen above the round-edged  window at the right. In the mid-1950's this was home for Stewart Bird Motors (aka Stu Bird), at 680 Queen St. By 1965, Pioneer Collision was located here.

above: same view, Mar.3, 2009.
above: May 25, 2009 same view; styrofoam being installed in preparation for a stucco cover over the previous stucco coating; building to house a new brewpub.
above: Mar.3, 2009 - looking south-east down Queen St. towards St. Lawrence Ave.
below: Mar.3, 2009 - looking at the west-side view of the former Bird / Border Pontiac dealership, with the former service bay doors running down near the back. The street corner (just barely seen curving at the mid-right) is the intersection of Queen St. and of (eastbound) Valley Way.

above: Jun.4, 2009. Primer and finish coats being applied.
above: July 28, 2009. The building facade now freshly painted. Interior front renovations underway. The 3-panel-glass corner, and the window to the left, are covered with plywood.
below: heading further to the right (west) from the building above, the road in front becomes Valley Way here, because it diverges from Queen St. at this point. So, walking to the end of this block, you would be standing at the south-east corner of  Valley Way and Buckley Ave.
On this corner, as seen in May, 1950, stood the cool Elsie's Lunch and Soda Bar. That was a neat looking diner / luncheonette which I would've liked to go to! Although NFLA notes it was on Queen St., Elsie's actual address was 710 Valley Way. In 1945 it was run by M.L. Stoner; in 1955 by E. Stoner. I suppose that at some point Elsie's was demolished to make more room for the car dealership's parking/sales lot. above: Sept. 2009 - the same view of the corner where Elsie's Soda Bar once stood, now a parking lot. The bit of building seen at the far left distance is a corner of the newly-painted old car dealership's rear service garage (which the brewpub would later occupy).
See the first post of this ten-part series on old downtown Niagara Falls, Ontario, at: Old Storefronts on Queen St., Part One
The older photos in this study are from the Niagara Falls Ont. Library Archives; the recent photos are by R. Bobak. Thanks for visiting Right In Niagara !

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