Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Niagara Falls Then and Now: Old Storefronts on Queen St. (Part 7 of 10)

Photos of Queen St. before the Hatch building.

This post looks at the south-side of Queen St. in Niagara Falls, Ont., from Erie Ave. westwards towards Ontario Ave.

below: The old Niagara Falls fire hall under demolition in June, 1966. It stood, facing Queen St., just west of, and across a small lane, from the City Hall, which stood on the south-west corner of Queen St. and Erie Ave. This view looks across the lane at the north-east corner of the fire hall. Queen St. would be to the right. Behind at the right is seen the gable of Gold's variety.

above: looking west at the south-side of Queen St., from a vantage point across Queen St., standing just west of Erie Ave. The old firehall is at the far left, next to the west is Gold's variety store (with the white gabled front). Way down at the west end of Queen St. is the tall steeple of St. Patrick's church. Date of this photo unknown (from NFLA)
above: May, 1965 - front of firehall which faced Queen St. To the left, out of frame, would have been the Niagara Falls City Hall, which was on the south-west corner of Queen St. and Erie Ave.
above: May 1965 - still looking at the south-side of Queen St., the old firehall is at the far left, Gold's (now with a brick facade covering the former gable) is next to it, followed by the J and P Barber Shop, and then Moodie's Bakery, with the neat red-letter-on-black-vitrolite stainless-trimmed storefront. above: May, 1965 - continuing looking at the south-side of Queen St., next to Moodie's Bakery(seen at the far left (east) of photo) was "Cole's, Jewelers since 1890".

above: May, 1965 - continuing looking at the south-side of Queen St. in a westerly direction; next to Cole's Jewelers was a storefront with a sign above which read "Pacific Financial Loans". Next, a sign with the old Pepsi logo showed that "Bing's Billiards" was downstairs; another sign read "Niagara Athletic Club". Jack's Tent City store is at the right (west) of the photo (according to the info from the library accompanying this particular photo, this is described as the T. Eaton store; but, Eaton's on Queen St. officially opened (in the space where Jack's is shown), later on Jun.9, 1966, signifying an error in the photo's library description) To the far right of the photo above is seen a bit of the east wall of the Toronto Dominion Bank building.

Interestingly, in the photo above, on the windows between Cole's Jewelers and Pacific Financial (just below and to the right of the word "jewelers") can be seen the reflection of the storefronts across the street on the north-side of Queen St.! On the door of the Pacific Financial storefront is a reflection of the red Coke sign which was on the Palms Restaurant sign across the street; and beside it (to the left) is the reflection of My Country Delicatessen's sign, as seen in the photo below, which was also taken in May 1965:above: May 1965, looking at the north-side of Queen St., just east of Ontario Ave. At the far left (west) of photo is the Bank of Montreal building, which stood (and still stands, as of Feb.2009!) on the north-east corner of Queen St. and Ontario Ave. My Country Delicatessen is seen at the right, then the Palms Restaurant, then another Jack's, where the sign reads "Army and Navy Discount Stores"
below: Jun.9, 1966 - official opening day for the Queen St. Eaton's. (The old Eaton's building on Victoria Ave., where the main Niagara Falls Library now is, was demolished between Oct.1971-Jan.1972) This is where Jack's Tent City was earlier (seen in the second previous photo above), now spiffed up with some new siding. A part of the "Niagara Athletic Club" sign, (also seen earlier, above the entrance to Bing's Billiards) is at the far left of below photo.
below: Aug.5, 1965, looking at the Toronto Dominion Bank building (south-east corner of Queen St. and Ontario Ave.) Note that to its left (east) Jack's Tent City is occupying the space.above: Jul.4, 1966, same view - now Eaton's is next door to the TD Bank. Behind the bank at the far right there appears to be an Oldsmobile showroom and lot.
below: Sept. 1986 - still looking at the south-east corner of Queen St. and Ontario Ave. The TD bank on the corner was then a credit union, TD having moved at some point to the north-east corner of Queen St. and St.Clair Ave. The Bank of Montreal is seen at the left, on the north-east corner of Queen St. and Ontario Ave. The firehall and tower behind Gold's variety are gone, demolished in June 1966.

Interestingly, in this shot below, the Gold's building (at the centre left) is again shown with a gable-front, without the brick facade, which was seen earlier above, in the third shot from the top. (This poses a question whether the original building was gabled at the front, then at some point a square brick facade was built, and then later, the brick facade was taken down again, going back to the gable. The second photo from the top, the date of which is unknown, shows Gold's without a brick facade; then in May 1965 Gold's is seen with a brick facade; then in Sept. 1986 it is seen without a brick facade - so was the unknown-date photo at the top taken before May 1965, or was it after? When was the Gold's brick facade built, and when was it removed?)

above: same view, Feb.3, 2009. All the buildings shown previously, once located on the south-side of Queen St., have since been demolished, from the old firehall westward up to the corner of Ontario Ave. On the corner now stands the 'new' 1994 (former) Ministry of Tourism/later Hatch engineering building. The same Bank of Montreal building still soldiers on across the street at the left.
above: Gold's variety, as seen in 1993 (with a gabled front). The building is boarded up and the windows are covered, in preparation for eventual demolition for the government "tourism ministry" building. {I look back at some of these photos and find it hard to believe that I remember many of these buildings well, and that I had been an actual customer there at Gold's...}
Old photos in this study from the Niagara Falls, Ont. Library Archive; recent photos by R.Bobak.
See the next post in this ten-part series at: Niagara Falls, Old storefronts on Queen St., Part Eight
Or, go back to the beginning of this series at: PART ONE
Thanks for visiting Right In Niagara!

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