Tuesday, March 15, 2011

F.C. Burroughes Furniture

above: the F.C. Burroughes Furniture store on Queen St., Niagara Falls Ont., Oct.4, 1964.
above: same view, Mar.30, 2010, the same building with Burroughes now long gone; new sewers are being installed out front along Queen St.
above: interior ground-floor view of the former Burroughes Niagara Falls showroom on Queen St. Note the center two-storey open mezzanine.
above: Burroughes Furniture Niagara Ltd. had an outlet at 45 James St. in St.Catharines, as seen in this 1963 invoice for a Kroehler sofa,  made in Stratford, Ont.

Mr. F.C. Burroughes, photo at left, arrived in Canada from England with his parents as a young boy. He apprenticed in the woodworking shops of fine furniture maker Jacques and Hay.

F.C.opened his first shop in 1887 on Queen St. W. in Toronto, a block from Queen and Bathurst St. (Photo of shop is seen below, though I'm not sure of its exact address on Queen. It looks to have been a corner location)
F.C. later bought Potter and Co. which stood at the s-e corner of Queen and Bathurst, then later bought the old Jolliffe stand which had been at 585 Queen St.W. In the mid 1890's F.C. Burroughes owned a house not too far away from Queen and Bathurst, at 21 Henry St. buying it from his brother William, who was a plumber.

In 1907 Mr. F.C. Burroughes incorporated his firm into the 'F.C. Burroughes Furniture Co. Ltd.', and then built his new 7-floor showroom and head-office at 641 Queen St. W. (the building is still there, now renovated, and now the address is 639 Queen St. W.; from 1949 to about 2002 this was the King Sol army surplus place, I remember that store well, having been in it many times - it was huge inside, many floors were vacant, and not very well maintained.)
As F.C. Burroughes' business grew, they soon built a large warehouse behind the Queen St. store, connected with a bridge over the laneway, and in 1910 added an addition to the 'new' store at its east side, along Queen St. (photo above shows the original showroom building at the far right, with the newer addition, seen in the center of photo).

Eventually the firm covered the area from Queen to Richmond St., and also had a large frontage facing onto Bathurst St. as well! (This all must have grown to the south of the hotel which now stands directly on the s-e corner of Queen and Bathurst [the former Big Bop, former Holiday Tavern]; when this building was built, I'm not sure, but the Potter and Co. building on that corner must have been torn down earlier at some point.)

Mr. F.C. Burroughes died in 1917, leaving his sons to run the business: the eldest, B.C. Burroughes, became president of the firm; while C.R. Burroughes became VP.
                                     above: B.C. Burroughes
                                     below: C.R. Burroughes
They launched an expansion of the firm, opening a new location in North Toronto at 2436 Yonge St., and also opened a chain of branches: in Brantford (at 314 Colborne St.); in London Ont., in a new 3-storey showroom (at 303-307 Dundas St.); in St.Catharines (in the 1960's Burroughes Furniture was at 45 James St.), and in Niagara Falls, Ont., covering a good portion of southern Ontario.

The F.C. Burroughes' company presence in Niagara Falls began when they bought the stock of the T.Badger company in 1927, in a 7,350 square-foot building on Queen St.

In 1933 they purchased another building at 554 Queen St. (former location of Northcott's) and re-modeled it into a 15,000 sq. ft. showroom. (see here; here for more photos)

(In 1932, the Kotex Co. was located at 554 Queen St. It is not clear whether Kotex and Northcott's had, at some previous point, both shared the same building at 554 at the same time, perhaps on different floors (?). In 1932, Burroughes was listed as being at 400 Queen St.)

In 1937, Mr. M. McBride was Burroughes' Niagara Falls store manager.

1 comment:

GBC said...

A very interesting site.
There's a picture of the brother's plumbing store here: