Saturday, July 11, 2009

Early East Victoria Avenue Now and Then....

Here's a new slant on the eastern end of Victoria Ave(Our primary cruising strip in the 50's and 60's here in Fort William(now Thunder Bay). You Port Arthurites will get your chance, as I have some great shots of that end of town as well. On the top photos you are looking west down Victoria Ave in about 1938 where Victoria and Simpson streets meet, except now, Simpson St., goes from right to left at the bottom of the photo right through the buildings on the left, which of course are long gone. You also see up the left side of then photo, the Avenue Hotel and after it burned down, the Odeon Theatre was built on its site, now a pawn shop, how sad!

The bottom photos are basically a reverse of the top ones taken on Victoria Ave facing east, but in about 1910. The dead giveaway is the Canadian Bank of Commerce building on the left of which just the facade is there today as it totally burned a couple of years ago but some very smart person managed to maintain the facade of the beautiful building to admire to this day. Hopefully someone will build something behind it some time. Also in the right photo further down on the left is the St. Louis Hotel which was totally demolished last year. Also notice the lack of motorized vehicles as there were probably very few if any at the time. Far down to the end of Victoria Ave is the huge Elevator "B". It was long gone by the time I was born. Apparently you can still see some of the old wood foundation if you are brave enough to cross the tracks there. It's great to go down Victoria Ave today and visualize how it might have been back then and since then as many of the structures did manage to survive urban renewal or what I call urban destruction. Last but not least I want to know who has all those cool '30's cars stored out in the country somewhere.....great hot rod or jalopy material!!
Added July 13, 2009...are current photos taken in the same spot as the oldies on July 12, 2009. No busy downtown Fort William anymore!! Send comments for any questions. Click on photos to enlarge.

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