Click on each of these first twelve ads from near Christmas 1939 to see what locals paid for such things as Christmas Dinners and grocery items.
Christmas dinner with entertainment at the Royal Edward Hotel was only $1.00 for adults and half price for children. A family of 5 could have a wonderful outing at Christmas for about $3.50 and no sales tax! Does anyone remember the Service Inn Service Station at Court and Van Norman Streets. We all remember the Thunder Bay Co-op Dairy(it was called that long before the twin cities amalgamated into Thunder Bay). Well....that is the name of the bay out front of the two cities!!
We all remember Marshall Wells, a Canadian hardware, grocery and sundries chain on Cumberland Street in Port Arthur. Does anyone remember the Central Candy Kitchen on Arthur Street in Port Arthur, now Red River Road. Shop-Easy stores were a mainstay around the Lakehead cities right into the 1960's. They had smaller grocery stores in many parts of both cities including the Westfort area....eventually knocked out of business by larger grocery chains. How 'bout Round Steak for .20 cents a pound and two cans of soup for .15 cents.
The Shaw Baking Co. building in Port Arthur was just recently torn down. The Shaw's building in Fort William still exists on the corner of Dease and May streets...with a new tenant of course. Shaw's was THE bakery around here for many years. Another group of stores was the Cut Rate Food Market....they had 4 stores locally in 1939. Look at that....T-bones for .20 cents a pound, and tins of sardines for less than .05 cents a can. LeCocq the Florist was another long time survivor having a store in both Fort William and Port Arthur.
I had to put a bit of the want ad section for this date to let you see some of the prices of things....such as: Rent a 7 room house for only $22.00 a month, 2 X 4 lumber for .10 or .15 cents each, and buy a 1933 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Sedan for $350.00 ...a lot of money in 1939.
Finally for 1939 is what was playing at two Port Arthur theatres, The Colonial and the Lyceum. ............Click on each scan for better detail!!!
The last 5 scans next are moving ahead to Christmas Eve 1951.
Cochrane-Dunlop Hardware was located on Hardisty Street in Fort William. The building still stands today on the far southern end of Hardisty Street.
Heintzman & Co. Limited was on the corner of Syndicate and Victoria Ave, across from Chapples Limited and the Victoria Hotel. It was a well known music store for many years here in Fort William. The best memory from Heintzman's was choosing a record that you may want to buy and playing it for yourself in one of many small isolated booths. They would let you test the record before you bought it, and even though I was only about 10 years old when I first went in there, I was never shooed away, as they believed that a young customer if treated right would return for many years.......and I certainly did! The spot where Heintzman's is now is right inside what is now Victoriaville Mall.
Finally the Mariaggi Hotel(or the Marina Inn which it was called years later).....Here in 1951 you could have Christmas Dinner with you family in one of the more beautiful hotels that graced our waterfront in Port Arthur back then. The Mariaggi was razed to accommodate the new government building(I call the Parthenon) in Port Arthur.
Last but not least is an ad for some great Christmas entertainment at the Colonial, Lyceum and Paramount theatres in Port Arthur. I well remember buying "Famous Players" gift booklets for friends to go to the show!! ENJOY!!