These photos show us what a bustling pair of communities we lived in during the first third of the 20th Century. Most of the ornate, architectural wonders have long been torn down or were left to deteriorate on their own with no pride in what we once had as a city. Modernization and urban renewal isn't always the answer.....we must maintain much of our heritage or the younger people will never understand how things once were.....or do they really care?....Time will tell. Click on all photos for enlargements.
This is an excellent photo looking down what used to be Arthur Street in Port Arthur, Ontario before amalgamation.(Now Red River Road) It was taken during the 1939 Canadian Royal Tour when the King and Queen came to Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario.
|This is what the above scene looks like today....pretty boring and run down!|
|The turn around shown above would be just to the left of this photo and before curbing was installed there.|
|Bulldoze it down....nobody will notice or care!!|
|Now its called the CIBC - and only a few noticeable interesting structures survive in the area.|
The address on the menu says 216 Arthur Street and the address on the ad says 220 Arthur Street. They likely moved down the street after a huge fire on the corner of Arthur Street and St Paul Street during this time. The small black and white photo above from the early part of the 29th century shows the Candy Kitchen on the far right of the picture. (Sorry, its not a great photo...but the photographer states that the Candy Kitchen is the building on the far right.)
This is the actual place the Central Candy Kitchen was located, just east of Kim Lee's restaurant.
The following are actual cheques written by the City Dray Line, one in 1948 and one in 1952. By enlarging these cheques you can see the old graphic art in the middle as well as the old postage stamps of the time.
This is where City Dray Line was located....just to the north of Barb's Laundromat on Algoma Street in what was Port Arthur, Ontario.
This is a great photo of the Northern Hotel in Port Arthur just after it was built in 1885. It later became the Mariaggi and after that, The Marina Inn. In a website called Skyscrapers, it is stated that this building when torn down was probably the largest loss of an historic structure in the whole of Thunder Bay, and the other large loss was the historic Fort William city hall.
It was a beautiful building with balconies and hand rail as shown here.
|In the early 1930's all the ornate pieces were removed, and another storey was added to the hotel when it became The Mariaggi.|
This is a photo that I took myself in 1987 just before it was sadly
demolished to build the new Province of Ontario Building.
|Here is a colour photo taken about the same time as the one above.|
Finally here is how that corner looks today. The government building is a beautiful structure by today's standards, but consider how wonderful it would have been to see the restored Marina Inn standing today in all its splendour done like the Northern Hotel Photo above.
Thanks go out to all those photographers who through the years have preserved the memory of all the wonderful old buildings here in the Thunder Bay.