Holland Street West

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Holland Street West

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12 and 16 Holland Street West - Sutherland's Grocery

Sutherland’s Grocery Store was once found at 12 Holland St. West (site of Karen’s and Tina’s Flowers in this 1995 photo). Alec Sutherland was a baker. He had a bakeshop on the south side of Simcoe St. that was run for many years by his daughter Jessie and sister Mrs. Bessie Ryan (and her daughter Betty). They eventually retired and moved to St. Catherine’s. There were living quarters upstairs. William Compton and his wife bought the store and ran it as an IGA grocery store. Gord and Marilyn Compton later took over the store. They built a new store on John St. (where Frank Kilkenny’s house had been). The Comptons’ store eventually moved to what was known as the IGA plaza (located at the corner of Collings Ave. and Holland St. West). As of 2014, 12 Holland St. West is the site of The Holland Bloom florist shop. (1, 2)
The two-storey, commercial, ‘row’ building located mid-block on the south side at 16 Holland St. West was built around 1872-1899 in the Ontario Vernacular style. The second floor had space for offices or living quarters. Whimster and Wilcox operated a clothing and garment store at this location many years ago. Charles Wilson worked for them. John McDowall moved to the area from Midland and ran a clothing store there sometime in the 1930’s or 1940’s. He had three children (Norrie, Jack and Pat). They lived in quarters above the Bank of Commerce and later moved to the apartment over the store.
The building has a wide, rectangular plan with a symmetrical organization. ‘Main street’ frontage with a typical, storefront façade is located at the street line. The symmetrical, three-bay façade originally had a high, articulated cornice of corbelled and dentilled brick (typical of rich detailing). Its ground floor was characterized by the rhythm of flat pilasters along the street edge. The existing doors and storefront are not original. Three, large window openings with segmented arch openings and concrete lug sills at the second-floor level have been partially filled. The windows are also not original. Built-up tar and gravel covers the flat roof. Masonry construction with brick cladding has been considerably altered in appearance. It is also no longer the site of Carmen’s Backyard Restaurant, as seen in this photo from 1995. (1, 2, 3)

George Jackson

18 Holland Street West

The structure located at 18 Holland St. West is a unique, infill building. It was built in the Boomtown style around the 1890’s on a narrow lot that was originally a laneway the two adjacent buildings. It had a side entrance to the Queen’s Hotel so that teamsters and buggy patrons could get their drinks from the Queen’s after work. The owner of the building erected at this site only has the title to the ceilings, floors, and front and rear walls. The side walls belong to the neighbouring buildings. The one-storey storefront has a ‘false’ façade and a narrow, rectangular plan with an asymmetrical organization. An asymmetrical façade with a ‘boomtown’ front was common to small, rural, commercial buildings. The flat roof (built-up tar and gravel) with a high parapet was intended to make the façade appear more imposing and substantial. A recessed, grade-level entrance provides shelter for the doorway. The original entrance had a transom light over the door which was later covered with solid panelling. The entrance door is not original. A large, storefront, window bay dominates the façade at street level and maximizes the amount of area available to display merchandise. The window is not original. When the building was inventoried in 2000, a decorated parapet had a double band of brick corbelling near the top with two recessed panels of decorative brick below. The building had masonry construction with brick cladding and roof spans between the exterior side walls of the adjacent buildings. The panelling above the front window replaced the original signage panel. It noted that and the original brick would have been unpainted and that the building is in good condition.
Several businesses have been located here over the years, including a smoke shop run by Fred “Colly” Collings (and later, by Oswald Davey). Mr. Willoughby, a tailor, and his son Vincent moved to the area from Sutton. He worked for Al Hemock. Lorne Fines later took possession of the building and ran a jewellery shop here until he retired. Jack McKay, a veterinarian, then bought the structure and had his practice here. In more recent years, it became an ice cream parlour. (1, 2, 3)

George Jackson

21 Holland Street West

The structure located at 21 Holland St. West is part of what is known as the Evans Block. The building was raised and Len Saint added a cellar and a foundation. The work was done by Mac Campbell and his team of carpenters. T.W.W. Evans had the building constructed to house his law practice. The upstairs was also used for years by Dr. Ellis, a dentist. The upper floor even served as Bradford Library in the 1930s, run by Mrs. Day. At one time, the offices of Tupling Insurance were also located in this building. In 1957 a fire destroyed several buildings to the east, but this structure was spared. (1, 2)

George Jackson

22 Holland Street West - The Queen's Hotel

The Queen’s Hotel (located at 22 Holland St. West) was built circa 1850, and was originally the Western Hotel. This photo (taken in the fall of 1995) shows the structure just before a major renovation. The hotel went “dry” during World War I. Bradford, like all of Ontario, was experiencing prohibition (even though Bradford had voted “wet”). The building originally had two storeys. A third floor and a flat roof were added later. It was heated with an old steam engine that had the undercarriage removed. The engine first burnt 4’ stacks of hardwood, then coal, and finally, oil. Eventually a new furnace was installed (most likely natural gas). The building was always warm and thought of as a home away from home.
Harry Lang, Celina and their children (Evelyn, George and Audrey) moved here from North Bay and bought the building in the 1920’s. They ran the Temperance House, and a board and dining service at this location. They had long-time help and boarders. Little John Cook ran a shop selling ice cream, chocolate bars, and smokes on the east side (down one step). A bus stop was added when bus service started. Len and Art Saint put a cement addition on the back of the building around 1938. At the rear, there was a chicken house, a roofed, open shed, and a laneway. Another shed ran south, and to the west was an ice house. There was open space to the north before the laneway and a barn for hay and horses. The barn had two stories and below there was a pig sty. North of the laneway there was another open shed, car storage, and a cooking kitchen on the back of the hotel (a little east of the back entrance). Jack Wilson worked for Harry Lang for many years. Mitch Hepburn brought in beer in 1934 and the building opened as the Queen’s Hotel. Businessmen had to chip in to buy a liquor license and Hepburn was the first supplier. Business was excellent and the hotel was really crowded. Before the arrival of the beer, the locals had used it as a place to play dominoes and checkers, and to conduct hunt camp and other organizations’ meetings. (1, 2, 4)

George Jackson

30 Holland Street West

The building located at 30 Holland St. West (on the southeast corner of Holland and Drury Streets) has been the site of many businesses, including Bradford Travel (as seen in this photo from 1995). Many years previously, George Ogilvie, a tailor, moved to this area from Bond Head. He employed five or six cutters and seamstresses to help run his business. It occupied the first and second floors of the building. John Depew moved here years later. He ran a barbershop on the ground floor and lived upstairs with his children (Oswald, Eddie and Georgina). The two boys became barbers and Georgina was a nurse in the Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Orillia. Archie Hammell and his wife Minnie (Spence) opened and ran a grocery store here for a time. Gerry McTavish worked for them, and he and his wife took over the business when the Hammells retired. (1, 2)

George Jackson

38 Holland Street West - Collings Furniture & Undertaking

The structure located at 38 Holland St. West (on the southwest corner of Holland and Drury Streets) was built around 1900 in the Ontario Vernacular style. B.B. “Ben” Collings lived upstairs with his wife (a Waldruff), and children Bernice, Kathleen and Norman. Both daughters became school teachers and Norman (“Dodger”) was a professional hockey player who helped his father and later took over the business. Ben’s workshop was also located here and there was a horse stable at the rear of the property many years ago. The back end of the building was destroyed by fire in the 1920’s. Ben Collings was involved in several businesses. He was also known as an organizer and sports manager. At one time this building was the site of the Collings’ mattress factory. Ben also cut marsh hay and hauled it down the river on a scow. Sometimes the hay was stacked for winter baling. The horses wore four wooden boots and wouldn’t get off the scow until they were applied. Ben was a furniture maker and an undertaker. His first experience as an undertaker was with the body of his own father. He bought Jack Spence’s fishing business (including nets, reels, pulleys, ropes and the fish shanty at the mouth of the river on the east side opposite the 8th Line). His largest catch of fish was five tons of carp. He fished in the spring and fall and put nets under the ice in winter. Carp was caught (when in season) and had to be kept alive for the Jewish market. He employed about eight men all year round. Later he had old cars cut down to make tractors. Ben and another man broke (worked?) Col. Bar’s marsh land at the north end of Federal Farms Rd. (Bathurst Street). The Newmarket Canal started and died on this property.
The two-storey, commercial ‘row’ building has second floor offices (or living space), a wide, rectangular plan with symmetrical organization, and a flat, built-up, tar and gravel roof. The ‘Main Street’ frontage with a typical, storefront façade is located at the street line. The Drury Street façade on the north portion of the building (fronting Holland Street) has a more informal façade with openings placed as required to suit the building’s requirements. The Drury Street building has a plain, symmetrical façade and is dominated by a wide, segmented, arch entrance raised slightly above the sidewalk. A loading door to the rear portion of the Holland Street building has a segmented, arch opening and a concrete sill raised above street level. The existing doors and windows are not original. There are several window openings with segmented, arch openings and concrete lug sills. Several basement windows (all topped with segmented arches) have been fully, or partially, blocked in. This suggests that the building was built before the existing road or town services were installed. The building has masonry construction, brick cladding, and a parged, stone foundation. According to the 2000 inventory, this modest, commercial building is in good condition with some original details. (1, 2, 3)

George Jackson

38 Holland Street West - Collings Furniture & Undertaking

The structure located at 38 Holland St. West (on the southwest corner of Holland and Drury Streets) was built around 1900 in the Ontario Vernacular style. B.B. “Ben” Collings lived upstairs with his wife (a Waldruff), and children Bernice, Kathleen and Norman. Both daughters became school teachers and Norman (“Dodger”) was a professional hockey player who helped his father and later took over the business. Ben’s workshop was also located here and there was a horse stable at the rear of the property many years ago. The back end of the building was destroyed by fire in the 1920’s. Ben Collings was involved in several businesses. He was also known as an organizer and sports manager. At one time this building was the site of the Collings’ mattress factory. Ben also cut marsh hay and hauled it down the river on a scow. Sometimes the hay was stacked for winter baling. The horses wore four wooden boots and wouldn’t get off the scow until they were applied. Ben was a furniture maker and an undertaker. His first experience as an undertaker was with the body of his own father. He bought Jack Spence’s fishing business (including nets, reels, pulleys, ropes and the fish shanty at the mouth of the river on the east side opposite the 8th Line). His largest catch of fish was five tons of carp. He fished in the spring and fall and put nets under the ice in winter. Carp was caught (when in season) and had to be kept alive for the Jewish market. He employed about eight men all year round. Later he had old cars cut down to make tractors. Ben and another man broke (worked?) Col. Bar’s marsh land at the north end of Federal Farms Rd. (Bathurst Street). The Newmarket Canal started and died on this property.
The two-storey, commercial ‘row’ building has second floor offices (or living space), a wide, rectangular plan with symmetrical organization, and a flat, built-up, tar and gravel roof. The ‘Main Street’ frontage with a typical, storefront façade is located at the street line. The Drury Street façade on the north portion of the building (fronting Holland Street) has a more informal façade with openings placed as required to suit the building’s requirements. The Drury Street building has a plain, symmetrical façade and is dominated by a wide, segmented, arch entrance raised slightly above the sidewalk. A loading door to the rear portion of the Holland Street building has a segmented, arch opening and a concrete sill raised above street level. The existing doors and windows are not original. There are several window openings with segmented, arch openings and concrete lug sills. Several basement windows (all topped with segmented arches) have been fully, or partially, blocked in. This suggests that the building was built before the existing road or town services were installed. The building has masonry construction, brick cladding, and a parged, stone foundation. According to the 2000 inventory, this modest, commercial building is in good condition with some original details. (1, 2, 3)
Please contact the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library (905-775-3328) if you have any other information about this photo.

George Jackson

73 Holland Street West - The William Curry House

The William Curry House is a mid-block building located at 73 Holland St. West. It was built in the Gothic Revival style around the 1890’s. Bill Curry, a carpenter, and his wife and children (Harvey and Jessie) moved here from the 14th Line, West Gwillimbury. Members of the Curry family have lived in this house for many decades.
The two-storey, ‘L’-shaped building has large window openings, high floor to ceiling heights, and a medium-pitched, gable roof. The shutters (but probably not the colour) may be original. A wrap-around entrance porch is original and has Regency overtones. Although the windows and doors have been replaced, the original wood, lug sills remain. The building has brick veneer on wood frame construction. Window awnings and attic vents are twentieth-century alterations. The soffit infill, if original, has an altered eaves detail. According to the 2000 inventory, the building is surrounded by a well-maintained, landscaped yard. (1, 2, 3)

George Jackson

120 Holland Street West

The building located at 120 Holland St. West in this photo from 1995 replaces one built by Watson (a cement block and sidewalk builder) just before, or during, WWI. That structure had a barn and shed for stock and chickens at the back. The Slothin family moved here from Toronto around the time of the Depression. They had one daughter and a son named Max. At one time Elgar Houghton and his wife lived here with their daughter (Muriel) and sons (Gordon and Lloyd). He drove a team (before he got a truck) and delivered gas for Imperial Oil. Paul Gres, his wife, and family (market gardeners) lived here years later. This house and property (around 25 acres) was still owned by the Gres family in 1995. (1, 2)

George Jackson

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