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THEN & NOW: Five Points no stranger to fire over the years

Upcoming 'They Rushed In' walking tour on Sept. 21 will highlight several main street stories

This ongoing series from Deb Exel at the Barrie Historical Archive shows old photos from the collection and one from the present day.  

Tamblyn Fire 

The northeast corner of Dunlop and Clapperton streets has seen a lot of fire over the years.

The original building that sat on this property was built in 1852 by Francis Stevens and once housed the Bank of Toronto.

This early TD Bank moved down the block, and in 1873, the building became the Bank Hotel until it (and others on the north side of Dunlop Street) burned in 1875.

The same builder replaced the Bank Hotel with the Summersett House. The Summersett/Wellington Hotel was on the northwest corner of Elizabeth Street — now Dunlop West and Bayfield streets — until it burned in 1876, and again in 2007.

Other businesses occupied this site, such as the H.H. Otton Hardware Company, and, later, in what was known as the Cancilla Block, druggist Harry A. Smith had his shop in this building as well.

The drugstore became part of the Tamblyn chain in 1941. The G. Tamblyn Ltd. balance sheet and financial statement of Dec. 31, 1942 lists 69 locations; it also shows the Barrie store as temporarily closed due to fire.

Once again, a devastating fire had ravaged this building. The final and fatal fire for this Five Points veteran occurred in 1994 while Sam the Record Man was the street-level business at this address.

More Five Point fires can be found in Remember This.

The Barrie Historical Archive will be conducting a new, interactive heritage walking tour called ‘They Rushed In’, a main street stroll that highlights some of the stories of the Barrie fire department and heritage locations in the city’s historical downtown core. The tours are Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., starting at Barrie Fire Hall No. 1, 155 Dunlop St. W., and led by local historian, writer and storyteller Mary Harris.