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THEN & NOW: Dunlop Street West

Elizabeth Street, which was renamed Dunlop Street in 1952, has been home to dozens and dozens of businesses over the years

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

Elizabeth (now known as Dunlop) Street, north side between Bayfield and John (Maple Avenue) streets

This is one image-rich post, folks, so be sure to click all the links for a heapin’ helpin’ of Barrie nostalgia!

In the 1860s, Elizabeth Street was pretty rugged and the north side of the little block between Bayfield Street and John Street (now Maple Avenue) did not have much to boast.

Anchoring the eastern corner was the Wellington Hotel, also known as the Summersett Hotel, and at the other end, the Crystal Palace store. In between, there was a barn next to the hotel, another wooden building with an attached lean-to and Pullen’s Gun and Locksmith store, which had moved into what was a former tin smith shop.

By 1878, the purported date of our ‘then’ photo, this sleepy little block had newer, brick buildings (it was, after all, post-fire of 1876) and more businesses were populating this strip.

Records from 1888-1904 show the Wellington Hotel dominating the eastern corner, followed by a driving shed, a grocer, several shops and a restaurant at the west end of the block.

For fun, here are three windows in time to the businesses, looking east to west, that have come and gone from this block.

1937 — The Wellington Hotel, of course, at 4 Elizabeth St., Agnew Surpass Shoe Stores at 10, Douglas Drug Store at 14, A & P Food Store at 18, Bryson’s at 22, J.G. Keenan musical merchandise at 24 (by the 1950s, they had moved across the street to 9 Elizabeth St.), L.A. Emms Electrical Contractor at 26 (they had also moved across the street by the 1950s to 47 Elizabeth St.), Miller’s Ladies Wear at 28, Ralph Weaymouth Music at 30, Barrie Café at 34, and, finally, in the western part of the old Crystal Palace spot was Bryson’s Grill at 38 Elizabeth St.

1952 — The Wellington Hotel continues to preside at the corner of the busy Five Points intersection. Next to it is JK Novelty at 8, Cusden’s Pharmacy at 14, the Harmony Grill at 18, Bryson’s Tea Room at 22, Home Appliance Shop at 24, Household Finance at 26, CKBB/Barrie Broadcasting upstairs at 26, Rosette Dress Shop at 28, switching over from music to literature was Weaymouth Book Store at 30, Agnew Surpass Shoe Store now at 32, and, finally, Bryson’s Grill still holding down the western corner at 38. This was also the year that Elizabeth Street was renamed Dunlop Street West.

1963 — The good old ‘Welly’ was still king of the corner (this address did not become a vacant lot until the hotel burned in December 2007), JK Stationary at 8, Cusden’s Pharmacy at 14, Normandy Restaurant and Steak House at 18, Gord Roach Men’s Wear at 22, Norman Shoes at 24, Delta Acceptance/Crescent Finance 26, Household Finance/Singer Company at 28, Weaymouth Book Store at 30, Agnew Surpass Shoe Stores at 32, and Doug’s Inn Restaurant at 38.

If we reflected on all the businesses that have occupied a spot on this little stretch at any given moment in time, we would be here for quite a while! Enjoy the memories of this little section of main street.