Many businesses now long gone

Forsberg and Lindberg, MacIntoshes, Taylor Electric, Andy’s Candy Land, Bernardi’s, Veteran Electric, the bowling alley, Shop Easy, Niznicks, Tiny Tot Shop, The Fridge, Gilmore, and Noden are names of businesses that all have disappeared from the 300 block of Scott Street in my lifetime.
Before most people had chest freezers in their basements, they took their meat to George Turner at The Fridge and stored it in freezer lockers. Of course, back then most people bought quarters or sides of beef in the fall and looked to feed their families for at least half-a-year.
I grew up on Third Street East behind the arena, but my cousins lived on the 300 block of First Street East behind where most of those stores existed. Where the Northwestern Health Unit is today, there was a big grassy field with a big sign on it. As kids we used to hide there.
CN had a telegraph office located on the edge of the field and next to it was Taylor Electric. I remember going in to the store with my grandfather at Christmas and he picked up some glass bird tree ornaments.
He also had a sweet tooth, and would take both my brother and me to either Andy’s Candy Land or Ray S. Holmes for milkshakes. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better milkshake than those made in those businesses.
If my Auntie Elaine sent us to the grocery store, we headed to Bernardi’s Grocery.
Right behind my cousins’ home on First was the Baptist Church. And next to it, where Border Travel now sits, was the original Safeway store. Safeway later built a new store, which now is occupied by the health unit.
After Safeway departed its original store, Guys and Dolls Pool Hall took over the building and then Bud’s Office Supplies.
Over time, to provide parking, Safeway acquired the telegraph office, Taylor Electric, and Bernardi’s Grocery. The Baptist Church moved to the west end and was replaced by office buildings.
Next to Safeway was MacIntoshes men’s wear, which was bought by Mike Kosowick, who after the war operated Johnny Canucks on the highway at La Vallee. Mike changed the name of the men’s clothing store to the Esquire shop.
As I try to recall various businesses along the north side of the street, I remember Leo Fedorchuk, who was an electrician and had parts to replace just about any electrical appliance or gadget. After the war, he was known as the go-to electrician for the wiring of homes and businesses.
As I move west along Scott Street, I remember the orginal bowling alley where Fort Floral now exists. Fred Clinker was running it then and all the pins were hand-set.
He later moved the business to the present location next to the former White Pine Inn and everyone marvelled at the automatic pin-setters.
Eddie Niznick had a women’s clothing store in the building that is now occupied by Lorelei Locker. After he retired, Dorothy Coran took it over and ran it as Dorothy’s.
On the northeast corner of Scott and Portage, Gilmore and Noden Hardware was located. Next to it was one of the original Shop-Easy stores in Canada, and next to Shop-Easy was Forsberg and Lindberg.
I remember old Mr. Forsberg. He always seemed old to me, but on the upper level all the shoes were carried. I had to have special shoes and he would make sure the shoes fit.
Then my parents would take the shoes to Matty Heusberg, who would add additional leather to the inside part of the soles.
As a present, my parents bought me a made-to-measure sport coat because I was so stout and anything off the rack would not fit. No one used plastic bags back then. I remember that every parcel was wrapped neatly and a green string was tied around it.
All those businesses from the 300 block of Scott Street have now disappeared. The downtown was a much busier place than today.
They all have been customers of the paper and each business was unique in its own. For many years, businesses on Scott Street remained open to 6 p.m. They closed their doors at noon on Wednesday—and all holidays were taken.
The pace of life half-a-century ago was much slower.

Posted in Uncategorized