Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | July 12, 2017

Zappia’s Restaurant 1960s

Many will fondly recall the delicious pizza from Zappia’s Restaurant. The family residence and restaurant was located at 1121 (formerly known as 1101) Brookdale Avenue, a bit north of Eleventh Street West in Cornwall.

The business opened in 1961, here is a Yellow Pages ad from that year.

Ad ad in the 1963 CCVS yearbook.

An ad from the 1965 Cornwall General Hospital School of Nursing yearbook.

A 1965 Yellow Pages ad.

For about a decade an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Salvatore Zappia, and his family (his wife Anna and seven children:  Caterina, Domenic, Antonio, Maria, Frank, Paola and Lisa) operated the business, each one helping out in one or more areas. The pizzas were made from scratch and cooked on a stone slate. Giuseppe came to Canada in 1949, initially employed as a farm labourer. After a short stint with a construction company (back injury), he signed up with the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority. He and Anna also operated a rooming house on their Brookdale Avenue site, which was quite busy housing and feeding Seaway workers until the end of that boom.

Giuseppe died at the age of 60 on June 5, 1972. Tony (Ottawa) died on April 4, 2007.

A 1967 Yellow Pages ad.

An ad from the 1968 Cornwall General Hospital School of Nursing yearbook, showing a second location.

The 1968 Yellow Pages ad also boasts of a second location across town.

As did their 1970 YP ad.

Their Yellow Pages ad from 1971-1973. For about three years, they operated a second restaurant across town, then resumed having just the original location until about 1973.

New owners carried on the business as the Olympic Flame. The building itself was consumed by fire on October 23, 1975. Ray Martelle later operated a furniture store on the site.

Do you have photos of Zappia’s? If so, we’d love to have you e-mail us a copy at .


  1. Hi
    I am Leonard Zappia. Son of Domenico Zappia and grandson of Giuseppe Zappia. I have access to some pictures that you may like. I am happy to say that myself and my siblings also became pizza makers in the style that came to use from Calabria. Please feel free to contact me and we can make arrangements to get some photos to you. I may even be able to convince my Dad to recount those days as he loves to do now in his 78th year.
    Thank you for this and I will be certain that remaining family members see this also.
    With love,

  2. Good Morning

    My mother is the eldest of the 7 children, she immigrated here at the age of 15 I believe. We have so many pictures. I myself remember that restaurant as a child. One of my sister had a stair case built in her home to reflect parts of the restaurant in honor of my grandparents. Feel free to contact me for more information. There are 6 siblings still living sadly one uncle passed away. He was the coach for cornwall royals at one point Tony Zappia.

  3. Please feel free to contact me, I am the second grandchild of Giuseppe and Anna Zappia, born same date, day and opposite time of my grandmother Anna, we have many many pictures that we would love to share, feel free to contact any of us we would all be whiling and able to help with any pictures and stories for you.

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