Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | August 18, 2017

Before Time … Square

Time Sq_1961-01_B_web
In this 1961 Marcel Quenneville photograph we see the newly-opened Loblaws Groceteria which had joined the Woolworth’s Store in relocating to 114 Second Street West; Woolworth was at 124 in the adjoining store. The building is now called Time Square.


‘Why is it called Time Square?’ you may ask. Great question. In 1987 William and Tom Wise along with Jack McGaughey, who had invested more than a million dollars to transform the former Loblaws/Woolworth structure into a modern office complex,  hoped to revamp the 25 foot former Post Office clock and install it in a tower on that site along with a suitable bell. The Downtown BIA manager, Bill Galant, hoped to unveil it on New Year’s Eve in the presence of the mayor of New York City during a New York City style Times Square celebration. Thus the name Time Square. Ultimately the clock tower project unfolded at the foot of Pitt Street.

Loblaws_Pitt St_1962-03-09_B_CRLoblaws had made the move from this older store at 126-128 Pitt Street, which was then flanked by Peter Solway’s Mayfair Shoppe (118-120) and Reitman’s Ladies’ Wear (130). Today those three locations are occupied by Spinner’s Diner, Jack Lee’s Restaurant and, until recently, Much Ts. Continuing north were other historic Cornwall businesses: Laniel Jeweller, Nyman’s Shoes, Tamblyn’s Drugs, People’s (opened April 5, 1960), Zellers, Leslie’s ladies wear, Metropolitan (earlier Woolworth) and Fullerton Drugs.

scan0057This grand structure was Dr. J.J. Dickinson’s residence and the United Counties Health Unit. It stood where Time Square is situated now, across from Trinity Church. The house was built in 1898 as the Mulhern residence, and served as the U.S. Consulate by 1905. The house was demolished in March of 1958.

OPP Dist HQ_webThis 1959 photo taken by retired O.P.P. Sgt Earl Bowes, shows the view from Loblaws east parking lot. The Ontario Provincial Police No. 11 District Headquarters occupied the brick building at 135 Augustus Street as of March 3, 1948. Today (2017), on that postage stamp lot, the former O.P.P. HQ is used as an apartment building and medical office. A few premises to the south can be seen a sign for Riddell’s House & Auto Painting at their 127 Augustus Street former family residence.

scan0040In June of 1965, the small house at 131 Augustus was converted to become Cornwall’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.

KFC_Aunt Lucy131 no longer stands, but is a parking lot for the commercial premises further south at 127. All that remains is the sign pole.

aerial_1970-09_LoblawsAdjacent to Loblaws’ Second Street location was the Dominion store at 120/130 Augustus Street as seen in this 1970 Quenneville aerial crop.

ad_1959-11-04__0010These Standard-Freeholder Dominion ads are from 1959 (above) and 1963 (below).1963-07-20_Dominion

Dominion StoreThis Filion family photo gives a glimpse of Dominion’s interior.

1957-05-19_Inspection_0001 DFCr_LTPFilionGuardOfcr_WMAlso from the Filion family photo collection is this photo of the Sea Cadet Corps parading in the Dominion store parking lot. Across Augustus Street, the small house at 131 and the row houses further south no longer stand.

Warner_1954-03-17For a time, Ed Warner operated his automobile dealership at this location, as evidenced by this 1954 advertisement. Follow this LINK for our article on Warner.

Aerial_1976-08-02_120 Augustus St_webThis 1976 aerial photo shows the evolution of the 40 (Augustus Court) and later 120 (Sunset Towers) Augustus Street Cornwall Housing apartments. The 120 Augustus apartments stand on the site of the former Dominion Store.

Post Ofc_108 2nd St W_1995_aCanada Post opened its new storefront main branch of the Cornwall Post Office at 108 Second Street West (Time Square) on May 1, 1995.

Post Ofc_108 2nd St W_1996-10_aHere is the Post Office with a new look in 1996.

126 2nd St W_Bumpers Pub & BilliIn 1992 Bumpers Pub & Billiards occupied the west end of the building and had acquired additional parking accessed via York Street. The spacious upscale billiard hall launched by Dean Cameron featured 18 tables and was open seven days per week.

wg_PlayStructureWiggles & Giggles Kingdom indoor play structure opened at the far west end of Time Square in 2012.

A wide variety of businesses have called Time Square home over these past 30 years. They included Woolco Catalog store as well as Sportec to name a few from the past.

These are but a sampling of the thousands of photographs preserved in the SD&G Historical Society Archives at your Cornwall Community Museum.

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