The Day The Moose in Carleton Place Burned Down



March 1st, 1986.

The Levine building (the only Carleton Place heritage structure with a *boom facade) was destroyed by fire in the last week of February 1986. Built in 1856 the Bridge street frame house was in the process of being renovated after being vacant since the early 80’s.

Fire Chief Ken Drummond and 20 volunteers from the Ocean Wave Fire Dept. battled the blaze from 1 am until 3:30 am but were unable to save the building. The cause of the blaze was not immediately determined. The two storey building had been bought by two Perth architects specializing in historical re-construction.

Architects John Edwards and John Stewart had received a $30,000 provincial grant to restore the building to include a general store. The building had been designated heritage three years previous sparking an uproar from nearby merchants because of its derelict condition.

August 26, 1986.

After a month of haggling with the town of Carleton Place; a permit was issued to rebuild the main street heritage building destroyed by fire. The building permit had been stalled because the town council wanted the structure to be set back 10 feet from the Bridge Street sidewalk. Edwards and Stewart said they would lose the $30,000 provincial heritage grant if the building location was moved.

John Edwards told the local newspapers that the Levine building was insured, but added the value of the damage was difficult to access because the building had already been gutted by workers. The roof which was badly damaged by fire was to be replaced anyways

Reconstruction was to begin immediately and completion was set for early fall.

moo (1)


A Little History 

Judith Hughes owned the building before Edwards and Stewart and had applied for Heritage status which would allow her to apply for provincial restoration grants. She began fixing and painting windows– but was ordered to stop work by building inspector Murray Sadler. Hughes added she intended to continue with the repairs whether or not the structure was designated heritage. Heritage status was delayed for a month to allow council to consider a conservation board report.

Many of the local business people wanted the building torn down. Ralph Shaw, spokesman for neighbouring businesses opposed having a heritage tag for the Levine building as the building did not conform with the architectural styles of the town. In fact it was considered a white elephant.

More on Abraham Levine this week.

Related Reading:

How to Paint “The Moose”

Top Photo -This photograph from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum collection shows the remains of what is now “The Thirsty Moose” pub after a devastating fire in 1986. This building housed Levine’s junk shop in earlier times.

*Boom Style (1875-1890)

The Boom Style shows off the prosperity of the Gold Rush and the resultant economic boom of the 1880’s. It was also a reminder of the bustling lumber town days in Carleton Place

More on Abraham Levine this week.

Related Reading:

How to Paint “The Moose”

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

2 responses »

  1. Wish the owner would fix up the exterior. Looking pretty shabby on the outside these days. If you did not know how good the food is or how great the staff are you would not choose to eat there based the outside appearance today. Our town is so pretty especially our Bridge St. The run down look on the exterior of this supposed Heritage Building is unacceptable. As well as the Heritage Inn across the street. Although there is no business presently there the owner should be made to clean up the weed infested grounds out front. Have some pride owners of these buildings.


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