After I wrote about the Peden store months ago I tried to figure out in my mind what it looked like as I couldn’t remember it. I went back and read what John Edwards had written and tried to imagine.
The Peden store was in fairly dilapidated condition in the 1960’s and ’70’s. It looked as if it was sinking into the ground but in reality the street had been built up over time to cause moisture to run into the building (it was in the lowest part of town and likely susceptible to flooding.) and this accelerated its demise.
The picture of Bell St. above dates from 1863. I believe the Peden Store was the bakery in the photo. It likely dated from the 1840’s or 50’s. I never got inside but the second floor showed signs of the original mustard yellow, ox-blood red and forest green historic colour scheme. The lower façade still had classical Georgian elements. It was a piece of our own Upper Canada Village. I have a complete photographic record of the façade as I was, at the time, optimistic that someone might do the right thing and the photos might help. John Edwards
David Lloyd had these memories.
Hope Peden and his wife ran the store till some time in the mid 50’s . As kids we used to take our empty bottles there to cash in for candy. They lived in the back of the store and would meet you at the counter when they heard the bell over the entrance door ring .
They had a border who worked at the Supertest garage at the corner of Bell and Bridge . but his name escapes me. I used to meet Wayne Richards there while he was delivering milk and then get a free ride downtown.
After Hope died and the store closed I remember shovelling snow for Mrs. Peden. She couldn’t afford to pay me , but she let me into the store and gave me a couple of packs of old hockey cards that were still in the display case . I’m sure the store had been closed for a couple of years by then.
Old places have soul. I have always lived in old buildings and thought about those who have lived there before. How can you not? If you have memories of the Peden building please drop me a line.