When You Needed “Variety” You Went to Art’s or the Wayside Inn 1940s — Photos




Remember Art’s on Townline which is NOW MacEwen’s Gas?

This was the place to go and see your neighbours, grab a cup of coffee, weekend groceries and get your lotto. Bill Brunton mentioned:”don’t forget the Beckwith Butcher that was on the right hand side!” This photo is from January 2012–the last photo of Art’s before it was gone. Photo from Amanda Armstrong-From the photo collection of Margaret Martin”

As you know I go “kookoo for coconuts” when I see photos. Photos tell us so much about history, and now that we can document them online we can see them anytime we want and hopefully forever. Thank you Amanda Armstrong for sharing these with us and a big hug to your “Gram”.

If you have photos send them to me sav_77@yahoo.com and I will share history with the world.

Lizzie Brunton just emailed–“I was thinking about old stores in CP today. My first cashier job was at Art’s Variety on Townline. I miss that place, Art was a great boss. That store had everything from fruits, vegetables, deli meat to fireworks lol.



Great view of what William Street use to look like. With a view of Wayside Inn in the back, and a very bare Townline Road. Taken late 1940’s, Della Toop standing in front of the landmark tree at our family’s house. -Photo from Amanda Armstrong-From the photo collection of Margaret Martin”

Kim Martin ElderAnd a quick side note…before it became Art’s Variety, it was known as Riverview. That was the name when Livingstones owned it.
Rick Redmond– And even before that it was owned and operated by the Black family in the 1950’s.





Another great shot of Wayside Inn –1940’s-Photo from Amanda Armstrong-From the photo collection of Margaret Martin” The little boy is William (Billy) Purdon taken in front of the store when his parents Gilbert & Mary Purdon owned it





Early 1940’s in front of Wayside Inn (Art’s Variety). Dalton Jelly with my Grandmother Margaret Martin (nee Toop)--Photo from Amanda Armstrong-From the photo collection of Margaret Martin”




My Great-Grandmother Della Toop in front of the Wayside Inn sign with my Grandmother Margaret on the left, with the view of William Street in the back. Early 1940’s–Photo from Amanda Armstrong-From the photo collection of Margaret Martin”



The original Art’s Variety, then known as Wayside Inn when owned by my Great-Grandparent’s Arthur & Della Toop (owners from 1939-1948). Photo was taken in the early-mid 1940’s. My Grandmother Margaret Martin (nee Toop) standing with friends.Standing with her are Valda (Spinks) Blackburn, Orlene (Walters) Hamilton & her brother Barry Walters. Photo from Amanda Armstrong-From the photo collection of Margaret Martin”


Again thank you Amanda and  Margaret Martin for your generosity.




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

The Mystery Ruins of Carleton Place- Photos by Adam Dowdall


Kim Martin Elder
May 25, 2018  · 

My grandparents Art and Della Toop owned the store between 1939 – 1945.
I don’t know if Rick remembers these name tags, but I got them made up for all of us when we worked for Art Diotte. He eventually changed the name to Art’s Variety.

Linda Gallipeau-JohnstonThe best fruit stand ever!!

Dan WilliamsI remember it when it was called Black’s

Terry Latham–Think it was Ed. Moss that had it.

Wendy HealeyIt was a great store. Would stop and get gas and a treat on the way home from town. The floors were so worn with so many people going in and out. Bought our meat there.

Carole FlintAnd isn’t that where The Beckwith Butcher was before his current location-The old building was torn down

Wesley ParsonsA lot of local kids worked there as well. Art was a real character!

Jeremy StinsonThere were 2 men named Art that owned it over the years. Art Martel was the second one.

Rick SchnauferArt Diotte was the first Art

Tina LaRocqueI was one of those kids. I ended up babysitting for him instead cause I wasn’t very good at the store part

Rick SchnauferI think Livingstones owned it in the early to mid 70ks before Art Diotte bought it around 76

Sue Black-Parks ColtonMy grandparents Cliff and Muriel Black owned the store at one point, they had a fresh meat counter, a lunch counter, I think it was in the mid 60’s they had it. My Dad Morley Black would deliver groceries.

Found this old photo and article from Desmond Devoy in 2012-CARLETON PLACE – Why isn’t the gas flowing?

That was certainly on the mind of a female motorist who pulled up to MacEwen’s gas station on Town Line Road in Carleton Place recently.

She had pulled up to the pump, hopped out, opened the gas door, grabbed the nozzle, inserted the nozzle into the tank and pulled the trigger.

Read the rest here..https://www.insideottawavalley.com/news-story/3796446-art-s-old-gas-station-to-be-demolished/
Today 2021

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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