Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 8–Olympia Restaurant to McNeely’s

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 8–Olympia Restaurant to McNeely’s



101 Bridge Street Carleton Place

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What Happened to the Sign?? 
Louis Antonakos
Louis Antonakos Hi Jennifer, The Olympia sign is currently being restored. POSTED–October 14 2014- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Facebook page


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Photo from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

101 Bridge Street

Next to the New York Café (see Volume 6) was the Olympia Restaurant that was operated by James and Louis Laskaris and in 1960, the New York Cafe was destroyed in a fire as was the Olympia Restaurant, in the next building.

Located at 101 Bridge Street, the restaurant, with its booths, curved counter and red leather stools, was a local institution and operated by Louis and James Laskaris as the Olympic Candy Store in 1920. Jim was the manager and principal owner and Louis was the candy maker.  There was once  great displays of Turkish Delight fudge and butter cups displayed in their windows.

Jim married a local girl Helen Mesner and they had two children Bill and Nan. After Helen died Jim returned to Greece and remarried and sold to Jim Antonakos in 1958. Louis  Laskaris left Carleton Place and opened a business in Bowmanville. A fire destroyed the building in 1960, but it was rebuilt and opened again in 1961. Jim Antonakas had previously purchased the building 2.5 years before that fateful day. Antonakas had originally operated a restaurant in the Byward Market in Ottawa.


Everything in the restaurant and garage was destroyed but the firemen aided by the residents of Carleton Place were able to save almost all of the equipment in the barber shop. A fire that amounted to $75,000 worth of damage to: The Olympia Restaurant, Howard Little’s Barbershop and a garage owned by Elmer Robertson containing a small amount of furniture fell prey to the flames. In 1961, the Olympia was rebuilt and reopened. At this time, Stewart Comba leased a part for his furniture shop and R.A. Downing had an office here.

One of the people that ran the Olympia restaurant was Monib El Jaji and his family. El had been cooking for other restaurants for 18 years when he decide to open his own. He had moved his family from Lebanon to Canada in 1967 as he wanted his kids to grow up in a peaceful place.

Some of the people that worked at the Olympia were: Pearl Wilson, Reta Chilcott, Toots Morris, Marian McDaniel and Ruby McPherson. The Olympia closed it’s doors for good in 2000 and is still greatly missed.

Tommy McCaffrey’s Barber shop was next door and he had various assistants such as Jack McPherson, his brother Earl, and Weary Little. Later Howard Little came along from Almonte and took over from McCaffrey. The barbershop was also destroyed by fire and when rebuilt they were set back in line with the rest of the stores instead of protruding 6 feet which narrowed the sdiewalk. There was a small apartment over the barber shop and it was occupied by Carrie Tosh who was employed at the local hydro office. I asked Howard’s daughter what Howard did with his barbershop after the fire and she said he just moved up the street.

Memories of the Olympia & Howard Little Fire-Ray Paquette

Food Fit For Olympians in Carleton Place

The Howard Little- Olympia Fire on Bridge Street

104-106 Bridge Street Carleton Place 


Photo–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Photo- Linda Seccaspina

104-106 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1889-1897

This property was the home of one of the most prominent persons in town during his lifetime. Dr. Richard F. Preston served the community not only as a Physician but as a Reeve of the village, the first Mayor of The town, a member of the Legislative Assembly in 1895 and a Member of Parliament in the 1920s. The building once had a very wide staircase from the centre of the lawn that led to the 2nd floor.

The Crown granted the property originally to Edmond Murphy. Some of the other owners of the property included James McDiarmid, Allan McDonald, John McEwen, Archibald Gilles, and Alexander Forbes Stewart. Stewart sold the property to Preston and Dr. Preston is first mentioned in the Assessment Roll in 1880 when he was twenty-four years of age. He purchased the 11,336 square feet in 1883 for $1000. In 1885-1889 the Assessment Rolls list the property as vacant. From 1890-1897 the building is listed as unfinished. It seems that the house was made habitable and over the next six years, the details were completed.

From 1887 or so, Dr. Preston had a medical practice and he delivered both Lloyd and Harold Hughes. He was also the Mayor and a member of parliament for several years. The building itself had a stable behind it, which was kept by Mr. Halpenny who drove the house and buggy for the doctor. If a lady was having a baby in the country the doctor would not be able to get there in tie to deliver the child but a midwife would be on hand. The midwife would not only be the temporary doctor but would also stay with the family for a few days to help the mother and get the meals for the other members of the family. The doctor usually got there the day after the birth to ensure all was in order andreturn to town. In 1917, Dr. Preston brought in Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith was there for ten to fifteen years. Dr. Preston was quite old when he gave up his practice and Dr. James kept it up.

Dr. James at an old age died while trying to help someone get a car unstuck. Dr. MacDowell took on the practice. Before his practice in Carleton Place he worked out of Almonte. Some of the doctors that were located in this building were: Dr. Ivan James,Dr. Stone,Dr. Murphy, Dr. Ross McDowall and Dr. Bartlett. Dr. Clifford Dobb was also in this building before the Centennial Medical Centre was built. The second floor was made into apartments and one of the earliest tenants was Mr. and Mrs. Del Anderson and Mrs. Blanche Jelly. The downstairs was housed the Children’s Aid Society Office and a real estate office and is now apartments.

Related reading

Shades of The Godfather in Dr. Preston’s Office in Carleton Place

Dr.Preston Was in the House — The Case of the Severed Foot

Haggart vs Dr Preston– The Little Intriguer that Pulled the String….

110 Bridge Street Carleton Place


Original owner George’s Pizza, George Poulos flipping the dough, and outside the restaurant with his stepson, circa 1989Photo from Terry Poulos

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110 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1870

The façade of 110 Bridge Street has probably been renovated since it was initially built, and the original structure was probably was made of clapboard and later on stucco was put on to replace the clapboard. Originally, the building was the office of John (Johnny) A. McGregor, who was the county sheriff, commonly called doctor, but certainly was not a doctor of any kind. Carleton Place was ‘dry’ in his days but there still was a good number of bootleggers. Johnny was short in stature and wore a long fur coat in the winter that dragged through the snow like a western rustler.

Whenever a raid was to be carried out Johnny had to present and he would be transported to the scene of the crime by Kidd Bryce Taxi and word on the street was there were never too many successful raids.

This building also housed the ticker tape for the Toronto Stock Exchange and was operated by Howard Dack and Bill Patterson. The building sat idle for a few years and iconic George’s Pizza occupied it for years. Now there are apartments on the second floor and Heather Lalonde and Suze Tomas have a hairdressing establishment on the main floor. (Hair Loft and E2)

Related Reading…

RACK ‘EM UP —Do You Remember George’s Playhouse?

116 Bridge Street Carleton Place

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116 Bridge Street  Circa 1870

116 Bridge Street was the home of the Darou’s bakery for approximately sixteen years. Darou’s bakery was later operated by Minnie who was the daughter of the Darou’s and Earl Dunlop. It was under the ownership of the Dunlop’s up until 1957 when Nat Nelson purchased the building and operated a delicatessen with his wife bought the building. The Bridge Street store used to be the home base for Nate’s Delicatessen, which was run by Nelson’s parents. Paul took over when his dad died and operated a photography shop. Paul Nelson cherished, long time member of the Carleton Place Community, passed away Monday, February 28, 2011. It is now home to Solace Hair Design on the main floor and apartments on top.

May be an image of outdoors and text that says '0197. for six /Cit- n d DILLIARD: FATES of ne as e or ot Bridge Street when Dominion Stores still had store the corner of Bridge and Franklin Streets, beside the present Korner Kup board. What year? We would like know.'

Related reading:

Life Before Digital Cameras in Carleton Place – Remembering Paul Nelson

107-109 Bridge Street Carleton Place


Photos from —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum —Before the fire

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107-109 Bridge Street Carleton Place–1880 ca, 1898 rebuilt fire


The old photo shown with this article was taken circa 1919, shortly after Cal Moore purchased the store from Deachman and Weir.-Photos from —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  20 Aug 1897, Fri,  Page 8

The original structure that occupied the lot was built in the early 1800’s. Originally 107-109 Bridge Street was the tin shop of Mr. Steele and the tin shop shared the premises with Wilson’s bakery in the latter part of the 19th century and the modest wood building housed the Keyes’ family shoe business and living quarters. The early tenants included Steele’s tinshop, Wilson’s Bakery, Northern Telegraph and George Keyes Boots and Shoes.The structure was destroyed by fire in the 1880’s and the current building was constructed in 1887 and it quickly become known as “The Keyes Block”.  


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  07 Dec 1897, Tue,  Page 6

William and Barbara Neelin sold lot 10 section D to William Brundige in May of 1873 for $1200. The early tenants included Steele’s tinshop, Wilson’s Bakery, Northern Telegraph and George Keyes Boots and Shoes. George Keyes was the son-in-law of William Brundige marrying his daughter Lucy. After the fire, the new red brick building was constructed in 1898 with two storefronts. The Union Bank rented 109 Bridge Street.

George Keyes died in 1909 and the Deir’s open a grocery store at 107 Bridge Street. Cal Moore moved from Smiths Falls and purchased and operated Moore’s Central grocery in 1919. Calvin was also the son-in-law of George Keyes marrying Edena Keyes.

Maynard Argue operates Argues’s Grocery at 107 Bridge Street for many years and then the Mi-Lady Dress Shoppe operated out of the same location from 1953-1977. It was owned by Dorothy Burns and later E. Shane. The tenants included: the Remembrance Gift Shop and Charlie Jay Shoes. Ken’s Discount Shoes opened at number 109 in 1965 and then The Granary Natural Foods opened at 107 Bridge Street in 1977 expanding in 2015

George Keyes was the son-in-law of William Brundige marrying his daughter Lucy. After the fire, the new red brick building was constructed in 1898 with two storefronts. The Union Bank rented 109 Bridge Street.

Originally 107-109 Bridge Street was the tin shop of Mr. Steele and the tin shop shared
the premises with Wilson’s bakery in the latter part of the 19th century. During the early 20th century Garant and Weir operated a grocery. Also occupying the building at this time was the Northern Telegraph. For approximately fifty years, up until the middle of the Twentieth Century there has been a grocery store operated in this building. Deachman and Weir Grocery was later taken over by C.W. Moore.

The current building was constructed in 1887 and this address has been home to several grocery stores including C.W. Moore’s and Maynard Argue’s. C.W. employed Charles Costello for a number of years and had Charlie Whyte as a delivery boy. Maynard Argue took over the business for a short time until he went to become the manager of the IGA store in the newly renovated Rubino Bldg. at the corner of Albert Street. C.W. Moore the Moores lived and was later occupied by Lloyd Moffats and their daughter Doris.


Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Baird and Riddle operated a men’s and boy’s clothing store for quite some time and Mi Lady Dress Shoppe conducted business from 1953-1977 and it was owned by Dorothy Burns and later E. Shane.  Their staff was: Ortie Luons and Carmell Hurell Scissons. Other tenants included: the Remembrance Gift Shop and Charlie Jay Shoes. George Keyes operated a shoe store at 109 Bridge and then Ken’s Discount Shoe Store operated a shoe store in 1965 for several decades. In 1977, The Granary took up residence at 107 and continues to operate in 2017 in this location also having expanded into where Ken’s Discount Shoe Store was at 109 Bridge Street. Wings’s Paint Shop was also located in this location briefly.


Related reading:

Under Lock and Keyes- Keyes Building

The Old Grocery Counter –Calvin Moore

Memories of Argue’s Food Market?

The Mysterious Riddell— H B Montgomery House

The Granary in Your Backyard — Dena Comley

I am Forever Blowing Bubbles on Bridge Street

111-117 Bridge Street Carleton Place

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111-117 Bridge Street Carleton Place-Rebuilt 1897 because of fire (see The Ottawa Journal,  07 Dec 1897, Tue,  Page 6 above)

111-117 Bridge Street for over 100 years has housed a variety of businesses
including a pharmacy, jeweller, McCann’s pool hall, grocery stores, men’s clothing, a
bank, and women’s hats.  111-117 was rebuilt in 1897 because of a fire in
1895.  In 1950, side by side (111-117), the stores in operation were Argue’s Food Market, Wilson’s Drugs, Dack’s Jewellers, and E.D. Robertson’s Men’s Clothing.


Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

At 111 Bridge Street, W.P. Pattie operated a drug store. At the back of his store was the CPR Telegraph Office operated by Meta Purdy.  Meta also helped in the store and was joined by Etta Moffatt. Pattie sold all sorts of  periodicals and newspapers and had a soda fountain with a marble counter. After Pattie retired Harold Wilson took over the store and he made many changess that later became Simpson Sears. He employed Margaret Walker and Lena Stanzel. Harold and his wife Helen LaRondeau had been an interpreter at Findlays lived with their son and daughter on Hawthorne Ave.
Baird and Riddell Gents store was in business for a long time and Harry Umphrey was the manager until he married Edie McFadden and then he managed the family business McFadden Furs on William Street. Elmer Robertson took over the gents furnishing and Bill Simpson worked there until he went to work for Simpsons Sears in Ottawa and then Bill Dorman worked there as a clerk. In 1919, Abdallah moved into Baird and Riddell’s old store. Baird and Riddell retired from business in 1918.

The Remembrance Gift Shop was opened here later and had a couple of changes to owners. The door between these two businesses led up to the law office of R. A. Patehell and Dr. Antoni had a dental office on the 2nd floor and then Mrs. Watty Mclqaham had a hair salon on this floor. When the local branch of the Legion was first formerd it was here they had their first meetings. Mr. Patchell was their first president and Major Hooper, John Steele, Ashley Kerr and Horace Sedman were charter members.

In 1923, J.H. Dack moved into McDiarmid’s store and Dack Jewellers continued to operate at 115 Bridge Street until March of 2017. This family business has been in operation since 1897 when J.H. Dack bought the stock of George Godden and he always kept his desk halfway down the store. You can read more about the Dacks in related reading below.


Photo- Used with permission from the Dack Family

Hassan Abdallah who ran a general store in Baird and Riddell’s old store and the thing most children remember about Abdallah’s store was that each year he had a store Santa Claus. Children were let into the store 2 at a time and parents were told to stay outside. The Canadian Bank of Commerce moved into the McDiarmid Block in 1928 and took over Abdallah’s store under the management of Mr. Kent. Some of the tellers were: Bob Hinch, Dave McLaren, Art Bittle, Isabel McLaren, and Dolly McCauley.


McCann’s poolroom was located here for a time after McCann moved it here from
further up Bridge Street. Cecil  T. McCann and James Porter came from Westport and purchased the local pool room and moved it to the former store. C.T. McCann carried on the business for many years after Jim Porter left. His most steady employee was Gordon Lackey and his most devoted customer was Willard Hawthorne. Cecil married one of my favourite people, my former neighbour Laurel McCann and their family was: Marilyn Karen and Tom.

Tomorrow: Carrie Dolan’s Dress Shop, Simpson’s Sears, The Dominion and Sally Hickson to finish the block


1991–Downtown Office Supplies-Bridge Street- Carleton Place– Photo courtesy of Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Norma Jackson-— Came up with some names— back row from left my nieces, Donna Lowry Smith, Rhonda Lowry Whitmarsh, Beth Eliopoulos Monette

Just a note that in the 1970s, the McDiarmid Estate disposed of the McDiarmid block. This building was in the hands of the McDiarmids for eighty some odd years. William and Fred McDiarmid operated a men’s clothing store from
approximately 1894 up until the 1930s. 
Terry McLeod and Bill Cheffins owned Downtown Office Supplies during 80s and 90s and Terry and Bill restored their storefront to resemble the one of the 1890s.

Related Reading:

Was Beating Anything from Baird & Riddell of Carleton Place Illegal?

Losing an Institution- Dacks Jewellers

The Story Behind the Clock – Dack’s Jewellers

The Savoy Medicinal Truffle at Pattie’s Drugstore

Remember Downtown Office Supply in Carleton Place?

McDiarmid Family– Murals and Vimy Ridge

In Memory of Tom McCann

Reusing the Past of Carleton Place — The Morphy’s and the McCann’s

Come Back to the Five and Dime Carleton Place–Robertson’s

Memories of the C.P. Cinema –Carleton Place Theatre

The Dacks and the Mysterious Old Anchor

119-123 Bridge Street Carleton Place



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Photo kindly shared by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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119-123 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1880

Carrie Dolan had a small shop with Carrie Dolan’s Dress Shop and operated a millinery and hat shop with Edna Garvin Scott was her saleslady. After Miss Dolan’s business operations ceased, Sears operated an order office at this location and Mary Henderson, Lottie Snedden, Grace Bittle, Helen Reid, and Dorothy Ferrill operated it. Laurel McCann then had a ladies apparel shop and Mrs. Judith Hughes a shoe store before it became a bike repair shop.

Argues Hardware was also next to the Dominion Store which used to be Bailey’s grocery Store and Chester came in and took this small store over and employed James Patterson, Harry Crawford and Wilbert Giles.


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Misses Sallie and Sarah Hickson once operated their variety store in the corner block store where the toonie shop is now after moving across from the opposite side of the street. In 1883 on Bridge Street, Hickson’s Fair was offering “cambric underskirts for 69 cents” and she was a dealer in fancy goods, notions, stamped linen goods, notions, Berlin Wools, souvenir goods,  white wear,children’s toys and the list went on.

Hicks advertised their goods as well selected but the prices were low enough to captivate the public. The store was advertised as quite large and under the  entire supervision of the Hicksons. They also had a branch store in Almonte. Sounds like you probably didn’t fool around with these gals. The Hickson sisters lived on Bell Street next to Cannon Elliott.


The intersection of Franklin Street in the early 1920’s. -Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum..

Frank McDiarmid also had a gents store in this location and Bill McKim was a clerk. Later Bill Phillips worked there and took over the business and employed Vic Cameron after school and on Saturdays. During the 1940’s and up until 1969, the McDiarmid Block was home to the Dominion Store in the corner store.

Related reading:

In Memory of Mickey Pickup– Carleton Place Dominion Store

Bridge Street V.E. Day Parade Photos- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Glory Days of Carleton Place–Mike Kean

120 Bridge Street Carleton Place

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120 Bridge Street Carleton Place–1860s– 1923 rebuilt because of fire


In 1861, the McLean’s owned the building. In 1877, William McDiarmid gained
ownership of the premises after Struthers owned it. William McDiarmid took over
William Neelin’s general store in 1870 – the Golden Lion Store on the North West
corner of Bridge and Emily Street. By 1882, the store had gas lighting.

At 120 Bridge Street between 1882 and 1905 Duncan and William McDiarmid operated a store together. Later Mr. Pollock operated a music store at this location. The Central Canadian’s Office was located at 120 until the 1923 fire prior to merging with the Herald.

The Central Canadian’s editor was W.W. Cliff. In 1876, Cliff started the Canadian. Cliff was at the helm of the Central Canadian for thirty five years until F.A.J. Davis took over. In 1927 the name of the Central Canadian was changed to the Carleton Place Canadian.

The photo of the burned out building was taken on January 7, 1923, this photo shows the aftermath of a fire at the Herald/Central Canadian Newspaper office located on the north-west corner of Bridge and Elgin/ Emily Street in Carleton Place. This is now the site of Body Graphics Tattoo.

It was 10 pm when the fire was discovered in the office of the Central Canadian. It took over two hours to get the fire under control-but in no time the roof had fallen in and the floors collapsed in several places.The newspaper plant and stock valued at $13,000 was destroyed, and the building frame veneered with brick was a wreck estimated at $5000 in damages.

The flames had spread upward to the second floor where the heavier type of metal machinery was and it became too dangerous for the firemen to enter, less the floor give way. Mr. F.A. Davis the owner had insurance of $6000 on the plant and the Wm. McDiarmid estate owners of the building $2000, so the loss was a heavy one to both parties. The brick building adjoining the burned building was saved intact –so the Central Canadian moved next door and Mr. Davis determined what arrangements he could make to get the town’s newspaper out the next day. No word if that paper did come out.

After the 1923 fire, the new building housed Leo. McDiarmid’s Sports.  Guns could be purchased or repaired, and ammunition and decoys were sold. Later Cliff Caldwell and his wife Edna operated a hair salon and lived on the second floor. About 1950 George H Doucett bought the building and his insurance company operated there until the early 70s. Mr. William S. Rowat was his office manager and after he lost an eye and could no longer drive, Mr. Doucett’s nephew Allan joined the staff. Mr.and Mrs. Dan Nichols occupied the upstairs apartment and the building was later purchased by Howard McNeely who operated a barbershop at 120 Bridge.



Photo of H B Montgomery and Howard McNeely-Photos-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Related Reading..

Carleton Place and the Industries of Sin

Ray Paquette’s Memories- McNeely and the Mississippi Hotel and Doughnuts?

Howard McNeely- I Aim to Please

H B Montgomery Auctioneer

In the Year 1923 —- “BHM”– (Before Howard McNeely)

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.


Read in the series

Carleton Place Business–Lloyd Hughes List

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 1– Canadian Tire to The Moose

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 2- Milano Pizza to Milady Dress Shop

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 3- St. Andrew’s to Central School

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 4- Leslie’s China Shop to Rubino’s/Giant Tiger

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 5-The Little White House to the Roxy

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 6-The Eating Place to the Post Office

Carleton Place Then and Now–Bridge Street Series– Volume 7 –Scotia Bank to the New York Cafe


What Didn’t You Know? The New Town Hall August 1897

Community Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 8– It was 1963

Community Facts You Might Not Know About Carleton Place for our 150th Birthday – Part 9– It was 1903!

A Lyle Dillabough Flashback– 150th Birthday

Carleton Place Community Memories 1967–150th

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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.

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