No Girls Allowed? Uncle Cecil’s Pool Room

No Girls Allowed? Uncle Cecil’s Pool Room




Bill Poulin Jr. playing snooker at McCanns pool hall- Photos from the Canadian and Gazette files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum—

Thank you to all that commented and sharing your memories!

Dale Costello One of the best pool players was Bill Poulin Jr. at Uncle Cecil’s

Bill Brown Shawn Gorman and Kathy Gibson in the background watching

Cristina Mullin Definitely Billy Poulon. And Kathy Gibson

Catherine Marvin- I’m thinking we were about 14 or 15 then. I think Tommy McCann let Angela Bigras and I in to play one day before the girls went in there. We were allowed all the time after that. Doug Porteous taught me to play pool. Learned how to play Boston before anything else.

Ray Paquette That must be Bill Sr’s son in the photo. I spent a lot of my youth in the pool room and that is not the Bill Poulin I remember!!! In the ’50’s Bill Poulin was considered to be the pro of the Pool Hall and there was one table set aside for money games that was played on by a select few, Bill, Garry Clifford, Wally Lawford and a few others whose names escape me…

Norma Ford This brings back some embarrassing memories. I was sent to pick up my Grandpa’s Club Chewing tobacco at the pool room. When your about 10 years old and go into a place that only men were allowed in – not good. Grandpa always gave me a nickle a trip, would do anything for him. I can’t remember who he sent when I was too old (or too embarrassed) to step foot in there, a real taboo. Very funny now and I wish I had just stepped up and played pool, would that ever have shocked all those guys. –

Ray Paquette- In the ’50’s Bill Poulin was was considered to be the pro of the Pool Hall and there was one table set aside for money games that was played on by a selct few, Bill, Garry Clifford, Wally Lawford and a few others whose names escape me…

Terry Latham This is Jr. Was better than Bill sr.

Baine Cornell  Bill Poulin Sr. was one of the best. I remember Bill playing an exhibition against George Chenier the reigning Canadian snooker champ at the pool room.

Bill Russell I remember when Cliff Thorburn came to the pool hall.

Keith Giffin I saw that game as well Blaine Cornell ,very good game . Allie Hastie loved to play straight pool, had a few games with him. The shirt and the vest were 2 of my favourites to play against Jim and Benny Clarke.



leo bruce hempell‏ @BruceHempell posted this old photo on Twiter–
This 90’s photo is of a snowsuit pool tournament in the old Almonte Hotel. #almonteontario #poolgame#almontephoto


Bill Brown When ya played in Almonte pool hall – they always positioned the pink ball to the side of the red balls!! Weird

Llew Lloyd Bill Sr. was still playing when I frequented the billiard hall . I believe in my time you had to be 16 or have a note from your mother . It was a bit tense at Sunday dinner when mom saw the note she had written for the first time 

Doug B. McCarten You actually had your Mom sign a note? BAHAHAHA

Mary Lou Stafford Not exactly ..that’s why I was tense. Lol
I remember many of those hand written notes my Mom wrote LOL😂

Ray Paquette By the way, when did girls begin to frequent the pool hall? I hope that is not interpreted as a “sexist” comment…

Bill Brown 70s for sure !!

Doug B. McCarten Never in my time! Women were never allowed nor were they interested! It was strictly a mens room in the 60’s! Cecil restricted males as well until they were 16!

Ray Paquette Do you remember standing outside and watching the pedestrian traffic, particularly the young ladies, go by with an occasional remark from one of the young “gents” causing a witty comeback from the girl it was directed at?

Dale Costello Never uttered a comment detrimental to the beauty walking before us.

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Shows east side of Bridge street, pool hall is right where the two gentleman are standing. It was called McCann’s run by Cecil McCann. The building at left is on the corner of Franklin Street. Built in 1880’s by William McDirarmid. Rest of block destroyed by fire and rebuilt c. 1897.Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Ray Paquette Hey! Maybe its a senior moment, but I can’t remember the name of any of any of the less than perfect gentlemen who this comment applies to.
Norma Jackson As a shy teenager I used to cross the street rather than walk by the pool hall where all the guys watched you walk by. Then it was just beside Remembrance Gift shop if I remember correctly.

Mary Lou Stafford I remember going in and it would have been 76/77 and being worried one of the guys would complain because that’s when the girls were first welcome by a few and they were a little choosy about who went in!

Tom Edwards I remember my grandfather going in there to buy Irish Sweepstakes tickets. Do you ever remember of that with your dad Norma?

Norma Ford My Dad got them at work in Findlay’s. He had such great hopes, it was a ritual.


Tom Edwards I don’t even believe they were legal. I can remember my grandfather getting them at the pool hall. I think Stewart Ferguson got them at the pool hall too. They were a pretty big deal. I used to have some but I don’t know where they went.
Norma Ford Mom didn’t save them but she sure saved a lot of other things – ration coupons, the permit for dynamite when they built their house, licenses for their radio that I still have, a real gold mine for my “family tree”. We certainly have lived in the worlds best years.
Bill Brown Recall Miss Hitsman our teacher who’s mother won 240k in the Irish sweepstakes about 1971

Tom Edwards No one has mentioned Jack Belisle working there. I used to go in to play that nickel pinball machine. LOL Cece would let me stay but Jack always put the run on me. I used to watch Winston Simpson, Wes Lynch, Jack Bracewell, Bill Poulin JR and Senior play golf on the pool table. Yes Earl Waugh was a favorite.

Tom Edwards  Remember those little wooden pins they used to use and set them up in front of each pocket.

Bill Brown  Dad used to play the nickel machines and if there was a payoff – we would have pizza at the Olympia!!

Ted Hurdis What about Earl Waugh?
Dale CostelloI so appreciated the watchful eyes that kept us out of trouble. However, for some if us, that watchful eye didn’t extend quite far enough. Not sure if extended vision binoculars would have helped. Of course, any trouble incurred was totally not manifested by we law abiding citizens, but we just seemed to invite calamity after calamity. It was like a bear raiding a honey bee hive, and getting stung repeatedly.
Ray Paquette As I review the various comments, I realize that McCann’s Billiards was a focal point for a number of generations of Carleton Place males. Cecil McCann, Gordon Lackey and Bill Poulin kept a watchful eye over my generation, allowing us to enjoy many games of pool but ensuring that we didn’t get into any serious trouble…
Llew Lloyd Ok . Some great memories out there. Now we’re going to go to the bonus round . Who won the 1959 Carleton Place public speaking contest with an opening sentence that said : “my mother always told me that whenever I walked downtown, don’t walk on the pool room side of the street ” .

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.

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




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.

3 responses »

  1. My cousin Bobby MacIntosh was a regular at the pool hall in the 50’s. He still plays once a week. Compared to today with it many vices, hanging around a pool hall looks pretty tame.


  2. I really don’t remember girls being banned in the 60’s . I never saw them in there and I was there a lot but I just assumed they weren’t interested. I do remember hanging out front watching the traffic and how boring it was leaning on the parking meter on a Sunday morning when the pool room and virtually everything else in town was closed, wondering if anybody would actually go by! I played the pin ball machines regularly and just for fun reading for all of you I will tell you a little story about them. When I got married I bought the wedding ring next door at Dack’s since they were friends of the family and would give me credit. The day I went to pay for it I stopped in at the pool room just to try my luck and ended up blowing all the money I had for paying for the ring. Thank God I knew Dack’s well and they let me have the ring and pay later. Dad had worked at the pool room at one time so Cec let me in at 12 on my dad’s Ok. There’s a lot more memories than that but maybe another time.


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