Tag Archives: wayside inn

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

Photo sent to me by-Aileen Downey-Puckett

Tammy Lin

Remember,you trained me ‘ell.Also remember opening for Art a few times he was hung over!!He was the best boss for a teenager lol He used to front me money so I could go out and party on a Fri night.Had a lot of fun working there!!!

Melinda Jane

I worked there with Shana Gardiner and Paula Hughes! Must have been after all of you! Good place…Art was the best!

Matthew Maennling

That was a landmark for the William Street kids – thanks for the photo. Aileen – you used to take me to Art’s when you were my babysitter, haha!

Joanne Devlin Morrison

I had no idea, I remember bagging candy working at art’s and eating too much while bagging. So sad it is going.

Kim Martin Elder

Very sad to see it go…it was my first job (over 30 years ago) and Art Diotte was not only a great boss but also a great guy. I worked with a lot of great people over the 5 years I was there (lots of fun memories) and Art Martell was the owner when I left. Also, the building is over 70 years old because my grandparents (Art & Della Toop) used to own it.

Rick Schnaufer

Well I workded for Art Diotte from 1976 I think it was when he bought the place. I think I worked 7 days a week for about 6years there. Great place- Good times. I could hit the phone booth 8 out of 10 times with rotten tomatoes!

Angela Bennett

I loved working there too!! Only job you could socialize with your besties, laugh and joke around, come in hung over, have the odd beverage, and get you cheques cashed. Art was the best boss and he seemed to have the knack for keeping all the girls working to keep the customers coming in!! Such a ladies man he was.

Toby Randell

Art gave me My first real job, and was like a second father to me. So many memories from that old building. Thanks for posting Aileen!

Amanda Armstrong

As Darla & my Mom Kim Martin Elder said – The store was well over 70 years old. It was bought by my Great-Grandparent’s – Arthur & Della Toop, in 1939 from Hermin Wing, it’s unknown whether he was the original owner or if there was anyone before him, nor is it known how long he owned it. At that time the store was known as Wayside Inn, gas sold for 39 cents. back then there was still a house in the back, which is were they lived. In roughly 1948 my Great-Grandfather sold the store to Abb Spinks, in exchange for the house my Grandmother – Margaret Martin, still lives in today. That put the store at 73 years old, not counting how long Hermin Wing may have owned it. If anyone wants to see an original photo of the store, I have one here

Ron Black

Wonderful… Thank you for the history of Art’s…I must be the old guy but My History didn’t start until March 21,!956…I was 5 years old. My Dad and Mom(Clifton and Muriel Black)Bought this store from a Man could Gilbert Purdon…and yes we lived in the back of the store that was open 7 days a week…It was great free candy all the time…..Mom and Dad sold the store To Ad And Bernie Moss in I think 1959(late)I was 8 and and a bit…In 1965 I was working for Ken Anderson at the IGA (Ken worked for Mom and Dad at this store)When Mr. Moss Declared bankruptcy,, Mom and Dad had a decision to make ,,,, to loose their lose there investment or to take the store over again….which they did from no date in 65 until 68…Riverside Groceriteria became the new owners Under the management of Mr.John Livingstone…Mr. Livingstone Sold the store to Art Diotte …Who latter sold it to My friend Mr.Art Martel…and hence..

Kim Martin Elder

Well Ron, I guess I’m the next old person on the block (lol) because I vaguely remember Ab Moss owning the store but I do remember when your Mom and Dad had the store and then the Livingstones. Those were the days when kids could run to the store and buy cigarettes for their parents.(lol) Imagine trying to do that nowadays. I wish I had taken some pictures of the store when Art Diotte had it because the front always looked so nice with all of the fruits and vegetables out there. Oh, the memories

Kim Martin Elder

I don’t know about most of William St, but I do know of three houses he owned. Yeah, he used to leave real early in the morning to take the pulp wood to the E.B. Eddy plant over in Hull and then come home to have lunch and then head back out for more wood. I can still see his truck parked out in our driveway. After working all day, he’d still have energy to go and work in the garden that he and Nanny would plant every year.

Amanda Armstrong

My Great-Grandfather; Art Toop’s Pulp Wood yard, also known as the backyard of our house on William Street. Included in the picture is their dog Tiny.

— in Carleton Place, Ontario.

Amanda Armstrong

Ron – Lol, I guess with owning three houses on one street, it is safe to say he owned ‘most of William’. I mean, when one entire family is living in those three houses, you know who the majority were lol. During the time my great-grandfather owned Art’s, he did indeed cut pulp wood as well – Which he stored in the back yard. He ran his own trucking company called Toop Cartage, while his wife ran the store. And at some point during that time as well, he ran a fridge company, selling & repairing fridges – Again, which he stored in the back yard. He was quite the business man 🙂 Also during that time he was drafted by the Army to train for WWII. Certainly kept my great-grandmother on her toes with everything.

Ron MacDonald

my mother- in-law Bessie Fee worked there when it was owned by the Livingstones.

Memories of William Street

Family Photos of Arthur Williard Toop & James Henry Martin

The Grand Old Ladies of Carleton Place

The Mystery Ruins of Carleton Place- Photos by Adam Dowdall

One Day on William Street

Construction of 198 William Street– Photos from Greg Nephin

The Continuing Curse of William Street in Carleton Place

The Very Sad Tale of Cecil Cummings of Carleton Place

What Happened to Basil Flynn’s Ducks.. ahh Geese?

Basil Flynn of William Street