Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Winnipeg's Tiniest Stores

Here are a couple of Winnipeg's tiniest stores ! Interesting little places born out of the Depression, it appears.

767 Mountain Avenue

I wonder who worked here ?
The first is 767 Mountain Avenue near Arlington, (Google Street View). Actually, I should say WAS. In the three or so months in between taking this photo and researching its past it has disappeared, replaced by a surface parking lot ! 
1936 ad (source)

This building opened in the mid 1930s as Henry Barber Shop. The namesake was Henry Purpur who came to Canada with his family from Austria in 1911 as a twelve year-old. Here he met wife Elizabeth had four children: Carl, Don, Edna and Florence. The family lived at 383 Seymour near Mountain in the 40s and early 50s. 

I wonder who worked here ?

After more than 50 years as a barber, Purpur retired in 1970 and the shop was sold off. It appears to have become an out-building of the adjacent property at 739 Mountain which was home to Chokan's Grocery from the 1930s to 1970s.

Henry died in  December 1977, Elizabeth died in September 1995. Henry's Barber Shop was demolished in 2012.

956 Notre Dame

Harry's Confectionary / Shoe Shine

The shoe repair shop at 956 Notre Dame (Google Street View) is a little harder to pin down as it shared the address of the adjoining building. The history of both intertwine.

The house with its brick retail front was built in 1916 and marketed as a grocery store. It went under the names Bell, then Bee Hive in the teens and 1920s, (at some point it was called Harry's.) By 1932 the 956 address is John Dubusky Confectionery and 956 1/2 Notre Dame is John Dubusky, shoemaker

Harry's Confectionary / Shoe Shine
The store was up for sale in 1933 and 1934. Soon after it began its 75 year history with the Zuibrycki family. 

John Zuibrycki was born in Mohylnycia, Ukraine and came to Canada in 1911 at the age of 30. He and wife Katharine had four children (no I am not mixing this up with Purpur's history !) and spent 40 years as a self-employed shoemaker. It appears that there was no other business at the site during that time

John retired in 1960 and died in February 1964. It was then son Peter's turn to open a new enterprise.

1979 Winnipeg Free Press ad

Peter was well known on the local sports scene as both a cyclist and a speed skater. In the 1950s he held numerous provincial speed skating records. In the late 1960s he opened Cycle Centre Sportif. That store lasted until the 1980s. Peter died in 2009.

In 2010 an application was made by Nick Zuibrycki to have the buildings torn down. Because it is on a major route the community committee rejected the application until there was a more definite plan of what would go in its place. The building remains standing.


The most recent mention of the site came in a May 2012 Free Press column by Brent Bellamy. It is being looked at as the possible home to Winnipeg's first shipping-container housing project.


The View from Seven said...

There were a lot of those tiny neighbourhood stores scattered around the city at one time.

I vaguely recall a tiny convenience store at the northwest corner of Riverton and Watt in Elmwood, called Annabella's or something like that. It was run by an elderly woman who kept us River Elm kids well stocked with gum and candy, until she closed up shop about 30 years ago.

mrchristian said...

Cute little places. Too bad so many are gone now. I have a "thing" for convenience stores I've just never dug into the history of many of them because it would unleash a whole new type of building to research !

Anonymous said...

I got my first haircut there, over 50 years ago. I feel by losing these little shops/stores, we lose our sense of community and socializing with neighbours. A place to gather and relate with others is gone forever.