I’ve had a dream of opening a little shop in my hometown of Whitby for years. Growing up in a cookie-cutter style builder’s house (our next door neighbour’s house was a twin of ours, just reversed) I was especially entranced by the romance and history of the old buildings downtown. The location that I now am turning into my store was always closed, windows papered, and not for rent my entire life. I now know, it’s been closed since 1972!
The story goes like this: The former owner was friends with Conn Smythe, who built Maple Leaf Gardens so the shop was called Maple Leaf Billiards. It was the local pool hall for years and years but closed down when the owner retired in 1972. And that’s just how it’s stayed for 40 years! Now, I’m busting out a whole lot of elbow grease and freshening things up. I can’t wait to show you the transformation!
My brother and I got to work moving an old glass display case and look what we found beneath! Old food wrappers and stickers from cigars and cigarette packages from the old billiards hall. I especially love that Lowney’s chocolate bar wrapper.
And some great old, grimy coins. I’ve never seen one without Queen Elizabeth! King George? That’s an oldie!
Lastly, these great old lights in the windows. They have that great mercury glass finish on the inside and a sort of old zinc finish on the exterior. They’re original and I just love them! It’s so great to have found a space that hasn’t been altered in so many years so that so much of the charm is still in tact. Now I’ve just gotta get it pulled together for the store to open – and fast!