Downtown Facade Program
 

                  Petrolia’s downtown has  been admired and appreciated by generations of its residents. At the turn of the century, the town boasted one of the finest Department Stores anywhere, run by R.Stirrett. The Iroquois Hotel with its magnificent turrets burned down but is remembered as one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture  in the town. Some of Petrolia’s buildings are the classic Chicago style of architecture with cast pillars. These examples and the fact that the majority of the downtown buildings are brick and  many are three stories, is a testament to the incredible wealth that existed here. I have tried to include as many pictures as possible to reflect the good fortune that black gold brought to “Canada's Victorian Oil Town”
For more Info on Facade Grants click below on Bob Sager
-also look at the bottom of this page for some before and after pics

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If you are considering doing work through the Facade Program or having some work done on anything you should consider the 2 links below.
Hiring a Contractor
Hiring a Contractor  

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IF YOU WANT TO DESIGNATE YOUR HOME CLICK ON THE LINK TO FORMS
FORM #1 BLANK pdf form
FORM #2 with instructions pdf form

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If you have a Designated property and want to enjoy the Petrolia Heritage Designated 10% Tax Rebate "click on Tax rebate form below"
TAX REBATE FORM

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These 2 pics are from the late ca.1960s showing the Blue Castle Lounge just after the Gyurky family aquired it. It is now known as Streets. The next pic is the same building showing the IGA which later became Pro Hardware which is now Home Hardeware. Many thanks to Louis Gyurky who loaned me these slides that I scanned for your pleasure.





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                                                                                         Bradshaw
From the East looking West
                                                                                       Bradshaw
A rare Eastern downtown,North  view. Ca.1904
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A great shot showing the Railroad as it went by the High School (upper left).  Remnants of the old railroad still exist behind the back  streets near the High School.
Shepard and May Flour Mill corner of King St and Lorne Ave in the Kerr Survey is the tall white building (right). Built  ca.1878. "In the 1880's as many as five carloads of flour went out for England in a month from the Shepherd and Sons Mill"
Source Petrolia 1866 - 1966 - page 25
Ed Phelps



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Downtown south side looking east, the Mckay Block
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Iroquois Hotel
This is a Pesha photo that shows
the Iroquois Hotel where Shoppers Drug Mart now stands. Also a rare inside pic of the kitchen.


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Former Boges Hardware Store looking east towards the Library
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Not sure where this is, but it is an interesting pic. Note Shabsove Billiard on the sign. Don Gibson brought this one over to make copies. We will find out the location soon. Possibly ca.1920s  ?

                                                                                            Bradshaw collection
An interesting view looking East down Main street in front of the old Post Office.

                                                                                                 editor collection
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I purchased this postcard (and the next 2) recently and they show some great long past Petrolia signs and upper balconies. Also to the left a very important man during the horse and buggy days with his wheel barrel, the 'honey man'.
(looking East)
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Another great view looking West from Tank st.

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Another great view looking East with lots of awnings and balconies.

                                                                                                 Bradshaw
                                                                  editor's collection
A very interesting look behind the United Church. Notice the Livery Stables. My Great Grandmother talked about there being numerous places around Town to keep your horses and you would ring over or send someone to get your horse and carriage brought to your home. Apparently some folks would keep their wagon or carriage at home and keep their horse at one of the downtown Liverys.
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Here is a  ca.1908 Old Boys Reunion parade. Note the buildings with balconies and the Livery right on the Main  Street.
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Post Office looking west
editor's collection
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This is an interesting view looking west from the east end
towards the Downtown.
editor's collection


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Scarsbrook Grocer and Shoe Store ca.1910s
Elvin Earl HOPPER left in apron
(MORE ON HOPPER )
Elvin Hopper and his folks and siblings (Emerson, Lloyd and Iva) were all Petrolia people and I used to visit my great-uncle Lloyd Hopper there when he ran Hopper's hardware, which he inherited from his father Ed Hopper.  Ed was married to Maggie Brownlee, daughter of Robert Brownlee.  Lloyd couldn't wait for Canada to get into WW I so he paid his own passage to England and joined the British army.  They sent him into France as an ambulance driver - dreadfully dangerous job. by B.Hopper


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Gibson Grocery Store
editor's collection

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This is a grocery store East of the TD bank. ca.1890s Formerly Tony's Restaurant
editor's collection
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An early pic that shows the former Hymes building with iron cresting and huge windows.Also note some interesting characters on the street.
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Dan McPherson and Alex Cowan in front of Cowan  Taxi  and gas bar. To the right is Herb Saunders clothing store. Looks to be ca. 1930s.This pic was sent in by Jane Teskey Alex's grand daughter.
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                                                                   editor's collection
An interesting look at the Iroquois Theater.The movie listed on the marquee came out in 1955.
Here is a bit of trivia from the making of that movie.

During the filming of a scene in which Jack Palance strangles Shelley Winters, Jack actually cut off Shelley's air and she passed out. The director and cast all thought everyone was acting, only her then boyfriend, later husband, Tony Franciosa, noticed the difference and was able to break the scene and save her life.........


                                                                                                                  Parsons
This is a shot taken by Gord Parsons ca.1962. It looks like a parade passing through Petrolia street and Center street.

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These four shots are of the R.Stirrett Department store exterior and interior ca. 1900. It was located at the corner of King and Main.
editor's collection  

 

  East of the Library. Bill Jackson's Pool Hall. I don't think this building lasted very long but notice the Coke signs and the Petrolia Topic office left. built ca.1890s, this group late ca.1930s. Beside today's Godfather Pizza
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Here is a  gift card and token for Bills
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All of these pics below show the downtown buildings as they appear today and were shot by Steve Berry. Some of these facades benefited from the town facade program. Below you will find before and after shots of some of these facades. I have removed the link pics for these downtown shots in the interest of economy.
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This building was recently built on the former site of the  Iroquois Hotel. On the second floor you can notice the half  moon stained-glass windows recycled above the new windows. The owners {Louis & Wendy Bratanek} have done an impressive job of building new and  yet retaining the Victorian theme of the down town in their facade. The architect was Maxine Shabsove. http://www.msarchitect.ca/  

 



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BEFORE


 

AFTER

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These 3 buildings utilized the Petrolia Downtown Facade  Program. As you can see the results are dramatic and there are more owners again this year wanting to take advantage  of this program. There are other before and after pics but for now these are what I have because some of the after shots  are not very clear. Several more will be included in the near  future.

 

  If you would like to become a contributor, I just need a few minutes to scan what you have.Also on this page there are numerous pics with no text. Many people ask me when I am going to insert more text with these pics and I say when you send it to me.