East Izakaya

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Chew On This!

Chew On This at East Izakaya: People and Places

Cities are constantly evolving spaces. People are nostalgic and inhabit these shifting landscapes.

The urban framework that surrounds a community of people goes a long way towards fostering a distinct sense of place.  As buildings are built, find purpose, and sometimes disappear, the legacy of their presence remains.

The people that inhabit these urban spaces help to foster a distinct sense of place. As people disappear from the landscape, their memory continues to serve the legacy of the community of the past.

The City of St. Catharines has witnessed prosperity and decline, urban renewal and sprawling growth.  As the needs of the community have changed, so too have the places we have built to serve these needs.

Page 1 of the 1913 Fire Insurance Plan for St. Catharines
STCM 1972.31.1.1

The Key Plan page of a Fire Insurance Plan for St. Catharines dating to c. 1913. The coloured grid divides sections of the city into separate pages. Fire Insurance Plans are valuable resources for historians as they reveal a snapshot in time showing the use of space in our community’s urban history that has long since disappeared.

Unveiling the Statue of William Hamilton Merritt, 1928
STCM 4784-N

After years of fundraising the statue Welland Canal company founder William Hamilton Merritt, which still sits across from the former Merritt residence today, was unveiled by family members on December 5, 1928. Leading the charge was Lady Catharine Welland Merritt (back row, centre) and her husband, Toronto hydro-electric financier Sir Henry Pellatt (far right).

Installation of New Jail Cells at the Police Station, 1936
STCM 1936.55.2

Moving Day at the St. Catharines Police Station, 1936

From the St. Catharines Standard: “It was moving day at the city police station yesterday. A block of cells was shifted from the cell room at the rear of the police station to part of what was formerly the court room. A hole was knocked in the wall of the court room to provide an entrance for the cells which are shown above being pushed into their new quarters.”

Interior, Neptune Fire Hall, 1917
STCM 1984-N

NA snapshot of the interior of the fire station on St. Paul Street in 1917 reveals a lot about firefighting in the late 19th century. This horse wagon would have carried firefighters and some equipment to the site of a fire. Not pictured, is the hose and ladder wagons, water wagon, and a steam-powered water pump (used to pressurize water), all pulled by teams of horses.

Demolition of Grantham Township Office, 1954
STCM S1954.9.5.1

Places and their purpose are constantly changing. What was once known as the Grantham Township Office that served many residents with administration and service inquires was demolished in 1954 to make way as a Civil Defense building. Located at 148 King St., St. Catharines. As citizens, are we adapting to these changes or are buildings and their services changing to adapt to us?  

Page 7 of the 1913 Fire Insurance Plan for St. Catharines
STCM S1972.31.1.7

Page 7 of the 1913 Fire Insurance Plan shows just how much change downtown has seen in the last hundred years. What changes await
St. Catharines in the next century?