History InSite: 12 Lock Street, 1920-N

Customers, and possibly James Stanton himself, are pictured outside of Stanton’s grocery store and post office in 1912. STCM 1920-N

James Stanton, postmaster from 1895-1925, opened this store on Lock Street in 1896. Stanton’s Fine Groceries housed the post office and quickly became an important hub of commercial and social activity in the village.

Aside from groceries and the post office, ice cream was also a staple in Stanton’s store. The store was described in The Standard in 1905 as “well stocked with the finest lines of fancy and staple goods, canned stuffs in glass and tin, table delicacies and family supplies. In connection are finely furnished ice cream parlors, where the purest fruit flavours in this delicious dainty are served in an attractive manner.” Getting an ice cream in Port Dalhousie is a long-standing tradition that continues today.

The Stanton family owned the building until 1973.

Historic Streetscapes

A view taken from the east side of Lock 1 (2nd Canal) of Lock Street, c. 1910. STCM 7707-N

The historic and urban environment of Port Dalhousie’s main street is directly tied to its history as a port town, serving sailors arriving to the Welland Canal. Hotels like the Wellington and the Austin, and others in the area, were the hub of business and social activity.

Many of these buildings can still be seen today, though the this view has changed a bit, and will continue to change as further development incorporates and molds the streetscape. Though, Port’s continued connection to the canal and the water will never be lost.

There’s More to the Story

Check out the entire History InSite installation across downtown St. Catharines and in Port Dalhousie.

About History InSite

A permanent, site specific installation, History InSite juxtaposes historical photographs with modern streetscapes by presenting the photo in, or close to, the place which it was taken.

St. Catharines has a rich photographic history and when compared to the changing streetscapes around the City, that history becomes much more meaningful, poignant, and relevant to our modern eyes.

The Downtown series was installed in July 2021. The Port Dalhousie series was installed in May 2022.

History InSite is presented by the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre.

Graffiti Report

If you spot any graffiti on our purple History InSite signs, please send us a message and photo via email museum@stcatharines.ca.