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Opera House has been focal point of downtown since 1895

After a fire in 1915, the iconic downtown landmark was rebuilt and has drawn people to Mississaga Street for generations
The Orillia Band performs outside the Orillia Opera House in 1910.

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau.

Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

Performing on the lawn in front of the Opera House is the 26-member Orillia Brass Band. The Opera House, built in 1895, was destroyed by fire in 1915 but rebuilt and continues to be a landmark attraction in downtown Orillia. 

The first building on the right facing West Street is the town’s first lockup and Town Hall built in 1874. It was Orillia’s oldest building when it was demolished in 1962. Behind the lockup is the rear of the Electric Station built in 1901 and also demolished in 1962.

Also visible between the Opera House tower and the back of the Electric Station is the City Flour Mill. Owned by D. C. Thomson, the mill was a significant part of the farmers’ market. 

Thomson ran a bakery as well as supplying flour to many of the small grocers in town. He milled and promoted 'the Three Orillia Favourites': Royal Quality Flour, a bread flour, Star Brand Flour for cakes and biscuits and Maple Leaf Flour for pastry.   

The City Flour Mill burned down Dec. 9, 1931. The old wooden structure filled with grain dust burned for three days. Sparks from the intense fire ignited the roof of Father Flanagan’s house two blocks north on West Street.