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Parking was at a premium on the 'main drag' in the 1940s

Take a trip down memory lane to the downtown of Orillia's past

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. You can take a trip down memory lane with us each Saturday morning!

Not a parking spot was to be found in this early 1940s view of Mississaga Street, looking east from West Street.

On the left is the Canadian Bank of Commerce building, now the Cavana Building, named in recognition of the original owner.

The next sign is Taylor Drugs, then the Golden Dragon Café and the Orillia Hotel signs. The Orillia Hotel was still standing, but had been destroyed by fire and was demolished shortly after this photo was taken. 

On the right is the sign for Pratt’s Drugs and the United Cigar Store located on the southwest corner. On the southeast corner is Wallace’s Drug Store and, farther east, is Bacon’s Drugs.  Also farther east, at 43 Mississaga Street, was Maxwell’s Drug Store.

There were a total of seven drug stores in downtown Orillia at that time, including Liggett Co. Drugs at 81 Mississaga St. E. and Price’s Drug Store at 153 Mississaga St. E.

The black and white photo from the mid-1950s shows Wallace’s Drug Store has changed to Forsyth Pharmacy. Angus Wallace had operated on this corner since taking over Patterson’s Drug Store in 1932.

Lenard Pratt started Pratts Drug Store in this location in the late 1920s and retired a few years after this photo was taken. Parked on the bottom right is the Richie and Mould Electrical Contracting truck. Richie and Mould sold electrical supplies and appliances a few doors west of Pratt’s Drug Store.