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How different is today's downtown from that of 1914?

Remember This: A 1914 parade photo shows some of Collingwood's downtown core buildings standing in 1914.
A small photo taken during the 1914 Canada Day parade shows Collingwood's storefronts of the day. Huron Institute No. 75 Collingwood Museum Collection X970.713.1

Photographs of parades, particularly those taken on Hurontario Street, are invaluable to researchers interested in Collingwood’s early businesses.

They also reveal key details about the original appearances of the beautiful brick buildings that line Collingwood’s Heritage Conservation District and, for this reason, are frequently consulted by property owners.

This small photograph, measuring only 7.5cm x 7cm, captures an unbroken group of buildings that continues to exist 104 years after the July 1, 1914, parade the photograph depicts. The three-storey brick building on the extreme left is no longer present, having suffered a devastating fire in 1983. This was known to all as the Arlington Hotel, the namesake for today’s Arlington Shoppes and Offices on the east side of Hurontario Street, between Simcoe and Ontario Streets.

The two-storey buildings that extend toward the right side of the photograph appear as they did in 1914, beginning with today’s Blue Mountain Music. The vacant space that appears between the Arlington Hotel and Blue Mountain Music’s present-day location is now home to the Northwood Club and a pedestrian walkway. Most of the original business names from 1914 are illegible. However, the Vernon’s Collingwood Directory 1912-1913 records the following as occupants: E.L. Connolly, Drugs; E.L. Connolly, Physician; S.O. Coates, Confectionary; Post Office; R.S. Folliott, Mercantile, Tailor; W.J. Honeyford, Shoes; vacant; John Mair, Real Estate;, and Lee Bros Laundry. Today’s businesses include Blue Mountain Music, Robinson’s Paint and Wallpaper, Gabriele Photography, Play it Again Sports, Baked and Pickled, Espresso Post, Awear, Good Health Mart, Pita Pit, and the vacant storefront previously used by Butter Gallery.

Remember This is a weekly series of historic photographs submitted by the Collingwood Museum to These photographs were originally collected and documented by the Huron Institute in an historical catalogue entitled Huron Institute Paper and Records: Volume III. Much of Collingwood’s early history has been preserved due to the dedication and foresight of the early museum’s founders, namely its secretary-curator David Williams, upon its establishment in 19