26 Forsyth Street

Nickle's Drug Store 1966

It is thought that in the late 1870's John Green and his wife, Ruth Wilcox had a two storey wooden frame residence built at what is now referred to as 26 Forsyth Street. The brick structure, known as the 'Green Block'   was built in 1900 after the great fire that destroyed so much of the east side of the main street..  

John Green and his son William were making saddles and horse harnesses at the 'Green Block'.  Mr. Green also erected a garage on the site of his livery stable that was also destroyed in the fire.  The building was a two story structure,  made of corrugated iron.

In  1902 John Green suffered a serious stroke which forced him and his son to discontinue making harnesses and saddles.  During his life time,  Mr. Green had also opened Green's hotel on Marble Point Road at Crowe Lake,  until it burned down in 1914.

Following the closing of the Green's business, Phillip Marshall Sopha and his wife Cynthia Tompkins leased the 'Green Block' to operate a livery and teaming business.  Mr. Sopha died in 1935,  but the Marmora Herald wrote the following:

"The late Mr. Sopha had been in business in Marmora for over thirty years. Before autos and trucks came into general use, he carried on a livery and teaming business, and in recent years had operated a taxi and trucking business. For that reason he was one of the best known men in this district. He had built up an enviable reputation for punctuality and reliability."

Sopha's Livery 1910

By 1914, the 'Green Block' had been sub-divided into two smaller but separate retail units on the main floor. Matthew Emmorey had a barber shop in the northern half of the building and by 1921 Fredrick Lee had his harness shop in the southern part of the store. Fred Lee's harness shop would remain there until 1937. 

In September 1916, Clifford Jones would be barbering in the northern half and prior to her marriage to Milton Campbell, Amelia Lahey operated her hair dressing business in the 'Green Block'. 

Sharon Vesterfelt, daughter of Amelia adds: My Mom’s salon was in the north half of what is the drug store now. That’s where Mom started her salon at 16 years old. She was in 2 or 3 more stores before she bought the house we are in now. She saved all Daddy’s wages from the army that he sent home during the war so was able to buy this place when he got home.

Dr. Lumsden,  the vet had a practice here until 1934,  when Samuel Stephens moved in a business. (shoes?)

In 1947, Alvin Neath operated a restaurant in this space and Charles and Gertrude Kelly continued on with the restaurant until 1951 . According to Grace Warren. "For years the upstairs was rented for a roller skating rink."

Audrey & Clint nickle with Marg Shannon 1977

In 1951, Clinton Spurr Nickle and his wife Audrey Ince purchased the Rexall Drug franchise from William Watt and then purchased #26 from Charles Kelly. Clint Nickle completely renovated the old restaurant into a modern new drug store. He added glass windows to the front of the store and installed hardwood floors.

Clinton Nickle,  a WW2 Veteran,  was a Major with the Hasty Pee's,  having served in England,  France,  Sicily and wounded in Italy.

Clint Nickle

Derick Nickle and Clint Nickle

Pamela Armstrong:   First memory of Nickle's Drug store is buying a bottle of coke for 7 cents and getting 2 cents back if you returned the bottle. Had a big comic book section for 5 - 10 cents each.

Lew Barker:  Worked for Clint at the drugstore for a few years when I was growing up. Cut his lawn and babysat his and Audrey's boys as well. He and Audrey were fine people! (Even today when someone is having tea and looking for milk I tell them how Audrey always used a scoop of ice cream in hers instead of milk. Fond memories


Jean Nickle, sister of Clint, with husband, Roy Smith

In 1985, the store was purchased by Nasim Kassam and her husband Amin.  Nasim was a druggist with Boots Drugstore in Toronto.  She was originally from Tanzania, East Africa.

In 2001 Magdy Kamar and Ahmed AIi purchased the store.


Magdy Kamar with long standing nickle's employee, Marg Shannon 2002

In May 2004, pharmicist   Maha Majeed and her husband,  Heidar,  purchased the building.   In 2005 they replaced the old concrete steps with and ramp and rail and still continue operating Nickle's Drug Store.