It was an exciting day recently when we came into possession of the above post card, which we believe to be the oldest postcard we have of the east side of Forsyth Street. Most interesting of all, however, is that it includes the only photo we have of the "Central Hotel", the white building located just to the right of the horse and sled.
BUT HOW OLD IS THIS POSTCARD?
Well, taking a look at each of the buidings from right to left, we see the Dominion Bank, known to have moved into the O'Neil building in 1908. Next door, in the location of the Nickle's Pharmacy parking lot, stood J.S. Morton's Drug Store, which we know had vacated by 1914. That same year, Phillip Marshall Sopha's livery business (see in this photo) was also replaced. (The yellow building possibly dates back to 1848 and still stands today as Cook's barber shop.)
Heading further north, we know the white Central Hotel, located between the two large brick buildings, and the Marrin's Drug Store above the driver's head, both burned down in the fire of 1914, along with the third floor of the Royal Hotel, as seen in the photo above the horse's head.
So far, then, the date of our post card can be placed between 1908 and 1914. But looking into the history of the publisher, Pugh Manufacturing Ltd. of Toronto, we find it was between 1907 and 1912, that they were most actively producing postcards sent to them by the drugstores and general stores of small towns. That places our picture, then, between 1908 and 1912. Taking an average, we'll say CIRCA 1910!
Above: Mr. Goad's 1893 map of the buildings on East Forsyth Street, indicating the Central Hotel lying adjacent to Shannon's Hardware to the south, unlike it's replacement, the brick building at 16 Forsyth, now Savelle's Hairdressing Salon, attached to the Marett building to the north, now known as Possibilities.