28 & 30 Forsyth Street  -   The Dunlay Block

                               1910  Dunlay block behind the Sopha's Livery Sign.  The Green Block is on the far left,  and the O'Neill block on the right of the Dunlay Block

                               1910  Dunlay block behind the Sopha's Livery Sign.  The Green Block is on the far left,  and the O'Neill block on the right of the Dunlay Block

Daniel Dunlay (1853-1902)  built the Dunlay block at 28 Forsyth St. in 1900,  at the same time as the O’Neill and Green Blocks,  to replace the buildings destroyed by fire in the spring of that year.. The Dunlay building was 28 x 56 and was faced with brick from Nayler’s brickyard. (His home at 43 Forysth St. was also brick).  Originally  J.S. Morton, Druggist,  occupied  on the ground floor as well as Dan’s carriage making business at the rear.  Upon his death in 1905,  Dan's carriage buisness was continued under the management of Mr. Doupe.    In 1908,  James Gehan took over  the carriage and blacksmith shop which, it seems,  he ran for 32 years before handing over the reins to  Mr. Earl Blakely,  a former high school teacher.

Dr. Tait’s Dental Office and a dwelling completed the second floor..

During WW1, the then vacant Dunlay Block had been given rent free to the Women's Institute to use to prepare parcel for the men overseas.

The Marmora Herald reported on April 8, 1915,

"Mr. Walter Donnelly has moved into the Dunlay Block which was formerly used as a drug store.  The front part has been fitted up for a barber shop and back of the barber shop will be the pool room."

Daniel's two sons,  Harry and Edward (1888-1948) operated a clothing store,  Dunlay’s,   which replaced the drugstore.  The Marmora Herald,  dated Aug. 14, 1919,  reported "The interior of the Dunlay store is being renovated and fitted up in an attractive manner.  Masters Ed and Harry Dunlay will ope a gents furnishing store at a early date."    In 1951,  after Edward's death,  Harry was joined by Joe Murray (husband of Dan’s granddaughter Rita) and the store was renamed Dunlay & Murray’s.  Harry died in 1952.

In May of 1968,  while the Murrays were living above the store,  they suffered a shoot-out incident that left the culprit,  James "Squeak" Reynolds in hospital,  shot by the Provincial Police.  A teen dance in the area had just ended,  making things pretty tense for the police. Shots penetrated the wall and the ceiling to their living quarters,  leaving the family shaken.  Celia Murray explains, "Scary night. My sister and I watched from the upstairs windows as an officer "shot him down" on the street....then my mother said " that is enough excitement - go to bed"! "

Click here for full newspaper report



Leo Provost,  who was the owner at the time of the shoot out,having purchased the building around 1966,     moved his Sports Shop to the north side of the Marett Building in 1970.    Thereafter,  the Dunlay block housed a variety of small businesses including

August 16, 1972

  • Peter Homecko - milk store & variety store called "Peho",  opened August 1972
  • Gary Barker's flower shop
  •  a laundramat, 
  • Pat Redican's "Romney Rye"
  • Horvath's Clothing Store
  • Janet Nehrling's restaurant,  the Rainbow Cafe
  • 1986 Nichols Souvenirs
  • Faith Hambleton's "Echoes of Nature"  in May of 1988

In 2012,  it was purchased by the neighboring drug store and demolished for a parking lot.