Ouellette and Park – 2002

March 28, 2014

A view of the block on Ouellette, just south of Park Street which burned down in 2002. Just the other week an announcement was made about a new development planned for the site. The space that was Valerie’s had one of downtown’s last great old original art deco store fronts.

Have a good weekend everyone. See you back here Monday.

15 Responses to Ouellette and Park – 2002

  1. Lanny on March 28, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Great to see the Nut House still open. Walking home in the snow along Ouelette, esp. at Christmas time in the fifties, I still remember the wonderful smells coming out of that storefront. I can almost smell it way out here in Powell River, B.C.!

  2. JBM on March 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    It should be interesting to see what this new development will be.
    On another note, the 2002 view almost looks like this was already a re-development with a facelift. The buildings on either side show evidence of a multilevel structure. So, what existed in this lot before the Nut House, Valeries, etc.?

  3. Gary on March 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    JBM I heard it was supposed to be a restaurant bar multiple floors it knd of sounds like another dam bar

  4. Dave on March 29, 2014 at 11:40 am

    You are correct Gary.

    Sad that so many businesses downtown don’t have awnings…

  5. Grumpy Old Man on Porch on March 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Or people to walk under them. :(

  6. windsorite-in-exile on March 29, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    “So, what existed in this lot before the Nut House, Valeries, etc.?” – JBM
    You must be a pretty young guy JBM (why do I think you’re a guy?).
    When I was a wee lad in the 1950s, the Nut House was my favorite place to walk by on those downtown jaunts with the folks. The aromas were out of this world and the popcorn wasn’t bad either. The Nut House was ALWAYS there. It was an anchor. Tangible evidence that the Windsor in my bones was real, not just in my imagination, and had survived into the new century. Imagine the grief I felt after I got word of the fire.
    Was back in town a few years ago and discovered that the Nut House had relocated to an old house on Goyeau, just north of Park. (This relocation may actually have happened before the fire. I dimly recall a conversation with the proprietor complaining about rent increases having driven the business out of the Ouellette Ave. space that it had occupied forever. The landlord deserves to be drawn and quartered. I don’t really understand the commercial real estate economics of Windsor. Downtown is always deserted whenever I visit so it seems to me that rents should be pretty cheap. Anyway, they had the original roasters, display cases and everything. I was overjoyed. The Spanish peanuts were as good as ever. Alas, it was not to last. Last couple of visits I looked in vain but no Nut House.
    Can anyone tell me what happened, or where I can find some good fresh roasted Spanish peanuts on my next visit?

  7. JBM on March 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    @ windsorite-in-exile… I am not so young and recall the Nut House in my youth. The reason I ask about previous structures is the this ‘low-rise’ building looks a bit out of place sandwiched between two taller buildings. As a ‘country boy’ I passed by the Nut House often whenever I visited the city to attend the Capitol, Palace and Vanity… and always visited Kresges, Metropolitan, etc. That said, I was not a real nut lover though…

  8. John on March 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    When I was young the property that is a variety store in the photo was Sam The Record Man. I believe they were one of those last major retailers to move to Devonshire Mall (late 80s?). You can still buy records downtown, thankfully, at a damn good record store too, but there was a time there was a handful. Across the street was Records on Wheels. Around the corner on Pelissier, a shop specialising in imports/alternative/audiophile sorta goodies. And of course Dr. Disc which has been there for decades.

  9. JeffS on March 31, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Dr. Disc was a little further south on Ouellette, past Wyandotte. I remember it well and spent many hours of my teenage years there.

    I remember the place on Pelissier as well but the name escapes me.

  10. MWANNICK on March 31, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    What I loved about the downtown & the Nut House was as a pre-teen I had enough to pay bus fare downtown and see a movie with popcorn and a drink, but with a little extra savings maybe a dollar I was on an adventure, I would stop in the Nut House and ask how much could I get for 25 cents, it was the patience I got from those who ran the place they treated me like any other customer,treated kids and adults the same , they probably had the sense to realize I would be back and I returned until I moved from Windsor. When I came back they were gone !!! Sad commentary…

  11. DT on March 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    It burned down in 2011.

    It really sucked because I had just discovered the Drunkin’ Burrito 2 weeks before it was gone. They had the best quesadilla for a cheap price.

    Now it’s either street meat or sha-lala-lala-lala-lala-la-war-ma.

  12. John on April 1, 2014 at 1:51 am

    JeffS, yes the first Dr Disc originally was south of Wyandotte. Can’t say I was a fan of it then, but I love it now. Different ownership now I believe.

    The place on Pelissier, if I have this right, sold high end audio gear in front with the records in the back. And it might have been the same guy that now runs Audio 2 on Banwell road at Tecumseh.

  13. JeffS on April 1, 2014 at 9:44 am

    John: I too recall the shop on Pelissier also selling high-end audio gear. But I never really paid much attention as I only went there to buy music. This would have been in the late 1980’s.

  14. Uzzy on April 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    That shop on Banwell & Tecumseh was “Live Wire” for a long time. The name changed several years back, but it seemed to still be audio equipment. Now it’s an insurance company, I believe.

  15. Dave on April 2, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Uzzy, there is Audio II at the foot of Banwell as well.

    There was also a record store on Pelissier before they built that monstrosity of ugliness at the corner of ouellette and Wyandotte (it goes all the way to Pelisser). The record store I refer to was on the 2nd floor of an old house.

    I loved the old Dr. Disc with Len and the gang. But I love the new one as well. Still wish we had more retail.

    Windsor-in-exile. Land owners can raise rents, the businesses leave, and then they can claim the losses on taxes which is easier than renting at a lower price. I have a few friends who do have had vacancies and asked them why they don’t rent it. They stated the above was the reason. I guess there is no incentive.

    BTW: The rent nonsense is still occurring….

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