Mario’s Tecumseh & Ouellette – c 1950

September 5, 2014

A look at the corner of Tecumseh and Ouellette.

I can only assume that this building still exists behind the Medical Imaging Centre. Interesting to see part of the old Driving Park Hotel to the rear. I think this may have lived on as the Colonial House in later years,


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

36 Responses to Mario’s Tecumseh & Ouellette – c 1950

  1. Ron on September 5, 2014 at 8:32 am

    You do not have to assume, My Dear Andrew! The buidings, I am of the thinking that they are one and the same, for it is to the left of them that I do see The Same Chimney. It is at the most starting position of the spaghetti sign in the first and foremost picture and it is there yet again in the most modern of pictures under the sign of the Techumseh Rd! They are One And The Same I do Believe!

  2. Lanny on September 5, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Had my first pizza (plain cheese) with cherry coke after probably a Stardust Dance at Kennedy. Later had my first draft at the old Colonial. Inside the door you turned left for the men’s side, right for the ladies and escorts side. Also a stairs to rooms above for let. What a fantastic corner.

  3. Christopher on September 5, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I believe this was the original Biff’s coffee shop and diner and then Mario’s. It was done in the old black and yellow diner tiles that were popular way back when. There was another Biff’s further down Quellette although much smaller. This building was also the Hacienda station at one time where they had two box cars on rail tracks at the front right side of the building. However, if you went in there to dine in a train environment you didn’t get it; they were just long dining rooms and the place seemed very mediocre so of course it didn’t last long.

  4. ShawnM on September 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Wow has it ever changed!!!

  5. Gary on September 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I’m not sure if I remember this building,i do!! remember the old Colonial House Tavern I had a few beers there when I was younger,what amazes me is the amount of area in front of the building there’s actually grass today if you stand on that corner your practically standing in traffic I don’t understand why they would build it so close to the corner

  6. John on September 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    It was built a fair distance from the corner, but the corner moved closer thanks to road widening over the years. Nothing ever seems to last there; the medical imaging business being the latest casualty of an optimistic investor.

  7. Merle Thompson on September 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I had my first pizza there when it first opened in early 1950. It was the only real restaurant for years.

  8. Ron on September 5, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    The Thing I am Most Confused about is the corner of the building! How did it go from a most Rounded shape to a most Pointed shape? Is it still rounded on the inside of the building? Or did that Rounded corner suffer a fate most disturbing?

  9. Mark R on September 6, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Look at the road sign. #2 was Tecumseh Rd., 98 is now 46, my dad used 98 a lot, and to get to the 401, you took Dougall to the new 3B cutoff where the 401 started. This shot was taken before the Oullette overpass.

  10. Gary on September 6, 2014 at 4:58 am

    I remember when that same corner was an O”Tooles I moved across the street from it in about1989 I think and it was O”Tooles then,i worked for a gentleman that was one of the investors when it was the Hacienda Station and I recall him telling me Gary never invest in a restaurant you’ll loose your shirt!!

  11. JBM on September 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Mark, the sign for #2 directs travelers to Howard. At this point in time, 98 (later to become County Road 46) and 2 (later to be renamed County Road 42) followed Ouellette to Tecumseh, down Tecumseh to Howard. Both went down Howard. Number 2 peeled off just before Cabana and 98 continued on down Provincial.
    Tecumseh Road was known as Highway 39.

  12. Uzzy on September 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I would love to see some old road maps of the area, before the expressway, etc. I’m sure my dad has some, somewhere. It would be even better with detailed overheard satellite views…but I’ll keep dreaming about that.

  13. Douglas Skoyles on September 6, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Perfect! I well remember being there in Mario’s when “Oh, Donna” was playing on the juke box. A long time ago but I was young and suddenly pop music seemed a very good thing.

  14. Kent on September 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Remember that place from my childhood. Kewl building, wish it was still there.

  15. sandill riviera on September 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Closer to 1960 than 1950. 401 didn’t exist until the mid 50s and it only went to Tilbury. The elaborate tile exterior wasn’t done until the late 50s. Ouellette south of Tecumseh Rd. was a lane going into Jackson Park hence the signs sending Ouellette traffic unto Tecumseh Rd (and Marios large lawn on Ouellette). The Jackson Park overpass was built around 1962.

  16. Ron on September 7, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    My Dearest Kent, it is of my understanding that the building is Still There! Does the chimney at the left of the photographies not look but the same? When upon my eyes I do lay that Chimney of Yore, it is to me the same in the top photograph and the photograph of the bottom. My eyes may deceive me, but for I do not think so because of to me the Chimney looks to be of the same kind in both photographs. A facade of a building may change with age, much like the Wrinkled Skin of an elderly. But the character stays forever the same! My Dearest Kent, please, Sir, of what do you think of the Chimney and the most similar similarities between the photographies old and new? Are not but they the same to your most observant eyes?

  17. Windsor Ex-Pat on September 7, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    In the upper left of this pic. you can see the eaves of a house. Believe there were two brick homes where the apartment building behind the x-ray clinic now sits. Were those houses for employees of the old race track? Anyone know?

    Also remember two city councillors, Clarke and Bategello getting into an actual fight in the Hacienda parking lot back in the 70’s. Amusing memory.

  18. Mark R on September 8, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Thanks JBM. We lived in the 2200 block of Howard so my vision was short. Yes Tecumseh proper was 39 and the cutoff at Banwell before the Checker Flag Express way was 39B leading to Puce. Note, all highways at the time were the King’s Highways, hence the crown shape of the sign.

  19. Don Gelinas on September 8, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Great post .
    i clearly remember the old building being demolished and the Hacienda Station being constructed .in fact our neighbours were involved in the construction .

  20. MARK G on September 8, 2014 at 11:17 am

    My Grandfathers Construction Co built the restaurant,, Mousseau Const. Co

  21. John on September 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Don, that was the old Colonial House being demo’d (after sitting burned out for some time). Mario’s is still there. You can even make out certain elements of the old building if you examine it from the south side. There was some expansion onto the old Colonial House property on the west side which is probably the construction you remember?

  22. Steve on September 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Things just looked better back then.

  23. JeffS on September 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    My earliest memory is when it was the Hacienda(sp?) with the railroad box cars on the side. Then it was an O’Toole’s then a seafood place called Crabby Dick’s (I think).

  24. WED on September 10, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I’m too young to remember the Colonial House. The Hacienda is my oldest memory of this property. I do recall however a Colonial House on Huron Church. As I remember, It was just across and down the street from Huron Lodge. Truck drivers you to stop frequently for a meal before they crossed the bridge. Does anybody know if both Colonial Houses had the same ownership ?

  25. David on September 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    When did the facade of this building change? Was it the mid or late 1960’s? When did Mario’s move out of this place?

  26. John on September 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    WED : Is that the same building that was “BLUE BELL” before being torn down for DRIC?

  27. Richard McIntyre on September 10, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    The building on Huron Line was Colonial Steak House, a restaurant. The one by Marios was Colonel House a bar.
    Which building are talking about?

  28. WED on September 12, 2014 at 10:57 am

    John…
    No . The Blue Bell was on the west side of Huron Church, south of the expressway.The Colonial Steak House was on the west side , north of the expressway. I believe it was on the corner of Totten and Huron Church. The Swiss Chalet is located on that spot today.

  29. Uzzy on September 13, 2014 at 7:49 am

    WED, do you mean east side, north of the expressway? Swiss Chalet is on the east side of Huron Church.

  30. Joseph Longmoore on September 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Colonial steakhouse was in the building that now houses Starbucks.

  31. cliff maheux on September 13, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Worked there in the 60th drove the pink pizza jeep.I remember Mary & the cook.lol

  32. Martin Beneteau on September 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    This building has seen better days. Time to tear it down. It used to be a beautifully designed building on the outside when it was Mario’s. Too bad someone distroyed the look of it.

  33. Kent on October 29, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Ron, its effectively NOT the same building as they’ve altered it beyond recognition.

  34. John on October 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Ron’s still correct – until the building is demo’d and replaced (which someone seems to want to do) it’s still the same building, even if its facade is mostly unrecognisable from what we see in the photo of this post. While it was still a restaurant, its heritage was more obvious from the kitchen area, which was presumably gutted by the medical imaging business.

    There are lots of old buildings around Windsor whose true identity is disguised by years of sometimes cruel and strange renovations. Especially downtown. These examples are regularly pointed out in this blog.

  35. Uzzy on October 29, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    It’s clearly the same building, but heavily modified over time.

  36. John on October 30, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    The bulk of cruelty occurred under the “Hacienda” regime. They also had a boxcar and caboose. I should have a photo somewhere. I grew up a few doors down.

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