In 1925, Summerland’s downtown area had wooden sidewalks and a different set of businesses from those in place today.
At the time Main Street was named Granville Road and A.J. Beer Shoe Store was one business that welcomed customers. The shoe store operated from 1916 to 1936.
The Gartrell Block, shown at the right side of the photograph, is now the location of the Summerland IOOF Hall.
Initially, Lowertown was the hub of the community and the businesses were located along what is now Lakeshore Drive. However, on March 13, 1922, a fire quickly spread through the area.
Fire equipment was minimal and damages were extensive. The total loss was estimated at between $70,000 and $80,000.
The Summerland Review lost between $17,000 and $20,000 worth of equipment. Simpson and Gowan’s store — where the fire began — lost stock worth $25,000 and a building worth about $5,000.
The W.J. Robinson residence, worth $10,000, was destroyed, as was the Empire Hall building, worth $500.
Stark’s store, in the Empire Building, was also destroyed. It had a value of $1,000.
The Summerland Hotel, across from what is now the fish hatchery, was built in 1902 by the Summerland Development Company. It was destroyed by a fire around midnight on Nov. 14, 1925.
Today, the Summerland Supply Co. building, at the corner of Main Street and Victoria Road, is the oldest commercial building in Summerland. It was constructed in 1907 and has been in continual use since that time. It has housed the Laidlaw and Co. General Store, followed by Laidlaw Men’s and Boys Wear, Haskins Men’s Wear, Marguerite’s Flowers, Art Knapp’s Flowers, Steele and Steele Photography, the Summerland Flower Shop and ReMax Realty and Rock Star District apparel and accessories.
The former Bank of Montreal building, constructed in 1917, served as a bank until 2018. It is now Yaki’s Pizza in Summerland. The building can be seen at the right of the last car in the photograph.
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