Sunday, April 30, 2017

Defunct Pharmacies Drug Stores of Winnipeg

Academy Road, Snell's just beyond the Shell Station
One of the most popular posts I've ever written and which gets hundreds of people looking at it every month is my defunct restaurants of Winnipeg article. My list is far from from comprehensive but a good start when remembering long closed eating establishments in the city.  It is difficult to remember history when you're living it. The neighbourhood is just the neighbourhood and you don't often stop to write it down or take a picture of it. Photographs might exist in private albums but for the most part, you have to rely in faulty memory about what was where and when.

I have meant to write the post for a while and it is about all the small community pharmacies that were the lifeblood of everyone's lives until the superstore pharmacies that fill our megaplexes now. It seemed most drug stores were within walking distance and were as prevalent as the the small grocers.

I was raised in River Heights and was familiar with a few pharmacies in the 1970s and 1980s.  On Academy Road at Lanark where7th Avenue Fashions has stood for more than 25 years was Bassey's Pharmacy. It stood for decades and like a lot of drug stores sold everything from greeting cards to comic books. For a long time, there was a front and a back entrance and kids would enter from the back and head straight to the comics section.

Bassey's Pharmacy would later buy Snell's Pharmacy at Queenston and Academy Road. It was a little smaller and only had street parking but was closer to some local grocers like Tom Boy and a baker beside the Toronto Dominion Bank. The 7/Eleven would make its appearance in the 1970s on the spot of an old Safeway.

At the south end of River Heights, there was a Neiman's Pharmacy between Lanark and Refrew Streets. The Nieman family would go on to own a series of drug stores including one further down Corydon at Harrow and Stafford. The building years later in the 1980s would house Nibbler's Nosh. Strangely enough the whole building is once again a drug store: a Pharma Plus Rexall.

Near River Heights Junior High at Niagara was a Dixon's Pharmacy where the Paper Gallery now stands. Students from the school would troop there in winter for snacks and in summer in the late 1970s go to an ice cream shop where 7/Eleven stands. I can't recall the name of the ice cream place other than it was Dairy Whip or something to that effect.

Every neighbourhood has stories of their local pharmacies. I will add more over time but please share yours as memory fades with time.


Anonymous said...

Niagara Drugs north side of Grant at Niagara Street. Remember going there in early 70s to get firecrackers.

Anonymous said...

My family owned, lived behind, Black's Drug Store, 579 William. I was a child there, from 1938 to 1949.

Jordan Miles said...

It was Frosty’s

Jordan Miles said...

It was Frosty’s and the Rocco station was on one side Dixon’s on the other

John Dobbin said...

Yes, just remembering all the Roco stations in Winnipeg. One was beside the St. James Hotel as well. It sat where the vendour is now.