Bank between Laurier and Slater (1960)

TED GRANT
Ted Grant captures the view of Bank Street, looking north between Laurier and Slater. That neon, maintained, would look snappy today. Image: Ted Grant / LAC Accession 1981-181 NPC Series 60-695A, Image 173.

Another photograph from Ted Grant’s series “Meter Maids“. This time looking north on Bank, half way between Laurier Avenue and Slater. Outside of James Strutt’s rather disappointing renovation of the Jackson Building, one thing to notice in the shot of the Stage Door Restaurant. It’s difficult to make out on the southwest corner of Bank and Slater: just beside the third car parked on the left.

The corner has seen its share of fires over the years. Source: Ottawa Journal, April 25, 1960, p. 3.
The corner has seen its share of fires over the years. Source: Ottawa Journal, April 25, 1960, p. 3.

Though it does not have the same history that built up around it as the Embassy, it was owned by George Anka, Paul Anka’s uncle.1”Ottawa Man Fears Watch Radioactive,” Ottawa Journal, December 21, 1959, p. 5. The photograph was taken in 1960, just two years after the massive Odeon Theatre explosion and just weeks before the building itself suffered a rather large fire.2”$25,000 in Paint Lost in Bank Street Blaze,” Ottawa Journal, April 25, 1960, p. 3. The Stage Door opened in 1953 and appears to have served its last in 1963.3”Stage Door Restaurant Caters To Discriminating Diners,” Ottawa Journal, October 7, 1953, p. 9. The last mention of the Stage Door in the Journal was in June of 1963, reporting the loss of black patent purse. See Ottawa Journal, June 29, 1963, p. 24.

Saro's in the glory days. A chain of five outlets from Ottawa to Kingtson. Source: Ottawa Citizen, September 26, 1986, p. B5.
Saro’s in the glory days. A chain of five outlets from Ottawa to Kingtson. Source: Ottawa Citizen, September 26, 1986, p. B5.

The space was subsequently taken over by Saro’s Cameras, which later branched out into other equipment, like stereos, televisions, and VCRs.4Ottawa Journal, December 6, 1963, p. 15. Saro’s remained at the corner until 1996, when a sluggish recovery from the last recession, the deep cuts of the Paul Martin years, and intense competition from arriving big-box stores proved to be fatal. Supply chain issues and a legal dispute with a former landlord did not help matters.5Randy Boswell. “Distress signs: Many factors kill Byward retailers,” Ottawa Citizen, January 11, 1996, p. A1.

The view today. Image: Google Maps.
The view today. Image: Google Maps.

Subsequent businesses on the corner include Teriyaki Plus (1997-2008), Kyoto Sushi (2008-2014), and Miso Japanese Restaurant (2014-present).

Notes   [ + ]

1. ”Ottawa Man Fears Watch Radioactive,” Ottawa Journal, December 21, 1959, p. 5.
2. ”$25,000 in Paint Lost in Bank Street Blaze,” Ottawa Journal, April 25, 1960, p. 3.
3. ”Stage Door Restaurant Caters To Discriminating Diners,” Ottawa Journal, October 7, 1953, p. 9. The last mention of the Stage Door in the Journal was in June of 1963, reporting the loss of black patent purse. See Ottawa Journal, June 29, 1963, p. 24.
4. Ottawa Journal, December 6, 1963, p. 15.
5. Randy Boswell. “Distress signs: Many factors kill Byward retailers,” Ottawa Citizen, January 11, 1996, p. A1.

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