Blog: “For Best Service”: John Lissee’s Appliances on Ossington

Once the dispensary was removed, the sign for John Lissee’s appliance shop was revealed. Image: C.Ryan, September 2018.

Kathleen and I recently took a quick vacation to Toronto (as well as Hamilton and locations across Manitoulin Island) and while walking around, noticed this well-preserved and recently-revealed sign on one of the empty commercial properties along Ossington Avenue. 

I’ll admit that I’m pretty annoying in these cases: although we walk all over the place, I’m always stopping to take pictures. For me, it’s the signs that really make me take notice, whether they are for businesses still operating or for those long gone. Toronto’s small business owners often seem to like to keep the old sign up even if the business is long gone. I have not gone for a full exploration below, so the following just comes from a brief search.

John Lissee and his wife Millie purchased the property from Abraham Weiser in November 1947,1Plan 1201, Lot H, Page 2 but did not move in until some time in 1949. At that point in time, the ground floor retail was occupied by Marcil’s Baby Carriage Shop.21949 Toronto City Directory (Toronto: Might’s Directories Limited, 1949): 394. In the 1951 Might’s directory, the name of the shop had changed to Lessee’s Baby Carriage Shop,31951 Toronto City Directory (Might’s Directories Limited, 1951): 332., and in the following year, Lessee’s Home Appliances had made its debut.41952 Toronto City Directory (Toronto: Might’s Directories Limited, 1952): 350.

Image: Google Maps

It appears that Lissee remained in the home appliance business until 1976, when he and his wife transferred the property to Rosa and Filomena Dinardo.5Plan 1201, Lot H, Page 3. 

Notes   [ + ]

1. Plan 1201, Lot H, Page 2
2. 1949 Toronto City Directory (Toronto: Might’s Directories Limited, 1949): 394.
3. 1951 Toronto City Directory (Might’s Directories Limited, 1951): 332.
4. 1952 Toronto City Directory (Toronto: Might’s Directories Limited, 1952): 350.
5. Plan 1201, Lot H, Page 3.

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