Before, we either took the bus or walked to downtown Port Arthur. Then, we walked along sidewalks, which are open air public spaces. We would shop in a mix of locally owned shops and department stores. Some of these stores included:
The Joy Shop, Delmars, Maxine’s, Eatons, Zellers, Woolworth, the Metropolitan, Kresges, McNulty’s, Matthews Dry Goods, Macleod’s, Bryan’s, Bonnie’s, Barbara’s Hat & Dress Shop, Belgium Glove & Hosiery, Teen’s Dream Shop, Limbo the Stocking Shop, Joanne’s Dress Shop, Mrs. Bloom’s Dress Shop, Ellen’s Dress Shop, Helena’s Dress Shop, Hollingsworth Ladies Wear, Arcade Mode Shop, Gotham Style Shoppe, Normandie Shop, Kay’s Ladies Wear, or Metamorphosis.
The main bus stop downtown was right in front of the front doors of Eaton's. You could go to Eaton’s groceteria and pick up a loaf of bread delivered fresh that morning by Three Star Bakery. Also at Eaton’s, you could listen to Nonna Cooper, an elderly, elegantly dressed woman in full makeup, who played the organ on the landing of the stairs leading downstairs to the lunch bar. As Nonna's fingers ran skillfully along the piano keys, her two white poodles sat obediently on the stool beside her. You would see her Cadillac parked out back behind Eaton's, by Kiddies Korner.
You might also walk down to Cumberland Street to the Lorna Doone Candy Shop or down to Bay Street to Coronet Café or up to Rupert Street to the Little Mrs Queenie of Star Café. And if it was morning when the street car dropped you off on your way to work at Woolworth’s, you would see the shop owners out sweeping the street in front of their shops, like Mr. Perkamon (sp?) cleaning the sidewalk in front of the Joy Shop on Court St.
Or if you were walking to your job at the Algoma Steam Bath you would see Mr. Spovieri, shoemaker and inventor of the famous Spovieri’s shoe heel, sweeping in front of his shoe store.
In those days, people thought, what could I do? But now they say, it’s not my job. Ennen, ihmiset kysyy Mitä mä voin tehdä? Mutta nyt ne sanoo, Se ei oo mun työ.