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The building that was once Barrie’s smallest stand-alone variety store

November 2021

A small non-descript building on Owen Street in Barrie, Ontario, surrounded by modest pre-war and post-war family homes, has the unique distinction of once being the smallest stand-alone variety store in the city.

Opened around 1949 by Henry Bauldry, the store, appropriately named Bauldry’s, sold just about everything that you would expect from a variety store, plus sliced deli meat for a time, and they even managed to squeeze in two freezers and two refrigerators into the tiny building, that included a basement for storage. But, why was it so small?

Bauldry’s granddaughter, Nancy Bauldry, provided a possible answer, one with a rather practical reason. Henry had previously worked for Ontario Hydro, which gave him access to the surplus hydro poles that were used in the construction of the building. Basically, the length of the wood he had dictated the size of the building.

The Bauldry family sold the store in 1985, and it changed names several times over the years, from Bauldry’s, to Bauldry’s Groceteria, to I Forgot Variety Store and Renzo’s Unimart, but it remained popular with local residents.

The former variety store was the Pazzo Paesano’s Pizzeria from 2014 until a few years ago, but is now occupied by Cubic Feet Designs, a custom kitchen and bath design and renovation company.

Sources: Owen St. ‘groceteria’ had long history serving neighbourhood needs (8 photos) – Barrie News (barrietoday.com), Custom kitchen, bath, renovations, custom builds | Cubic Feet Designs | Barrie.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/the-building-that-was-once-barries-smallest-stand-alone-variety-store/

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