Bathurst Manor Plaza The Most Comprehensive History on the Internet!

2017 Note: This page started as a small reference to the plaza where Bathurst Manor / Forest Valley Day Camp  purchased many daily supplies. It has developed into what appears to be the only comprehensive source of information about the plaza.


History

A frequent destination for camp purchases, Bathurst Manor Plaza (a.k.a. Wilmington Plaza) was built in 1957 during the development of the area. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was a bustling community plaza with a wide variety of stores and services.

This sign introduced the plaza to the neighbourhood:

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During Construction. The 2-storey south section and the Dominion (later Sunnybrook) store were built first. 1957:

plaza-1957

 

A gas station was added in 1961:

1961-plaza

An addition was added in 1984:

 

A third addition was added later for “Edith’s Fashions.” This building was spared from demolition in 2017 – likely to be used as a sales office for the new development:

plaza

The plaza was original referred to as “Bathurst Manor Plaza”. Later, it became know as “Wilmington Plaza”

Partial List of Stores
Ann Biederman Frocks
Bagel Nook (The)
Barber Shop (Roger Williams)
Bathurst Manor Cleaners
Bathurst Manor Food Centre
Bathurst Manor Fruit Market
Brody’s Jewelers
Clover Printing and Labels
Country Style Donuts (Kosher)
Demi’s Restaurant
Dollar Guys (Ali)
Edith’s Fashions
Fressor’s Restaurant
Fagot’s Hardware (Later, Metro Hardware) Aby Moses & Family
Fisherman’s Table Restaurant
Focus Optical
Gary’s Sports Cards
GoGo Luggage & Leather
Goodman’s China
Isaac’s Bakery
Israel’s Judaica
King David Pizza (Uri Hazan)
Knights of the Campus Boys Wear
LCBO
The Leather Mart
Lisary Bags & Luggage
Little Caesar’s (Before King David Pizza)
Louis’ Bakery
Man About Town (Alessandro DeRosa)
Meat/Poultry Shop
Optometrist
P.F. Travel
Rachel’s Catering
Ronit Originals – Unisex Italian Leather Fashions
Shoe Repair
Shoppers Drug Mart
Sunny Gym
Sunnybrook (formerly Dominion)
Tony’s Hairstyling
Toy Store
Variety Store / Smoke Shop / Krivy’s Cigar Store
Video Break
Wilmington Convenience & Produce (Terry Kim)

Bathurst Manor Service Centre (Morris & Alex)
Originally Shell. Later Pioneer. Owned by Mr. Pasternack

At one time, a guy named Rocco took care of the plaza.

 

Partial List of Office Tenants:

110 – 120 Overbrook Place

MCI Medical Clinics
Dr. Irving Zelcer
Dr. Harriet Train
Dr. Alan Sandler
Dr. Gerry Cohen
Dr. May Cohen
Dr. Grey
Riaboy & Anic Engineering Ltd
New Fraternal Jewish Association
Terry Leuty Real Estate (Harold “Husky” Goldkind)
Beth Meyer
Overbrook Medical Centre

bathurst-manor-plaza

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A video of the plaza. ca. 1990:


Advertising

A collection of ads from local newspapers.

April 9, 1987

December 6, 1974 December 5, 1975

wed12-07-16-8-26-39-pmApril 12, 1968

May 19, 1988

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 May 7, 1992 May 7, 1992a May 11, 1989 September 18, 1986 September 15, 1988 October 12, 1989 November 4, 1977 May 7, 1987 September 26, 1985

Prior to the closing of Shoppers Drug Mart:bathurst-manor-plaza

 


 

Decline

Following the closure of Sunnybrook in the mid 1980s, business declined in the plaza. Many stores closed. Some new tenants moved in, but did not stay long. In the early 2000’s, major tenants like CIBC, LCBO, & Shoppers Drug Mart left the plaza. Without these core tenants to draw traffic, the remaining stores struggled to survive.

Photos from the 2000s:

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The phone numbers for the 2 pay phones:

416-633-0711

416-633-0860

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BathurstManor_KingDavidPizza_HotSpot_960x738-320x246

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Closure
In July, 2016, the plaza closed. It was boarded up in November 2016.

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Several news articles about the closing.

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thu12-08-16-9-33-58-amartifcle21 article

 

 


Demolition

Demolition of the plaza began in February 2017. The building formerly used by Edith’s fashions (facing Wilmington) looks like it will be retained – likely to be used as a sales office for future development:

Redevelopment

Proposals have been in the works since 2006.

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Link to City of Toronto Development Page: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=b0f30621f3161410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

 

Latest News

From 2012 Plan:

Bathurst Manor Plaza – CIBC Robbery

CIBC – Wilmington Plaza Robbery – July 24, 1964

During a bank robbery of a CIBC on Wilmington Avenue in Downsview on July 24, 1964, Mathew Kerry Smith, 24 shot and killed Jack Blanc aged 58. As a disguise Kerry wore a Beatle wig sold in Toronto dime stores that summer during Beatlemania. Jack Blanc, a fur cutter and a former Canadian and Israeli Army veteran was a customer in the bank and took the bank’s revolver from an employee and pursued Smith into the street, not knowing the revolver had only four rounds loaded in it. Smith who was armed with a handgun and a military FN assault rifle, shot Blanc dead in the exchange of gunfire. He was captured in January 1965, sentenced to death, but sentence was commuted as per practice then.

A manhunt ensued for the “Beatle Bandit”. He was captured with great fanfare.

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