Saturday, August 13, 2016

M & F on Churchill Avenue

A few weeks ago a question was brought up on the Lost Ottawa Facebook page about a couple of mysterious letters that appear on the front of a building on Churchill Avenue near Richmond.

The building in question is now Equator Coffee, but Dave, the admin of Lost Ottawa had asked what the significance was of the "M' and "F" above the upper windows. (See photos below)

Photo courtesy of Lost Ottawa, July 12, 2016

Photo courtesy of Lost Ottawa, July 12, 2016

I had researched this years before, so a quick check of my old notes confirmed that the M and F represent the initials of the original owner/builder of this building, Mr. Morris Feldberg.

He had the building constructed between 1924-1925, and set up his shoe-making shop here (he also sold clothes).

ad from the Ottawa Journal - August 26, 1926

Interestingly, Felberg sold the building within a few years (my guess is that it was related to the economic depression, or perhaps he had bit off more than he could afford when he had the business built).

The cool twist to this story is that Feldberg actually would go on to open Morris Formalwear, which is still a popular store in Hintonburg, at 1083 Wellington Street (thanks again for the tuxes, vests and shoes for my wedding a few years ago!)

The location Morris occupies now has been their home only since the mid-90s (prior to that it was split between two stores - a shoe store at the corner, and Big Time Sports Cards on the east half - my first real job when I was about 12). Morris Formalwear had long existed at 1099 Wellington (now the Record Centre) dating back to 1947, and before that they'd had a location at the north-east corner of Holland and Wellington which they'd opened in 1927 (which was actually more of a clothing cleaning & pressing shop)

So next time you're walking by the Equator Coffee on Churchill you may notice the M and F more so now, and hey, you can even impress whoever you're with by sharing the story behind them!

1 comment:

  1. This buiilding was once the home of Wesboro Printers for a number of years.