Monday, August 15, 2011

Wasaga Beach Main Street Fire, August 15, 2011 Brings Back Memories

I am sure that anyone who has fond memories of the old Main Street in Wasaga Beach, remembers the Joke Store on the corner. Most recently called The Corner Store or simply referred to as the Blue Building, most remember it as The Joke Store! Walking on the creaky wooden floors as a kid, looking at the shelves of somewhat risqué novelties from the 50’s or even before, I remember feeling naughty for looking at the “jokes” of an “adult nature”. More recently classic posters from the 70’s were tacked on the ceiling overhead, while some of the old inventory of summers past still sat on old wooden shelves.

To see the building has been destroyed by fire is sad, as those memories of many are now simply that, memories.

  Main FireIMG-20110815-00552  Main FireIMG-20110815-00545

Although it is a shame to lose any structure to fire or other disaster, we can all be thankful that no one was hurt either in the blaze, or fighting the flames!

I can only assume the property and business owner had the proper insurance coverage to provide for them after their loss. Although a loss like this is never wanted or expected, they do occur.

The old frame blue building, although known to so many over the years, was not historic. Perhaps nostalgic is a more fitting term.

We lost most of Main Street in a massive fire in 2007. The buildings lost at that time could also be considered nostalgic... although most had been neglected and had been in need of repairs since the real downfall of Main Street in 1972 when the Pedestrian Mall was created. (please see “The Way Wasaga Was” about Main Street)

Since the big fire of 2007, the remains of that section of Main Street have been cleaned up and presented a pleasant walk way to the busy beach. It is my hope that this empty space of our old Main Street can be taken advantage of with some upcoming special events, while keeping the busy Beach Drive open to traffic.

We have had great weather this summer and visitors continue to enjoy our beautiful sandy shores. Local businesses have been working together to promote Wasaga Beach in new creative ways and many past visitors are rediscovering all the good things The Beach has to offer! The recently formed Promote Wasaga Committee has many great fund raising activities planned, to follow up the successful Promote Wasaga Golf Tournament. Events continue to please locals and visitors. New music festivals have entertained many and reminded them... Wasaga Beach is here... and perhaps, The Beach is BACK!

All are sorry to lose the little blue building on the corner is such a way, but the smoke has cleared and hopefully the cleanup will happen quickly. Good things keep happening in Wasaga Beach! Good things that will form new memories to last forever in the minds of visitors and all of us who are lucky enough to call Wasaga Beach home!


Joe Bickerstaff