Kingsville Town Square (1985)

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Categories: 1980s

Div&MainMain St. W. & Division St. S.

When the Motorco building complex was completed in 1985, it contained 18 apartment units and 12,000 square feet of commercial space. This building replaced two blocks that were destroyed by fire in 1981. The Wigle-Conklin Block, on the corner of Division and Main, was completed for Dr. Andrew Wigle and David Conklin in 1896 and just south was the E.A. Brown Block. Built in 1923, the Brown Block was Kingsville’s post office until 1936 when the federal building was opened on the north-east corner of Division and Main. The Motorco building’s architect “worked closely with the Town, Motorco and Nova Goldsmiths so that the building would blend in with the present decor of the downtown area” and included a “gift to the people of Kingsville of a triangle of land to replace the loss of the Town Square.”


Mr. D. Conklin has secured the lots of Mr. Wm. Kennedy and Mr. Geo. Grenville. We hear from undoubted authority that a magnificent block will go up right away from the Mechanic’s Institute to corner of Division St. And south on Division 103 feet, the owners being our solid and enterprising townsmen, Messrs. David Conklin, and Dr. Andrew Wigle. It is one thing to be a citizen and another thing to have sand enough to be progressive. These gentlemen have all these ingredients and qualities.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 29, 1895 p.5

The town of Kingsville experienced one of the worst disasters in its history on Monday, November 9, 1981, when fire destroyed a large portion of the business district on the south side of Main Street West. In all, some nine businesses were levelled by the flames, losing all of their stock. As well, the 23 persons who lived in the apartments above the stores lost all their possessions in the blaze.

The Kingsville Reporter, December 10, 1981 p.1

On Sunday, August 25th, the Motorco Savings and Credit Union held an open house from noon until 4 p.m. at the Town Square. Everyone had an opportunity to tour the Square from the lower floor to the top where the apartments are located. Several applications for renting the apartments have been received. Following the tour, coffee and donuts were available.

The Kingsville Reporter, August 28, 1985 p.7

Motorco To Close Doors

The Kingsville Branch of the Motorco Savings and Credit Union announced last Thursday that they will be closing their doors.

The Motorco building at the Town Square is up for sale and the credit union is leaving Kingsville.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 17, 1988 p.1


Pinto Variety Store (1978)

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Categories: 1970s

124124 Division Street South

The lot on the corner of Division and Elms streets remained vacant until the 1950s, when Al’s FINA station opened offering gasoline, oil, car washes and minor repairs. The property was sold in 1976 and the new owners wanted to convert the property into a convenience store and gas bar, but the
neighbours objected. At a council meeting during the summer of 1976: “The contact with the neighbors resulted in a reasonable compromise: a gas bar was opposed and the immediate homeowners wanted a private dwelling. If the property is to be commercial the compromise is for a convenience food store without a gas bar.” It took a couple of years, and a hearing with the Ontario Municipal Board, before the plans for a variety store were completed. A portion of the original station was torn down and the 30×56’ addition was completed in 1978.

Building Inspector Everett Upcott received a request for a variety store on the Fina property at the corner of Elm St. and Division St. South and this was referred to the Planning Board.

The Kingsville Reporter, June 30, 1976 p.1

A petition signed by approximately 40 residents opposing a variety store on the corner of Division Street South and Elm Street was submitted to council, Pat O’Malley, Joseph Leach and Walter Cowan, residents of the area, expressed concern for the development of the former Fina Station property and requested it be zoned residential.

The property is zoned non-conforming use and a variety store is stipulated a from of upgrading and non-conforming use. Council was sympathetic to those who signed the petition and after discussion the decision was made to accept the recommendation of the Planning Board and the residents refusing to issue a permit for a variety store at the location.

The Kingsville Reporter, July 14, 1976 p.1

Council also dealt with matters concerning the property at the corner of Elm and Division Streets. Council accepted the application for a change of zoning of the property. Council then passed By-law 53-77 to outline the neighbourhood commercial zone requirements and restrictions. The zoning includes the use of offices and local variety stores.

The Kingsville Reporter, November 2, 1977 p.1

OMB Supports New Store

The Ontario Municipal board (OMB) decision which was announced by W. E. Dyer, Jan. 23, has backed up the Kingsville town council and agreed to allow the opening of a combination Pinto Variety Store and office building in a Division Street South building, originally occupied by a Fina gas station, although the area is classified as residential.

The decision was made public prior to the Jan. 22 council meeting at which Acting Mayor Tom Gibson stated his delight that the OMB are behind them in this matter.

At an earlier council meeting some area residents raised objections to the proposition because they were against the noise, traffic, litter and late night hours they felt go hand-in-hand with such a franchise.

The Board felt this was not sufficient cause to withhold their approval. A 10-year lease had been signed previously with Loeb Ltd. of Toronto to operate a gas bar, Maurice Gartenberg, owner of the property since 1977, dropped plans for a gas bar and has applie [sic] for zoning to permit an office.

The Kingsville Reporter, February 14, 1979 p.1


Alvin & Lillian Besant House (1969)

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Categories: 1960s

7272 Division Street South

Alvin and Lillian Besant had this home built in 1969 on a lot formerly owned by the Green family. 1969 was also the year the Official Languages Act came into force. The Act “declared French and English to be Canada’s official languages “in all matters pertaining to the Parliament and Government of Canada”; it also declared their equality of status as well as equal rights and privileges with regard to their use in all institutions of Parliament and the Government of Canada. The 1969 Act expanded the scope of the constitutional guarantee regarding the use of French and English in Parliament and federal courts to cover all federal institutions, including federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations as well as quasi-judicial bodies and administrative agencies.”

History of Bilingualism in Canada

1867 – Section 133 of the British North America Act (now the Constitution Act) permits the use of either English or French in the debates of Parliament as well as in the proceedings before the federal courts. This section also provides that both languages must be used in the records and journals of Parliament, and that its laws must be enacted and published in both languages.

1927 – Postage stamps become bilingual.

1934 – The federal Translation Bureau is established by an Act of Parliament.

1936 – Bank notes become bilingual.

1959 – Simultaneous interpretation of the debates in both languages begins in the House of Commons.

1963-1970 – The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism is established and produces its reports.

1969 – Following the work of the Commission, the first Official Languages Act is adopted by Parliament. This Act recognized English and French as the official languages of all federal institutions in Canada. It grants equality of status of French and English not only in the Parliament or before courts, but also throughout the federal administration. The Act before federal courts and tribunals in the official language of their choice.

1969 – New Brunswick enacts its first Official Languages Act, making it Canada’s first, and only, officially bilingual province.



English Canadians – after years of questioning Quebec on what she really wants – have finally been handed an answer.

Quebec really wants to feel at home from coast to coast in her own country. Men and women of Quebec don’t want to feel like poor relations. They want their culture, language, heritage and economic aspirations to be respected and recognized throughout the country.

In the years since Confederation – while Quebec nursed and nourished her heritage and language – English-speaking Canadians and foreign interests moved in to develop the province economically.

Then in 1960 Quebec residents woke up to the sour fact that they were simply workers, not planners, pioneers and managers of their own province. This is the emotional whip-sting driving Quebec forward now.

The Kingsville Reporter, January 18, 1968 p.4

TRUDEAU AND FOE. Premiers Walter Weir, Manitoba, Ross Thatcher, Saskatchewan, Harry Strom, Alberta and John Roberts, Ontario, have all battled against the Official Languages Bill which would guarantee linguistic equality in Federal Government services where the number of residents speaking either language justifies it. The premiers want the bill put before the Supreme Court. This action stemmed from this week’s constitutional conference.

The Kingsville Reporter, February 13, 1969 p.2

BESANT: Alvin c. 1914-1998. Passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Leamington Nursing Home on Tuesday, August 25, 1998. Al has been the loving husband and best friend of Lillian (Mcdonald) for the past 55 years. He has been a devoted and most cherished dad to the late Linda Brown, (October 1997) and Alda Wigle-Klingbeil; a kind and respected father-in-law to Gary Brown and Henry Klingbeil. Al is predeceased by brother Bill, Norm and Joe. He leaves behind a sister Theresa Sterling and her husband Harry. He leaves behind grandsons, Dave Brown (Julie), Essex: Mark Brown (Darlene), Stratford: Dale Brown (Carrie), Kingsville: Chad Wigle, Windsor and granddaughter Crista Wigle, Calgary Alberts. Al had 5 great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Al was retired for many years from Overland Western. Al was a kind and generous person who enriched the lives of family members and friends. Out of generosity he touched the lives of many individuals who never had the opportunity to meet him. He will be deeply missed.

The Kingsville Reporter, September 1, 1998 p.20


Branch 188 Royal Canadian Legion (1968)

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Categories: 1960s, Tags: , , ,

145145 Division Street South

The Royal Canadian Legion, Kingsville Branch 188 was established in 1930. Prior to the “Post” being formed, local War Veterans gathered in their club above Sivern’s Shoe Shop on Main Street West. Needing a larger meeting space, the Legion purchased a unit of the Union Block in the 1940s and remained there until this building was opened in 1968. Attending the dedication ceremony was Lt. Col. Fredrick Kent Jasperson, who “led the Essex Scottish Regiment on a raid on Dieppe, August 19, 1942, where heavy casualties were suffered and he was taken as a prisoner of war at a German Camp at Eichstadt until June of 1945.”

War Veteran’s Association Formed in Kingsville

On Monday last at the call of Major George C. King, the local war veterans met in Mr. Siverns’ hall and enthusiastically agreed to form themselves into an association for the furtherance of their mutual comradeship.

The Kingsville Reporter, November 19, 1925 p.1

Branch of Legion Formed at Kingsville

A successful organization meeting was held in the Kingsville War Veterans’ club rooms last Thursday evening by local veterans to establish a post of the Canadian Legion. There were approximately 70 ex-soldiers present, including members of the Sandwich, Walkerville, Prince Edward and Leamington Posts.

Zone Representative J. Linegar, who is also president of the Walkerville Post, occupied the chair. A motion was sponsored by Capt. Austin B. Smith, M.L.A., to form a Post at Kingsville, and this was carried unanimously.

The following officers have been elected: Honorary presidents, Major G.C. King, Capt. A.B. Smith, M.L.A.; chaplain, Capt. Rev. S.P. Irwin; president, J.P. Golden; first-vice president, Edward Lucas; second vice-president, J.C. Cook; treasurer, William Linsley; secretary, C.R. McCallum. The executive consists of David Clark, Fred Gooden and Alfred White.

The Kingsville Reporter, November 27, 1930 p.5


A large crowd of people assembled on Sunday last, at 2:30, at the Church of the Epiphany, to witness the unveiling of the cenotaph – a memorial to the soldiers from this town and vicinity who laid down their lives in the Great War, while fighting in defence of a righteous cause. Upward of 2,000 persons were in attendance, and although a light rain came, it was of short duration.

The Kingsville Reporter, June 6, 1935 p.1

Canadian Legion Building Dedicated

The official dedication of the Lt. Col. F. K. Jasperson (Ont. 188) Royal Canadian Legion Hall took place on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 23rd.

A ceremonial parade of color parties, pipe bands and Legionnaires from Forest, Branch 176; Wheatley, Leamington, Essex Amherstburg and Kingsville led by Parade Marshall B. A. R. Traynor marched from the old Legion Hall to the new building.

[. . .] Julius Stomp Sr. was emphatic that it was with great pleasure to welcome everyone and thank them for their respect shown to Branch 188 on this day. During the dedication those who lost their lives through conflicts and those who were not present were remembered. The dream of a new building created interest which has constantly increased, he said. The new building is to serve the community and since the community is comparatively small a tremendous amount of work and effort was required for the final accomplishment.

The Kingsville Reporter, November 28, 1968 p.1

Car Accident Claims Life of Colonel Fred Jasperson

Lieutenant Colonel Fredrick Kent Jasperson, Q.C., D.S.O., was killed in an automobile accident on Monday, May 18, 1982. Mr. Jasperson was travelling south on Howard Avenue in Malden Township when he was in collision with a westbound truck on Pike Road. The accident occurred at 3:07 p.m. [. . .]

Colonel Jasperson was born in Kingsville and received his public school education here in town, and his high schooling in Leamington. He received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto in 1925 and graduated second in his class in law at Osgoode Hall, Toronto. The John Beverly Robinson Scholarship was awarded to him at this time. He law practice began in Windsor that same year.

Mr. Jasperson joined the 21st Essex Fusiliers (a militia unit) and later gained a major’s rank before the war in the Essex Scottish Regiment. In 1942, he became Lieutenant Colonel and had command of the regiment during World War II.

He led the Essex Scottish Regiment on a raid on Dieppe, August 19, 1942, where heavy casualties were sufferec and he was taken as a prisoner of war at a German camp at Eichstadt until June of 1945.

While a prisoner of war, he aided interested men to study law from books that were received from Osgoode Hall, sent by the Red Cross.

Upon his return, he farmed in Kingsville for a short time, and wrote short stories, some of which were published in Maclean’s Magazine.

In 1946, he appeared before the Privy Council. He was a member of the parole board for two years covering provincial institutions in Toronto, Sudbury, Guelph, etc.

In 1946, he received the Distinguished Service Order from King George VI.

Upon recieving the Distinguished Service Order, the following is the citation received:

“Lt.-Col. Jasperson was in command of the Essex Scottish Regiment in the Dieppe assault on August 19, 1942, and landed with the first wave of troops on the main beach. The landing craft successfully touched down and the attack in waves was pushed forward across the beach through heavy barbed wire obstacles until they reached the sea wall. Immediately in front of the sea wall stretched a broad esplanade which was protected by a series of barbed wire entanglements and the esplanade beyond were under continual heavy enemy fire of all calibres. A number of attempts were made by parties of the unit to cross the esplanade or work around the western end. One party successfully entered the town.

Lt.-Col. Jasperson made repeated efforts to push forward and secure the original objective. Despite every effort, little progress was made and eventually the beach on which he landed was overrun and Lt.-Col. Jasperson with many of his officers and men was captured. This officer displayed complete disregard for his own safety, continuously exposing himself to enemy fire in his endeavour to get his unit forward. The spirit shown by this officer in the face of impossible odds was an inspiration to all ranks of the Essex Scottish Regiment.”

The Kingsville Reporter, May 19, 1982 p.1


Kingsville Town Hall (1962)

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Categories: 1960s, Tags:

4141 Division Street South

The decision to build the new Kingsville municipal building on the corner of Division and Mill was a controversial one. The other proposed site was behind the town hall on King Street (where the post office now stands). Opposition to the Division and Mill location was due to the popularity of Wigle
Park, established in 1938. When council voted on the location, it was tie (3-3) and Mayor Harold Cull cast the deciding vote. The Kingsville Town Hall, designed by J.P. Thomson Associates, was built in 1962 by Kubis Home Builders for $70,000. The building not only housed the town offices, but also the public school inspector, the V.O.N. and the police department.

Mr. John Swallow has bought from the town, the late Robert (J.) Wigle dwelling on Division street. He has sold a portion of it, and will tear down the other section, and the lot will be turned into a park.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 20, 1937 p.6

Clean Up Lots Ready For Park

In the hope that eventually permission will be received from the Department of Municipal Affairs to make the property a public park, the town has had men at work during the past week on the half-acre tract on the northeast corner of Division and Middlen [sic] streets, Kingsville.

. . . The Department of Municipal Affairs has heretofore taken the stand that the two lots in the tract should be sold, but in view of the fact that there is nothing now to serve as a downtown park it is generally thought that it would be better to remain as public property.

The Kingsville Reporter, February 17, 1938 p.1

The Post War Work Committee, appointed by the council at a recent meeting, met Monday evening, June 19, to discuss post war work in Kingsville.

Mayor Graham reported that when he wrote to the Department of Municipal Affairs to obtain permission for the two mill tax raise for post war work, the minister advised that the provinces were recommending that the municipalities contribute 10 per cent, the provincial government, 15 per cent, and the federal government, 75 per cent toward post war work. This work will take care of unemployment on a large scale.

The Kingsville Reporter, June 22, 1944 p.1

The demolition of the old town hall, after 79 years of service, will bring back varied memories to hundreds of people. Many a romance was started at its thousands of dances. It was the hub of the town in years past. It was here that nomination meetings were held, and from where the town fathers governed the town for so many years past. It was built in 1883 by Thomas E. Jenner for a contract price of $3,875.00. Actually the first town hall was built in 1852 on the site of the present Salmoni store.

The Kingsville Reporter, April 19, 1962 p.1

Post War Funds to Be Used for Municipal Building

In connection with the proposed use of the Post War fund, it was moved and carried that it be resolved that the funds contained in the town post war reserve fund, plus accrued interest, be used for the purpose of paying part of the cost of construction of the new municipal building.

The Kingsville Reporter, April 26, 1962 p.1

Hundreds at Opening of New Municipal Building

The cold weather did not deter a couple of hundred Kingsville citizens from attending the official opening of the town’s new Municipal Building last Saturday afternoon.

Remarks and addresses by all speakers were shortened due to the cold winds and freezing temperature.

[. . .] Mayor Harold Cull gave the address of welcome and later cut the ribbon officially opening the building. He was presented with the keys by John Couchman representing the architects, J.P. Thomson Associates, and by Steve Kubis, general contractor.

The Kingsville Reporter, November 22, 1962 p.1

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