Dundas 175: the music corridor was as soon as the center of the native arts neighborhood

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For the folks of Valley Metropolis, the Music Corridor constructing on King and Foundry Streets was the center of a thriving arts neighborhood.

  • Kerry McNamara is the author of Historical Dundas.

Dundas has taken nice pleasure in its arts neighborhood through the years. We see the Dundas Valley Faculty of Artwork on Hutt and Ogilvy Streets and the Carnegie Gallery on King and Ogilvy Streets as native facilities of artwork. The Dundas Little Theater on Market Road subsequent to the Dundas Enviornment has been the positioning of many theatrical performances.

For the folks of Valley Metropolis, the Music Corridor constructing on King and Foundry Streets was the center of a thriving arts neighborhood practically 100 years in the past. From 1911 to the late Nineteen Forties, native expertise entertained folks of all ages on the music corridor stage and stuffed the corridor with hometown crowds. In February of 1911, John D. Pennington opened the corridor with a grand ceremony at 98-102 King Road. All native dignitaries have been current and praised Pennington for constructing one of the crucial spectacular halls, at his personal expense.

Pennington has lengthy been a fan of music and dance, and labored diligently to construct this kind of music and gathering corridor for the neighborhood. A profitable enterprise profession allowed for this to grow to be a actuality as his building firm, Valley Metropolis Seating Firm, was a well-established native agency using many individuals.

Whereas in operation, the music corridor hosted a wide range of leisure from performs to movies to charity balls, music and dance. One of the crucial well-known early performers was the 77th Regiment Orchestra which offered many nice evenings of musical enjoyment. Occasions that includes aspiring politicians and spiritual audio system have been additionally widespread in music halls.

Olive Newcomb, former curator of the Dundas Museum and Archives, recalled the corridor’s significance and wonder: “It was a wonderful house with lengthy moss-green curtains. If mandatory, chairs could be positioned beneath the stage for dances and occasions. ,

The corridor gained recognition as the house of the Dundas Choral Society and for performances by Gilbert and Sullivan by members of the native Dundas church buildings. Motion pictures turned well-liked applications. For the worth of 10 cents, or 35 cents for reserved seats, the folks of Dundas might watch film stars like Mary Pickford and John Barrymore on the massive display.

The music corridor was a social middle till the mid-Nineteen Forties. World Struggle II modified the tempo of leisure to incorporate occasions corresponding to badminton, though the corridor remained a spot for socializing.

The bottom flooring stage of the corridor was a sought-after business location for a few years: Mannings Restaurant, reverse Foundry Road, was a preferred eating spot. Different tenants included a druggist, music seller, information agent and tobacconist. From 1915 to 1918, the Dundas Public Board leased a part of the bottom flooring to scale back overcrowding at native faculties.

Half 2 of the Music Corridor will see the collapse of the historic constructing that was a hotly debated subject within the Valley of the Metropolis for a number of many years.

—Keri McNamara is the creator of Historic Dundas. This recurring column acknowledges the one hundred and seventy fifth anniversary of the neighborhood’s incorporation as a city.

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