It’s Wayback Wednesday: Blue Bell Tea Room



Welcome to Wayback Wednesday sponsored by Cavalcade Color Lab! Every week, we’ll be sharing a vintage photo and asking our readers to chime in with anything you can recall about the photo, other related memories, or even a funny caption. Have some vintage photos of your own? Send them to [email protected] and we may share them with our readers!

This week’s photo is courtesy of Brent Gillen (click the photo to see the full image). His grandparents, Les and Divena Kinsman, owned and operated the Blue Bell Tea Room from 1950 to 1970. It was located at 4 King William Street, where the One Stop General Store Trading Post is now.

This photo is likely from the early 1950s, says Brent. “This Tea Room was a favourite of the Bell and Hydro Crews for lunch,” he writes. “The last menu I have from this restaurant was a whopping 10 cents for a bottomless cup of coffee. This rare colour photo was taken for a pocket viewfinder (remember the ones you hold up to light) souvenir that was produced by Les to promote the restaurant.”

If you remember the Blue Bell Tea Room, leave us a comment about it below!

Wayback Wednesday is sponsored by Cavalcade Color Lab

Last week we shared this photo with you:


The Muskoka Digital Archives tells us that Fairy Avenue is on the right and Church Street on the left. Kellock’s greenhouses are in the forefront on Church Street to the right. We don’t have a date for this image, unfortunately.

If you want to see more Wayback Wednesday photos, click here.

1 Comment

  1. Glennice Barton (Smith) on

    I remember the Blue Bell Tea Room very well. My mother (Phyllis Smith) was the cook there for years and my sister and I started our first jobs there as dishwashers and then promoted to waitress! I remember Les very well! He was a funny guy! I remember so vividly that he charged us $18.00 a week for all the food that we ate while on the job! We didn’t like that too much! LOL Memories are a wonderful thing!

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