It’s Wayback Wednesday sponsored by Pharmasave: The Empire Hotel



Welcome to Wayback Wednesday sponsored by Pharmasave!

Have some vintage photos of your own? Send them to [email protected] and we may share them with our readers!

For decades, the Empire Hotel—and its predecessor, the Dominion Hotel—was once a formidable presence at the corner of Main and Centre streets. Can you guess the year this photo was taken? Do you recall any of the businesses that occupied the shops at street level?

Wayback Wednesday is sponsored by Pharmasave


Last week we shared this photo with you:



We don’t have any details about this vintage postcard. Reader Reg Garnett chimed in on Facebook that th “Newest car in that photo is a 30/31.” Thanks for that detail, Reg. Can anyone else add more information?

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


  1. This picture would have been taken in the late 60,s early 70’s. I came to Huntsville as Branch Manager of the Household Finance Corporation office pictured here in October 1972, and left to Join the Ministry of Natural Resources above the new Brendale square in December of 1973. HFC and many other finance companies met their demise in 1974/75 as Visa and Mastercard established themselves as an easier and cheaper method of obtaining credit. The Bielhartz shoe store was I believe being run by Sharon Beilhartz and Rudy and Wayne Baker ran the barbershop pictured here. In addition to Dr Doughty, CKAR radio station was on the second floor above the CIBC bank pictured here. The station if I am correct was owned by Hugh Mackenzie and the distinct voice of Garth Thomas was heard every morning as sportscaster. The Huntsville edition of the Kinsmen club used to meet in the Empire hotel where there was a chinese buffet dinner. Just out of the picture was the old Dominion grocer store run by Steve McCarl at the time ( this is where the building renovation is now taking place)

  2. The picture of the Empire Block shows an office above the HFC sign. That was my dental office from 1971 to 1979. By then the Centre Street bridge was built and I relocated the office to 74 West Road. The entrance to the lower level bar in the Empire was right beside the HFC office. There were many colourful scenes of people leaving that establishment back in the day.

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