Dominion Government Building 1936
Post offices in Canada have always been important buildings to any community; they were central locations and became meeting places for the residents of the municipality.
At the time of opening in 1936 the ground floor of Thorold’s Post Office was given entirely to Post office requirements, except the room which was needed for the stairway to the next floor where Customs and other Federal business was transacted. The janitor’s residence was at the rear upstairs, reached from the inside and outside and was a roomy and well arranged space providing for a family. The basement was dry, well lit and extending under the entire building with a heating plant at the rear.
A number of years ago when the Federal Government was in the process of closing many of their postal outlets in Canada, there was a loud cry heard across the land, and a group called “Rural Dignity” was formed as a lobby group, with members in towns and hamlets across the country. This illustrates the passion with which we hold our right to our own identity as Canadians living in small communities, and the importance of having our own post office building.
This building stands in a key location in our business area and has been closed as a Dominion Government Post Office. The 6,500 sq. ft. on the main floor has been successfully converted to retail; the top floor contains apartments. It is still called “The Post Office – Shannon Passero” and is the flagship store for this well-known business.
G.H. Petit laid the cornerstone on this building and the building was officially opened in May of 1936. George P. Foley was the Postmaster at that time and the Mayor was William Hutt. N.A. Kearns was the architect and the contractor was R. Timms Construction Company of Welland.
Like many federal buildings, the Thorold Post Office appears massive and impressive. Being part of the downtown, it has become one of Thorold’s landmarks, part of the fabric of the community and a local meeting place. The post office is one of the few federal buildings built in Thorold.
The building has been constructed using white, ground Queenston stone in front and red brick for the sides and rear and was finished in a manner to befit a small city Canada in the 1930’s.