Wellington Hotel Fire

Another historic landmark on the Five-Points intersection was lost yesterday in a fire following an explosion. The initial incident took place at 11:20 PM on Thursday with the final collapse of the structure by 5:00 AM on Friday morning. This particular building was the subject of a 'Then & Now' project I had undertaken last year. Here is the post with updated photographs.

Summersett Hotel / Wellington Hotel
Currently Riviera Pizza & Pasta House & Royal Thai Cuisine

4 Dunlop Street West

Located on the north west side of five-points across the street from the Simcoe Hotel, the original hotel located here was destroyed by fire in 1876. It was rebuilt by Thomas Summersett, proprietor, as the Summersett Hotel, and latter became known as the Wellington Hotel. The building's windows have flattened arches on the second floor, and round arches on the third.

This boxy commercial building has suggestions of an Italianate style. Riviera Pizza & Pasta House and Royal Thai Cuisine currently share this location with apartments above.

Some details of the incident from the media with images I took Friday evening.

Investigators with the Ontario Fire Marshal's office will be digging through the rubble Saturday left by the devastating fire that destroyed part of downtown Barrie and left dozens homeless.

Three buildings including the Wellington Hotel, built in the 1880s, were destroyed in the blaze, which broke out at about 11:20pm Thursday and continued to burn into Friday morning. Five others were significantly damaged.

The building complex has been a landmark at the so-called "Five Points" in the heart of Barrie since the late 1800's.

The fire started with an explosion in the Royal Thai restaurant basement at the corner of Dunlop St. and Bayfield Ave., and the flames quickly spread to neighbouring structures at what's known as the Five Points Corner. The blast sent broken glass and furniture flying out into the street.

The Salvation Army has established a fund for people who have been affected by the fire this morning in Downtown Barrie that has left many people homeless and destroyed numerous businesses.
Donations can be made at any Bank of Montreal location across Canada to the Five Points Fire Victim Fund.
The fund will be administered by the Salvation Army.
For more information, please contact:
Roy Randall, Salvation Army, 705-728-3737

Wiccan, Boffo and several other
members of the Urban Exploration community in Ontario had expressed sympathies to those affected either through the on-line forums or via eMail to me.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the photos and commentary on this terrible fire. I visited Barrie many times in 1968-69 when I was a teenager and I remember that corner very well. We now live in Texas and we most recently drove through Barrie just this past September. I hope the people who were displaced by this fire can soon return to a normal life and that the buildings can be replaced.

By the way, your Paypal button doesn't seem to work. It looks like it may just be linked to the image.

CopySix said...

Thank-you Anonymous for the comment. The community is still in a state of shock. Texas sounds like a warmer place just right now.

Thank-you also for pointing out the dead link on the PayPal button. I was putting off maintenance of this as I don't want this amateur hobby to go commercial. But, as I have 3 small kids and gas is getting more expensive, I am finding less resources to lend to this hobby. To this end I fixed the button.

CopySix said...

There is now a Facebook group called "4 Dunlop" -
To see more details and confirm this group invitation, follow the link below:

* Also heard some disturbing things about the loss of ALL the jewelery (except the safe) at the jeweller's store after the event - this was the time where only police and fire had access to the site. :-(

CopySix said...

NEWS FLASH - 2/18/2008 - Two Toronto residents with financial interests in the Riviera restaurant face charges in connection to the massive Five Points inferno that destroyed a large section of downtown Barrie last December.

John (Giovanni) Cartolano, 62, is charged with arson endangering life and arson for fraudulent purposes.

Laverne Williams, a 40-year-old Toronto woman, is charged with fraud over $5,000.
I really hope they nail Giovanni on this.