Do you remember coming downtown to shop at the C. H. Smith Department Store in Windsor? The C. H. Smith Department Store was a locally owned dry-goods store, located on the east side of Ouellette Avenue on the first block south of Riverside Drive. The department store opened at this location in the early 1920s about the time this photograph was taken. The store quickly doubled its frontage along Ouellette Avenue as well as expanding around the corner on Pitt Street East. The store eventually fell victim to changing taste in shopping with shoppers abandoning downtown for the new suburban malls that opened up in the 1970s. The Smith Department store followed  and moved to Devonshire Mall and closed their downtown location in the 1970s. The building was eventually demolished and today only a parking lot exists, where this venerable Windsor shopping destination once stood. If you are interested in other historic images of Windsor that are found in your Community Archives, please visit Windsor Public Library’s digital exhibits page “Windsor’s History and Pictures” at


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  1. Richard McIntyre says:

    The end of Department Stores in general started to fail in the seventies , with the junior department store like Woolco, K-mart, Zellers and other names. T Eaton Co. was on last legs headed for bankruptcy, Simpsons sold their catalogue to Sears Roebuck in md fifties The shopping Center arrived with free parking and the result city center shopping lost.

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