The flames of the welding torch have been extinguished. The “Dey’s” letters have been taken down and the town’s last standing reminder of a once vibrant downtown industrial era has closed its doors for good.
photo courtesy “Reflections” Collingwood An Historical Anthology
Dey’s Body Shop and Welding Shop has been a fixture at the corner of Simcoe and Ste. Marie Streets for generations.
The shop represented the town’s last affiliation with the shipyards, a functioning and very busy train station, rail yard, the horse and carriage era and the beginning of the automobile revolution.
Dey’s pre-dates Trott’s Furniture as one of Collingwood’s oldest businesses, dating back to the early 1870s when it first operated as a blacksmith shop close to the town’s new dry dock.
In 1895 Dey’s moved to its Ste. Marie Street location where it continued to operate as a general blacksmith. A Tudhope Carriages sign was prominent on the Ste. Marie Street building marking the beginning of a new era and a long and successful relationship with the transportation business.
The family business was launched by Robert Dey and has operated uninterrupted until the office was cleared and the closed sign went up for good this weekend.
The closure of Dey’s puts a punctuation mark on the transformation story of the St. Paul, Simcoe, Ste. Marie Street neighbourhood.
Collingwood’s arts and entertainment district continues to evolve.
Now a thriving arts and culture district, this area once lived a very different existence. The railway yard, shed offices and train station along St. Paul Street where Olde Town neighbourhood is now situated brought goods and business to the town, and kept the former Tremont Hotel full to capacity. Now, the Tremont is home to fine dining and houses many art studios. There was a Livery Stable where the Library now stands and the once prominent Enterprise Bulletin newspaper had its new printing press and offices constructed where the Simcoe Theatre and Creemore Coffee shop now call home.
Dey’s Body Shop and Welding Services played a major role in downtown Collingwood industry. The Dey family was known to be hard working, fair, good people. Anyone who has ever done business with them knows this to be true.
Times change. The Dey name has now officially been retired.
The talk in the nearby coffee shop is now all about the new micro-brewery that is on its way to the neighbourhood.
… and we move on.
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