John Finn [ 1847 (Approx.) - ]

  • Shoes 1875 (Approx.) - 1893 (Approx.)

John Finn’s shoe shop first appears in the directories during the summer of 1875 . In 1877 Finn’s business shared a house on Colborne Street with McFarland’s grocery store and the dwelling of M.H. Cochrane . The 1881 Census lists him as a 34 year-old Irish-born Catholic. Apart from this there is little information about the actual business.

Finn’s store disappears from the D&B directories by 1884, but a John Finn continued to be recorded in the 1888/89 and 1892/93 Ontario Gazetteer and Directory. He is not listed in the 1891 Census of the village or of the Township. Finn was most frequently mentioned in the press for his skating rink. He built a large skating rink, 150 ft long by 75 ft wide at the rear of his lot on Bond Street [FFG 10 Dec 1881; 2] with admission by subscription. His rinks are also noted in 1883 and 1885. As he faced new competition after 1884 , the rink may have had a roof added [FFG 17 Oct 1885; 2 : 12 Dec 1885; 2] to protect skaters from the weather. He held a “fancy dress ice carnival at his rink on Wednesday January 20th, 1886. “The rink was handsomely decorated with flags and evergreens, and lighted with Chinese lanterns” [FFG 23 Jan 1886; 2].

There is a John Finn listed in the 1871 Census as a 43 year old, Irish-born farmer in Carden and Bexley Townships, but this may not be the same man. For a brief description of these three merchants, see under Dewart, William.

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