The Bay Window

The Bay Window

In the early 70s, sophistication came to Bay Street in the form of Ron Hogeland, and his framing gallery called the Bay Window. I remember Jim Gardiner crafted the coolest, most 70’s arch around the entry, and shadowy interior was rich with pipe smoke. As you moved past the counter table where the framing and matting magic took place, you could see the river framed in the great south-facing windows at the back of the shop.  

My memories are fragmented as it was adult territory, and street urchins such as myself were merely tolerated to a limited degree.  But I have two memories of which I am most fond:

The first was when there was an attempt at a coffee-shop combo there, rumors of live music after hours, and I believe it was Anne Gardener or perhaps Nancy Schroeter that made chocolate eclairs stuffed with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate — I’d never had the like and my world was made a bigger place after such a powerfully delicious introduction.  I remember them costing dearly – a whole dollar? But so good. The frame shop persisted and the treats did not, but I bet you can still smell the cigar smoke coming from the walls of the building itself.

Photo on left: the view from the Bay Window’s arch

Ron had a glass cigar case on tope of his counter, and I remember he sold a number of my better coins for me on consignment. 6th grade maybe?  Not something I tracked too closely – my business skills were rudimentary, but I did love coin collecting.  I do remember that I had a silver 3cent piece and a nickel from the civil war, a silver dime from the Phillipines around 1910 that said United States of America on back – a head-scratcher for me then. I was trying to raise money for… who knows. But Ron was gracious and respectful, and he was the man when it came to antiques and treasures.

Finding these sketches in Stuart’s art trove makes me nostalgic. Like the Bay Street Productions poster inspired by David Lance Goines, I can see that Stu was planning a possible poster for Ron. But did ron actually like cats? I don’t ever remember one in the gallery – mayhaps that’s why this project never made it to completion….

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