Today, 246 Dundas Street is a spare yet elegant building houses a bridal shop. However, many Londoners will remember this as the location of Say Cheese! ~ a favourite culinary destination in the 1980s and 1990s. Food blogs still rave about the cheese soup.
Despite its present modern appearance, 246 was actually built as part of the Smith Block in 1860. For the most part, businesses have had long tenures at this address, with the 1890 recorded entrepreneur listed as JB Murphy “grocer and pork packer”. It appears that Mr. Murphy’s son Francis took over in 1900 and carried on the business until 1914. Occasionally, the shop had two entrance doors, as it does today: this 246 ½ tenants included regalia suppliers and dressmakers.
By the 1920s, Royal Millinery had settled in ~ it can be seen in this 1925 photo, with the small MILLINERY sign visible just to the right of the streetcar.
During the war years, Langford Radio began its 20-year stay. Some Londoners might recall the 1960s clothing store Twixt ‘n Teen [later Tweens ‘n Teens] at this location. The business was in place until Hilary Alderson moved Say Cheese from its Talbot Street location in 1978.
After Say Cheese closed in 1997, the store was vacant for a while, and then had a succession of tenants, including London Heritage Market, A Couple Of Squares, Head 2 Head Games, and now Petrov Bridal.
Over its many decades, 246 has featured angled entrances, awnings, painted-over stucco, and re-positioned ground-level windows. Yet, its Georgian “bones” continue to shine.