It was with sadness that Guelphites heard the news earlier this month that Budds would be closing its three locations in Kitchener, Guelph and Simcoe in the new year. On January 10, 1965 though, Budds came close to closing forever in Guelph 50 years in advanced when a fire broke out that Sunday afternoon and completely decimated the store at 111 Wyndham St. N. An 8mm film taken that day was recently donated to my friends at Ed Video, and it was digitzed and posted to YouTube for your historical pleasure.
According to this Guelph Mercury article written earlier this year, the original Budds store fire in ’65 was the worst fire in downtown Guelph in the two decades before hand. There were no casualties, but the fire destroyed the facade of the old building built in 1874, and the 16 apartments above Budds as well as the store itself. Damage was pegged at $200,000 in 1965 money. By comparison, the fire at the Raymond restaurant earlier this year cost $1.5 million.