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Commanda: A Changing Community
Commanda Heritage Centre
Commanda , Ontario

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   The general store was the
hub and the heart of the
community for the 19th-
century settlers who braved
harsh conditions to forge new
lives for themselves in
Canada—and the Commanda
General Store was a classic
of its kind.
   In the late 1800s, the

village of Commanda sprang up
as a way station along the
Old Nipissing Road—one of the
last routes built to entice
immigrants to Ontario’s near
north. James Arthurs, who
would go on to establish the
162 Battalion and to become a
senator, opened the Commanda
General Store in 1885 to

serve this hardy group.
   The make-up of the town
and its residents would
change, but the shop itself
survived for 92 years, moving
location in the early 1930s
and closing at last in 1977.
Now a museum, the Commanda
General Store is the only
remaining commercial building

in what was once a thriving
village.
   A unique example of late
19th Century Victorian
commercial architecture, the
museum offers exhibits that
recreate the colourful world
of Commanda from 1885 to the
mid-1930s and showcases the
wares that would have been

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