The first settlers to Toronto came in 1856 and at that time
there was only one tree. Toronto became an official city in
1882. My building was built in 1886 by G. W. Shannon
and was used as a hardware store. In 1887, the South side
of town burned, but not my building. The rock to rebuild was
quarried from the Southwest edge of town. After the
fire, the downtown buildings in Toronto had stone fire walls.
In 1917, the building became a grocery store which was opened by the Roland Rogers family. Tony Krkaska then owned the grocery store from 1975 to 1998. I purchased the building in 1998 and made a “New York City” loft apartment for myself upstairs. I came from Melbourne, Florida where there was just way to much traffic, people, and sirens!
My building contains so much history from the City of Toronto. The ceiling is
old rolled wood. The gold medallions that the fans hang from are the old street
lights. If you look closely, you may see some bullet holes where the medallions
were used for target practice. I beat the plaster off the natural rock walls and
then sealed it with Polyurethane for and interesting look.
The pew and the railing around the Tea Room came from the old Presbyterian Church which opened in 1883 and closed in 2001. The counter where the back register is was purchased at an auction and is the altar from the Presbyterian Church. Hence the name, Divine Pizza. Any new business can certainly use spiritual assistance!
The Dish Room walls are beautiful wood that came from an old meat locker. The old meat hooksare used to hold pots and pans. There’s an old ladder over the wood stove. There is a Cistern (8 x12’) under the pizza counter and is in perfect condition. There’s a signed name in the wall that says C. W. Powell, March 20, 1886.
It took years of work, but in 2004 Courtney's Places was open for Business. Originally, I planned to open five small businesses on the ground level. It was kind of like a mini-mall.
1.The Cone Zone (ice cream), 2. Toronto Trinkets (local crafts), 3. Tea for 2 (tea room), 4.The English Muffin (bakery), 5.Divine Pizza and Pasta House
Sometimes things turn out differently than originally imagined. I started them all and then just watched to see what might take off. People talked, I listened...and eventually it was clear that people wanted a nice-tablecloth, candlelight, fancy-dish restaurant, so I gave it to them. Therefore, number five is the sole survivor,"Divine Pizza and Pasta House". In 2010 we (my son, Christopher, and I), expanded our dining area into a neighboring building, where we can seat about 50. We also created a cozy courtyard in the back, where guests can sit around the fire to have drinks, desserts, or even their meals, if they so choose. Yes, number "5" is thriving and going strong. The restaurant routinely brings in customers from 90 miles away in Wichita and from two hours in Kansas City. Even some folks
from other States, make it a point to stop in at Courtney's on their way through. Periodically,
newspaper, magazine and TV reporters come knocking on my door. They all want to know what it is
that has brought me such great success.......to that I answer, "I feel that I am one of the most
blessed and fortunate people in the world. This has all been just such a God-given-gift."
Pasta House & Pizza
(Dine in or to-go)