CHESTERVILLE — The former A.T. David’s store here is not likely to become a dental clinic, although the pastor of the church group recently asked to vacate the associated older building next door did believe that to be the case for a while.
“That is what I believe, but I know nothing about it now,” said Pastor Bruce North, the recently retired minister for Harmony Church, which ran a youth drop-in centre at 29 Main Street North for nearly 15 years. “It was a dentist who was interested,” he said, referring to the main store building at 35 Main Street North, adding it would be “speculation” to say if that party was looking to establish an actual dental office.
Hardly a surprise to locals, the estate of the late Laura David is trying to dispose of her Chesterville commercial properties. David died last August at the age of 92 as the last remaining connection to her family’s longtime retail operation — A.T. David’s & Sons Community Shopping Centre — in the village. The word’s “shopping centre” are still emblazoned on the modest-sized, early 1970s brick structure.
North said he understood at the time that 29 Main Street North would be demolished, when the church was first given notice to vacate at the end of January. “Then we waited until the end of February,” he said.
“They were going to demolish, but then the deal didn’t happen.”
Nonetheless, the Drop-In Centre has ceased operations but will resume at the Gathering House “some time after Easter,” the minister said, also acknowledging recent events have him bowing out as pastor of the church, later this year, after a quarter century of service to the congregation based in the little white church at Harmony Corners in North Dundas. “The Loss of Laura and the drop in are part of the reason why I felt released to resign from Harmony Church after 25 years of ministry — effective the end of this year — with my associate Rev. Daniel Wallace being prepared to take the lead role.”
The vacant A.T. David’s site represents the final of a number of addresses where three generations of the David family had run clothing stores Chesterville over the decades, since the 1920s or 1930s. Laura David had advertised a merchandise clear-out “retirement” sale in 2008 but never fully stopped attending the store.
An official at the Township of North Dundas confirmed last week that a property-tax certificate has not yet been issued for the store site. The township would typically only supply that document if a purchase deal has been inked for a property.