Duke’s Cycle Had Stood At Same Location For Almost 100 Years
It’s been owned and run by the same family, in the same location, for almost 100 years. That alone made Duke’s cycle unique. The fact that it was linked to so many fond memories, made it part of Toronto’s proud history.
On Wednesday, however, the business, owned by the Duke family since 1914, was devastated by a furious blaze that toppled several local stores along Queen near Bathurst.
Sales manager at Duke’s, Mark Newman, spoke to CityNews about the tragic fire and the store’s future.
“Obviously it’s too soon to tell what is going to happen … the building is completely gone. But we’re definitely going to rebuild and get something going. We’ll probably start something up in the neighborhood.”
The blaze couldn’t have hit at a worse time.
“We actually had our full inventory inside the store,” Newman reveals. “We just received almost everything. So probably about a million dollars worth of inventory is completely gone.”
“It’s tough to see a landmark like this gone. It’s probably the longest-standing bike store in North America that is continuously owned and operated by the same family and same location without moving. So it’s devastating.”
Despite the magnitude of the loss, Newman is grateful no one was hurt.
“Nobody was hurt. Nobody was injured. I mean as bad as it is, it’s only stuff. They’re bricks and wood. It’s metal. We can rebuild and replace that. I mean it’s really more of the sentimental attachment. We had a lot of historical stuff inside the building.”
“I feel really bad for Mr. Duke,” he concludes. “He’s in his 80s. He still works three days a week. Him and his wife still come to the store. That’s going to be a devastating blow to them.”
For another report and video footage of this story by The Star, click here