A Successful Business Venture

Street Address : 346 Princess Street
Period : After 1950

The Kingston Music Company, located where Chumleighs and the Hemporium are today (as of 2015), opened in approximately 1946. Advertised in the Kingston City Directory for its “records, radios, phonographs and gifts”, it was owned and operated by Peter Walter Lee. The store changed names in 1956 and became “Ross C.G.” retailers of “records & china.” However, it was still listed with the names of Peter and Walter Lee. Finally, in 1964 the store was advertised in the Kingston City Directory as “Ross Cecil G. Records and China.”

This is a significant location because the store was an expansion from the typical “ethnic businesses” such as restaurants and laundries that employed most Chinese at this time. This was also the only music store listed in the Kingston City Directory in 1946. It is possible that, because there were no other music stores, Peter Walter Lee decided to open one up because he would not be in competition with any other Kingston businesses. The Lee family name is still present here in Kingston, if you notice on the right hand side of Chumleighs, there is an entranceway, overtop of which is a sign that says “LEE BLDG. 1949.”

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