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Gorging on pastries: Former Yellowknifer shares stories from demolished downtown building

Yellowknifers said goodbye this weekend to a historic downtown building, which was once home to a family-run bakery.

‘We baked the best bread anywhere,” says Lynn Carrier, who grew up above the former Yellowknife Bakery

Workers from Arctic Environmental Services Ltd. watch as a backhoe tears down the back wall of a historic building on 50th Street in Yellowknife on Sunday. (Kirsten Fenn/CBC)

As the demolition of a historic building on Yellowknife's 50th Street got underway this weekend, locals may have been thinking fondly of its most recent guest, the Fat Fox Café.

But the structure next to the Saigon Smoke Shop and Gold Range Hotel has been standing since the 1950s. On Facebook, people reminisced about how it used to be a perogy house, and a great place to run into friends.

One former resident, Lynn Carrier, used to live on the building's second floor in the late 1950s and 1960s while her family ran The Yellowknife Bakery below.

"We baked the best bread anywhere," she said. "I still have people saying they wish they could get my dad's bread."

Building has changed over time

Back in those days, Carrier's father — the baker — would start work at 3 a.m. Her mother would spend the day delivering the bread around town while Carrier and her brother were "free to roam," she said.

When her family first moved into the building, it looked much different.

"Shortly after we moved in, my dad extended the back of the building and put another warehouse there for the flour," said Carrier. "Then he totally renovated the second floor so we had a really nice house over there."

Carrier remembers her bedroom overlooking the back roof, where she and her brother would throw stale bread to the seagulls in the summer.

Workers began tearing down the building on Saturday. (Kirsten Fenn/CBC)

Gorging on pastries

Sometimes, late at night, she'd bring people downstairs to raid the kitchen freezers.

"They would gorge themselves on pastries, and then everybody was kind of sick the next day," Carrier laughed.

But her parents didn't mind.

"They got a kick out of it," she said.

Carrier, who now lives in Edmonton, said she likes to go back and visit places where she used to live, but she hasn't been back to Yellowknife since about 1995.

"I'm really sorry to hear that the old building's going to be demolished," she said.

As for the building's most recent guests, they said by email they are proud of what they achieved there.

"That chapter definitely feels closed and we're very excited about planning our next," said Emma Atkinson, who managed the Fat Fox Café.

With files from Lawrence Nayally

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