end of an era


Toronto. Kominek Camera and Optical Instrument Sales and Service was just south of Wellesley on Yonge. It was opened in the 1950s and in 1960 I spent Saturdays driving to Toronto in search of books, camera gear and war surplus junk. I remember the Kominek sign on a door on the east side of Yonge.

Decades later, when I spent a summer working for Bell in St Catharines, I came across some old traffic register cameras. Each had a neat label stating it had been serviced and calibrated by Kominek of Toronto. When Kominek retired, he sold his business to two PHSC members – Russ Forfar and the late Hugh Cooley.

Russ carried on after Hugh died, but over time the mechanical gear Kominek specialized in repairing disappeared as newer digital technology took over leaving less and less components capable of skilled repair and adjustment. For the past few years the business has moved around, first to College Street and then to Russ’s home. And now it is closed.

Russ writes, “Hi Robert. It’s official.

” ‘Thank You‘ almost sounds trite compared to the 68 years of trust and support we received from our many loyal customers who followed us through our 3 moves.

“It is now time to wind down Kominek Camera and Optical Repair. Technicians have retired, died and now leave too many empty benches.

“Then there was the cynical direction that the industry took. My email and phone number will remain the same and I do try to answer them. I’m living on Hummingbird Hill now but, I’ll try to keep doing the 6 used camera shows which are great social events. I hope to see you there, Russ.”

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