The matter of the locked safe has now come to an end. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as exciting as some had hoped.
When the former Harrow antique shop was demolished, the safe was found behind the walls. TB Adams was named after former Prime Minister Paul Martin’s great-uncle.
While the large exterior of the safe was open when it was found, it contained a smaller locked compartment.
On Friday morning, a locksmith opened the compartment. And inside?
“It’s disappointing that there’s nothing in there,” said Jeffery Gagnon of Gagnon Demolition, who found the safe while demolishing the former antique store.
“But I see it as safe with all kinds of memories, history from a generation ago,” he said. “I don’t see this safe having any value.”
The 1,580 kg safe was built by the Toronto company J & J Taylor. The company was founded in 1855 and closed in 1925.
“Even though there’s no money, and even though there’s no documents that we can provide, it’s still a great history,” he said.
WATCH | Check out the safe and have vault technician Todd Sundell step inside the antique safe:
The safe bears the name of TB Adams, who, according to a document released by the City of Essex in 2017, had a general store in the now-demolished building before it was taken over by Harrow Antiques.
Now the property has been bought by Rena Rabheru and Sebastian Schmoranz, who plan to build a new building there, which will house Rabheru’s dental office and Schmoranz’s law office.
As for the safe, Schmoranz said members of the Martin family have shown some interest in the safe.
“Obviously, we’re happy to work with family members who may have a close, nostalgic connection,” he said. “If not, I think our goal is to have him come back and appear at my law office or [Rabheru’s] dentist’s office when they’re ready to go.”
“It’s obviously a beautiful piece of engineering and it has a lot of heritage and history and it’s connected to the building that it used to be in in Harrow,” Schmoranz said.
Rabheru said the construction of the new building is likely to take eight to 10 months.
“I would love to get there within the next year,” he said.
A final decision on the safe’s future will likely be made in the next few months, Gagnon said.
Sr. Lise Joli, who is a member of the Martin family, also expressed her disappointment that the safe was empty.
“I was hoping for something really valuable, like jewelry or something,” she said. “It would have been good for those who found him.”