Our History

Wagg Funeral Home "McDermott-Panabaker Chapel" has a long history in the community of Port Perry, Ontario, that dates back to 1846. Like our predecessors in the funeral home, we are committed to the families we serve during their time of need. We are equally committed to supporting community groups and charities, and believe that a connected community is what helps us thrive. By supporting the community we add value to our collective futures.

Our humble beginnings go back to 1846, when John W. Davis purchased the property at the southwest corner of Queen and Perry Streets, and built a furniture store. Mr. Davis also served as one of the town's undertakers when he opened his store.


William Henry Letcher purchased the business from the Davis family in 1901, and eventually passed it on to his son, Merle. After the death of his father, Merle Letcher sold the business in 1934 to Archie McDermott.


Twelve years later in 1946, Art Panabaker came to Port Perry to work for Archie and in 1951 they added a chapel and a casket room to the building. Art and Archie became business partners in 1955. Then in 1960, Archie's son, Grant McDermott, bought his father's share of the business.


In 1981, Harold Wagg, who grew up just outside Uxbridge, Ontario, purchased the business from Grant and Art. When Harold decided to retire in 1990, he sold the funeral home to Myles O'Riordan on August 1, 1990. Myles is the current owner of the Wagg Funeral Home. He was raised in Aurora, Ontario, and had worked in Richmond Hill and Toronto. Since purchasing the funeral home he has made his home in Port Perry, Ontario. In November 2015, Myles purchased the Thorne Funeral Homes in Cannington and Sunderland from John Thorne.

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Port Perry Ware Rooms

August 6, 1866

Advertisement that was first placed in the Port Perry Standard in August 1866 celebrating 19 years in business in Port Perry.



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1884 J.W. Davis Furniture Rooms

Newspaper drawing of J.W. Davis Furniture Rooms rebuilt in 1884 after the fire. Artist stood across Queen Street looking south on Perry Street.

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Letcher Funeral Home

1900's Queen & Perry Street looking west

Letcher Funeral Home on the left looking west on Queen Street towards Simcoe Street.


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William Letcher

William Henry Letcher

Purchased business from the Davis Family in July 1901.

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1900's Letcher Funeral Home

Queen & Perry Street looking west.

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William Merlin "Merle" Letcher

Son of William Henry Letcher.

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Letcher Funeral Home

1900's WH Letcher Funeral Home

Letcher Funeral Home on the left looking west on Queen Street towards Simcoe Street.

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Archie Louis McDermott

Archie Louis McDermott

Purchased business from Merle Letcher in April 1934.

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1930's Glass Side Horse Drawn Carriage

1930's Glass Sided Hearse

Archie L. McDermott on the right and his employee Arnold Glenney sitting on Archie's last glass sided viewing hearse in the 1930's. The hearse was pulled by a team of horses stabled in a barn where the current funeral home parking lot is now.


The hearse is parked where the current Perry Street entrance into the funeral home is today. This area was enclosed in the 1960's. Across Perry Street to the east is the back of the current Royal Bank building.

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Arthur Panabaker

Art Panabaker came to Port Perry in 1946 to work for Archie McDermott. In 1955 he purchased half of the business from Archie and the business became known as McDermott-Panabaker.

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Grant McDermott

Returned to Port Perry in 1957 and in 1960 he purchased his father's (Archie McDermott) shares in the business.

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1961 Panabaker Funeral Home

1961

One of Art and Margaret Panabaker's daughters standing in front of the Queen Street entrance into the furniture store. Perry Street is seen through the windows.

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Wagg Funeral Home circa 1980

1980 McDermott-Panabaker Funeral Home & Furniture Store

At this time McDermott-Panabaker still sold furniture from the Queen Street entrance. The funeral home entrance was on Perry Street.

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Harold J. Wagg

Purchased the Funeral Home from Grant McDermott and Art Panabaker in May, 1981.

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Wagg Funeral Home circa 1985

1985 Harold J. Wagg Funeral Home & Photo Gallery

Harold Wagg operated a picture gallery at the Queen Street entrance where McDermott-Panabaker used to sell furniture. The funeral home entrance was off Perry Street.

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Wagg Funeral Home

1988 Harold J. Wagg Funeral Home

Furniture store and picture gallery are gone and now the building is strictly a funeral home serving area families.

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1989 Harold J. Wagg Funeral Home

View looking north on Perry Street in the summer of 1989.

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Myles G. O'Riordan

Myles O'Riordan purchased the Funeral Home from Harold J. Wagg in 1990. In 1997 he undertook a major expansion project and built a new Chapel and completely renovated the interior of the Funeral Home.

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Wagg Funeral Home


2005 Wagg Funeral Home

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Wagg Funeral Home, Port Perry Ontario, Funerals and Cremation


2005 Wagg Funeral Home from Perry Street

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