I just had to jump on the band wagon about the building on the corner of
Empire and Churchill.
I was born in 1939 and move to Greenfield Park at the age of one from
As a young child I enjoyed visiting old folks, I loved to hear their
stories. (Wish I could remember them all.)
Two of the folks I visited at about the age of 6 was the two spinsters
sisters (I think were sisters) who lived upstairs in the building on the
corner of Empire and Churchill that you have been talking about. It was
across from the little candy store and home of in my young eyes a real
old lady who was a gentle soul. I just loved going in there to buy penny
candy from her big glass jars.
Later Brenda Barfoot and I at the age of I think 12 baby sat for her
sister who rented the upstairs flat; then Bill Barfoot bought the
building, did a wonderful job renovating the down stairs and moved
into....my dearly loved old candy store.
The two sweet old fashion ladies I visited are still a mystery to me. I
have tried to find out for many years just who were they and what were
their names??? I remember climbing up the stairs from the door on Empire
street and them looking down at me making sure I did not fall. One of
the ladies gave me one of her old dolls, I no longer have the doll but I
still have the little dress that I guess would now be a 100 years old.
Please help solve my mystery.....just who were those ladies.... what
were their names and ages???
I also remember a few of the families who lived down stairs. One family
I remember had small children, the mother said she worried about them
going onto Churchill. I think they put up a little fence to keep them in
the back yard.
I don't remember anyone living there being sleazy just I think some of
the families may have been poor. Maybe the sleazy people came later.
I also do remember when Mrs Brown proudly open the library and how hard
she work keeping it going until they open the wonderful new up to date
library across the road on the corner.
I sure remember the Best's home as to me in my young eyes was a scary
old house with lots of old plants in the front porch and was told not to
visit or brother them. The scary man (in my eyes) would sit out in his
porch and smoke cigars; as you walked pass the house you could smell it
and he would just look at you.
One day I did venture into the house to visit his mother who was very
shy, she showed me all her plants and told me how much she loved them,
out in the back yard it look like a jungle one could get lost in and
never be found or you could just drown in the ditch and float away into
the St. Laurence. When I went to leave her son just smiled at me and
muttered something. From then on I would say hello to them when I walk
by as I now knew the were just plane folks just a little shy.
Years later I remember passing the Best's home to see them digging and
smashing the house into the ground, toilet and all. I remember telling
my dad, "One day someone will be digging there and up will come the
I also remember watching the later owned by the Garrett family house
being built. I was friends with the little girl whose dad I think was
building the house..... she was a only child. They did live there for a
while then sold it to the Garrett family.
Eddie Shrimpton may remember the family also the two old spinsters
ladies as he is a little older than me.
Also like so many others I remember standing and trying to keep warm
against that brick building.... then running across the road to catch
the street car. I would only stand in the old shelter when it would
A few of us would hung out in that shelter when the skating shack was
full. We also would walk on the benches that were built around the room
with our skates on and sing or yell songs to try and keep warm. Also try
and carve our names in the wood walls. Who built that shelter and when
was it demolished? I don't have my book with me.
I have wonderful memories of growing up in Greenfield Park, but also sad
and hurtful feelings about going to school in that era. I still keep in
touch with most of my old childhood friends and feel so blessed to still
have them. Now if I do have to go back to the Park I don't really feel
at home, also find it sad to read or see what is now going on in the
Beverley Alexander / Vye