Submitted by Beverly Hill
As a child growing up in the North End, I remember the 60’s well. I was born in 1948 and lived on Simcoe Street with my parents and grandparents. I think back and recall that we felt safe. Safe to explore our neighbourhoods, play in the parks and go on adventures. Parents sat on their front verandahs while we played and doors were left unlocked in the front and the back.
At night, we would walk to Hammys Variety Store or the Eat More Restaurant. We never heard of anyone being attacked when they walked home in the dark. People talked to their neighbours without worrying about being hassled.
Some of my friends, Charmaine and Donald Pierce and Jean Bromely would go to the back of McIlwraith School on Murray Street and play for hours. No one bothered us. We would go on hikes to Dundurn Park, along the hills and we were safe. We all went to church with our parents at MacNab Church. If my dad saw someone in need he would help them and they would say “thank you”.
My friend Helen Marriage worked night shift in a nursing home. She would walk home down Keith Street to the Mary Street bridge in the dark and alone. On weekends, we travelled by boat to Burlington Beach, LaSalle Park, and Port Dalhousie. People shared their picnic lunches with everyone. Sometimes when people went for Chinese Food after a night at the Genesee Tavern, they might forget to pay but Tommy Wong, the owner, always knew they’d be back.
I and others will always hold the North End in our hearts because of the friends we made and the adventures we had. If you are new to the North End, visit some of our anchor businesses like Our Corner, Fishers Pier 4, Brusey’s awnings or Grandads Donuts to learn more. We’re always happy to share our memories.