Newly-fallen autumn leaves blow across the vacant yards as the call of cicadas echo from east to west. A gentleman climbs up on top of a barren platform, his young son in tow. They gaze across the concrete, once humming with activity but now quiet. Weeds poke through ignominious cracks in the surface. Keep Reading
John Ireland loves history and he came to realize that he was surrounded by it, where he lives on Mill Street in Lindsay.
The area was the original centre of town, predating Kent Street.
The neighbourhood was home to one of Lindsay’s first banks (The Bank of Upper Canada) and of course St. Mary’s Catholic Church and its rectory, to name just a few.
Earlier this year, a story appeared in the pages of the local press revealing that the City of Kawartha Lakes ranked eighty-fourth on a list of “2018 millennial hotspots” compiled by a real estate think tank based in Saskatchewan.
Many residents were bemused by this story, with the municipality’s acting Director of Economic Development quoted in Kawartha Lakes This Week as asking “what on Earth are we doing on this list?”
The Academy of Music. The Academy Theatre. The Academy Theatre for Performing Arts. The Grand Old Dame. The stately red-brick performance venue anchoring the southeast corner of Kent Street East and Lindsay Street has gone by a few names, both formal and informal, in the 125 years it has been gracing our community.
For most of us, though, it is simply “The Academy.”
A vintage advertisement about a benefit night for the Citizen’s Relief Association at the Academy Theatre, Dec. 15th 1931.
This benefit night made $205.93, and featured a variety of talent including Mary Crowley’s orchestra, Prof. Rupert Gliddon’s band, Al Perrin’s band, dancers, and comedians.
The Master of Ceremonies was Art Allin, and theatre manager “Hi” Meehan delighted the crowd with his imitation of the famous American “illustrated song” performer, Eddie Cantor.
Established in the autumn of 1931, the Citizens’ Relief Association was a joint venture between the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, and was designed “…to find work, homes, and food for those in want.”
Circumstances had become increasingly dire for many families since the onset of the Depression two years before.
To compound the problem, a steady stream of unemployed men were making their way through town by riding illegally on passing freight trains and lodging overnight in the police lockup.
Often, these “hobos,” or “transients,” would be offered a warm meal by private homeowners in exchange for some work: chopping firewood or cutting weeds, for instance.
Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns sat down with Ian McKechnie, local historian and assistant manager of the Olde Gaol Museum, to talk about the museum’s plans for an innovative exhibit on the history and heritage of poverty in Lindsay and in the larger Kawartha Lakes. McKechnie is also The Advocate’s local history columnist.
Benns: Tell me a little about the idea for the museum to host an exhibit that has to do with poverty. What is the general idea?
McKechnie: For years, people have understood museums to be places where one goes to see “old stuff” sitting silently in glass showcases. You come in, a guide shows you around, and you leave thinking to yourself, “I have an old stack of newspapers the museum might be interested in,” or, “I have an old upright piano that I’m sure the museum will want to have in its collection.”
Another calendar year has dawned and with it has come the inevitable litany of resolutions about doing things differently in 2018. Old habits, as the saying goes, die hard.
We are partial to “the way things were,” and are slow to fill old wineskins with new wine, lest the old wineskins break and leave a mess in our comfortable world of old habits and supposedly unassailable practices. History, said Henry Ford (1863-1947), is bunk.
This undated picture of the Scugog River offers one a glimpse into Lindsay’s prosperous past.
On the right, straddling the embankment between King Street and the Grand Trunk Railway’s river spur, is the large and active Allen & Hanburys Co. Ltd., a British-based manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, whose Canadian plant was built in Lindsay a century ago.
On July 12 of this year, a number of local citizens gathered in the Academy Theatre for a screening of I, Daniel Blake.
The fourth installment in this year’s TIFF Films on the Scugog series, organized under the auspices of the Kawartha Art Gallery in collaboration with the Academy Theatre, I, Daniel Blake paints a poignant picture of poverty in contemporary Britain.
Built in 1886 and opened in 1887 for a parish dating to 1835, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church has long been a fixture in the community.