During my high school years, I had the opportunity to accumulate my requisite volunteer hours at Victoria Manor, Lindsay’s oldest nursing home. It’s a bright and airy place, complete with a large atrium, a fine chapel, activity rooms and four wings — Elford, MacMillan, Vaga and Victoria — in which residents live and enjoy each other’s company.
It’s the middle of winter in Lindsay, circa 1912. A fresh blanket of snow covers the ground, glistening like freshly-ground glass whenever the sun avails itself of an opportunity to peek through the clouds. A few cutters drift by, the jingling bells on the horses bringing some much-needed merriment to the cold, bleak surroundings. A distinguished-looking gentleman mutters an audible oath as he takes a spill on some black ice — leaving his new coat covered in dirt and snow, and leaving a passing group of churchgoing women aghast at his equally filthy choice of language.
It’s a warm spring day in London, England. Sunday May 19, 2019, to be precise. My cousin, his girlfriend, and I have just left the famous Globe Theatre where we took in a performance of William Shakespeare’s Henry V.
After walking some distance, we come within sight of Southwark Cathedral, its 13 bells ringing out across the nearby River Thames. (As Charles Dickens, who watched Southwark’s bell-ringers over 150 years ago, reported, “the tenor’s voice becomes louder and louder, the ladder and walls shake more and more, until at last, as we are going to step onto the platform of the bells, we shrink back as from a blow, from the stunning clash of sound with which he greets us.”)
Back in the autumn of 2003, while in Grade 7 at Central Senior School, I decided to take on an extracurricular activity by signing up for the school band. Those of us who were interested attended a lunchtime meeting in the school’s music room, where instruments were assigned according to what aspiring band members wanted to play. When it came my turn to select a band instrument, I hesitated, not having completely made my mind up Keep Reading
In 1991, the remains of an Indigenous man which had been unearthed in a Peterborough parking lot some three decades earlier were re-interred in the Curve Lake Cemetery. The actual interment was preceded by a Feast of the Living, with a sweet grass and sage smudge performed by four pipe carriers, and food prepared to accompany the deceased to the land of spirits. The following day, more smudging, honour songs, and offerings of tobacco accompanied the reburial of these 2,000 year-old remains. For the First Peoples, this Indigenous man was now on his way to meet his ancestors, as per their burial customs.
Heritage buildings are more than just old bricks and mortar. The Empire State Building, Big Ben, and Casa Loma all bring tourists to their cities, and yet form more than just backdrops on selfies or fill check-boxes on bucket lists. Heritage buildings are community assets. They represent the physical portion of a city’s identity — what would Paris be without the Eiffel Tower? In this rapidly changing world, heritage buildings provide a sense of continuity by serving up memorable experiences for generation after generation.
It’s May 25, 1924, and the evening is drawing nigh. You are a senior student at S.S. No. 6 Ops Township, known to locals as “McArthur’s School,” and you have just had supper at Joseph Parrington’s place, down on what is now called Halter Road. You’ve been helping Mr. Parrington with chores since school began, and he has graciously invited you to eat with his family on this calm Sunday night.
A quarter of a century ago, in 1994, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, South Eldon celebrated its 150th anniversary as a congregation, only to close shortly thereafter. This massive Gothic-revival place of worship – vast in scale compared with other rural churches in the area – is now privately owned.
The sounds of congregational singing have long since died off, the smells and tastes of those delightful dinners so common to the rural church experience are no more, and the furnishings found homes elsewhere, having been sold off at auction. Located at the northwest corner of Prospect and Lorneville Roads, [the former] St. Andrew’s Church still rises from the surrounding landscape, its soaring facade partially hidden by the surrounding foliage.
It’s a property with a now well-documented past but an uncertain future. There are competing interests and City Council and its Planning Advisory Committee have some decisions to make.
You can see the property for yourself if you turn off King Street onto St. David, towards Logie Road. Number 3 St. David, one of the property’s two houses, will be on your right. It’s a large red-brick, gable-front Victorian with a wrap-around porch, set back from the road on a well-treed lot (there’s a towering walnut, some maples and others).
Take the first right onto the extension of Riverview and past a line of mature pine trees you’ll find 4 Riverview, the second, smaller house — a typical Ontario Gothic cottage.
September 17, 1997. A terrifying sight is bringing up the rear of Lindsay’s annual Fair Parade. An 80-year-old steam engine (more properly called a traction engine), complete with a water wagon and antique threshing machine in tow, inches its way up Kent Street.
Terrifying, you say? Yes, indeed. To a six or seven-year-old child, the column of grey smoke rising from the chimney of this fire-breathing monster built by George White & Sons Co. of London, Ontario, means only one thing: its whistle will soon be shrieking like a banshee as it passes by on route to the [old] Lindsay fairgrounds.