Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Memory Lane

 A few pics of things in and around town, in the Greater Toronto Area...
It's Sam's! On the corner of Woodbine and Stouffville Sideroad in Gormley...the place where a very nervous Brian talked with my Dad about his future with me:-)

It's Kennedy Road! That one is for Kenna

You know the bridge in Anne of Green Gables? The "I'm fishing for lake trout" bridge when Gilbert Blythe comes to Anne Shirley's rescue? Well, this is THAT bridge. In the early 00's they replaced the handrails as the former ones were rotting, so it no longer looks exactly the same as it did in the movie. Anne of Green Gables was filmed in Markham, Stouffville, Uxbridge and surrounding areas...not in Prince Edward Island. My parents and several of my cousins had their wedding pics taken here (when the handrails were original), but it didn't work out for me to do it, regrettably. I tried, but it was too far from the location of the church I wanted to use.

Toronto has EXPANDED out into Markham and Stouffville like you wouldn't believe! I found it hard to drive by memory in places, as everything is so new and built up, I didn't recognize a single thing! But in some places, it looks just like it always did. This spot off Hey 48 still looks as it always has. I wouldn't give it much longer before the city overtakes it though.

Almost home! Until I got married, I lived in only one house...66 Dickson Hill Rd. 24 1/2 good years there

This is the house I grew up in. Here are more pics from a previous post. Oh the memories!

My parents moved out to Alberta in 2003, they kept the house for a few years as a rental and sold it in 2011.

The new owners keep it up well in the front yard, I thought

The backyard was a little jumble-y. I don't know why they put the trampoline and the above ground swimming pool all smooshed up against the play structure & ferris wheel.

The siding on the back side of the addition looks like it either needs to be powerwashed or painted. Hard to tell which, but it was looking a little worn. The trees are so big now that it was hard to get a good picture of the deck and stuff from the cemetery.

I love these little flowers. They are tiny, pretty and smell great. They grow in the cemetery and in our yard - I don't know what they are. I have not seen them in VA.
Our home in Dickson Hill was purchased by my parents in 1977, and had formerly been the parsonage to the church that was next door. So yes, we grew up next to a cemetery:-) We never thought about it twice. My Grandpa and Grandma Kennedy are buried there. I always thought we'd all end up there too, but I guess life sadly has a way of moving us on. It would seem now that none of us will end up there...anyway, as we were trekking over to find their grave, Kenna made a few "ew yuck" comments about trying to avoid stepping on the dead bodies:-) I guess those would be normal reactions to visiting a cemetery, especially for the first time, and it was their first time.
The grave of my Grandparents Harold & Mary Kennedy - Papie died when I was 3, and Grandma just recently in '07

Have you heard the story of how someone once stole all the ooooold headstones and used them to build a patio?! Well yes, that really happened - Years later when the patio was ripped up by new home owners (a house down by the creek on Dickson Hill Rd), the headstones were discovered but they were too broken to be put back up, and they were so old, that they weren't even sure where to place them all, exactly anyway, so they did this to display them.

When we were kids, there was no convincing us that this was not the actual graves of THE Acquila and Priscilla - you know, the ones in the Bible. We were quite positive God struck them dead and buried them right here. I guess we weren't really into reading dates back then;-)

They put up this memorial plaque in 2012, to commemorate the cemetery's 200th year.

The school on the corner of Hwy 48 and Dickson Hill Rd. It used to be my French Immersion Public School (l'ecole Dickson Hill), now it's a Montessori school

My very first paying job. Well, almost. When I was about 10 years old, I was paid to water the flowers on Danny Grove's grave all summer, and used my money to purchase a Care Bear (the purple one with the milkshake on it). But my first job requiring a SIN was at Scholastic, and I was 14 years old. My Dad worked here for 20+ years, before he moved on to Gage/Canada Publishing. I worked in the warehouse here, and basically made boxes, all day, everyday for the summer:-)

Spotting the CN Tower on our drive by tour of downtown Toronto

It's hard to take pics while driving! I was telling the kids that the CN Tower used to be the tallest building in the world, but recently another building in Dubai has taken over that title, so now it's the second tallest building in the world. Brooks, using that new found knowledge, upon catching a peek of it says "Oh that is the second tallest building in the world? Yeah, it does look pretty small" Haha! I had to explain that it was still veeerry tall:-)

There is the Royal York off in the background there (green copper top), we spent the first night of our honeymoon here. And it's the most beautiful place ever!

We tried to look up and see the top of it, from the bottom as we went past, and we could not see the top! So tall!!
Well, in the Kitchener area, Grandpa Shantz took us on a little tour showing us our family history and our Mennonite roots. (He is the first generation to not raise his family (my mom) as Mennonites - in fact, his parents were shunned, long story!)
My Great Great Great Grandfather came to Upper Canada in 1866, from Prussia (before Prussia combined with Germany), with his wife and children. He wanted to settle in Berlin (now Kitchener) because he had heard it was a German speaking area. His first job was working on this farm. That building looks like it may have been pretty original to that era.

The building from the other side.

Corn, drying out. It's still obviously a Mennonite farm, with no electricity to it at all.
It was Sunday, and by all the Sunday buggies we saw out, it seemed that everyone was home from church. We did catch a Sunday late-home-goer driving down the road, I was glad the kids got to see that. They are mystified as to why you would choose a horse and cart over a car or truck:-) They also observed how slow it would be to travel that way.

The Kissing Bridge, is one of only 2 covered Bridges (other one in Nova Scotia), and apparently there are only 4 in the world!


  1. Wow, found the photo of my next door neighbors farm on your Shantz related blog where your great great grandfather worked so many years ago...I own the farm right next to this farm and was born and raised next door to the farm in your pics and well remember all those times my dad and I helped fill the old woodroom (the interior of the stone exterior walls in your pics) Oh how I remember when the old barn burnt down there many many years ago...If you would be interested I may have some info about your Shantz heritage because even though I am a Martin my moms mom was a Shantz. Send me your Shantz line names and birth/death as far back as you know for sure and i will check my database...
    Best Regards;
    Delmer b. Martin
    RR#4 Elmira ONT

    1. WOW! What a small world, right?! I'm passing your name onto my Mom, for sure, because I think we always love having more family info!