Sunday, October 4, 2009

Willibrord Park in Early 40s

Here is an old photo wich I found in our archives and wich is the Willibrord park as I knew it in the 40s. The new City Hall was not yet built and you can see 3 skating rinks, the snow from the front rink has not yet been rmoved. You can see the Willibrord school on the left and I think that is the Willibrord church to the right of the school in the background. There is only 1 car visible to the left on Willibrord street. You can also see the building where we would put on or remove our skates and of course warm up. Who knows, I may even be on the rink playing hockey in the photo !

This photo appeared on the front page of one of the first booklets "Les Argoulets" and wich was published in December 1995. Serge Durflinger, the author, was a member of the administration and one of the early members of our society (SHGV)

I have to go to Verdun this week and if I have time, I will drop by City Hall to get detailed information on the new park wich is planned including the artificial ice rink.

Guy

30 comments:

Les F said...

Great Photo Guy,...Many of us helped clear those rinks after a snowfall,........and warmed up in the shack,till Pops kicked us out ,if we were in too long.......I used to walk through the lane to Rielle,and then home i lived near the corner of Rielle & Verdun Av right beside the Guardian Newspaper,(I have posted pics years ago of that house................ Thanks Guy..........HF&RV

Les F said...

Ps: The shack looks to be about half the length I remember it being in the early 60's ....there was a grils side & the boys side.......and the Willibrord Park Playground was immediately behind that building btwn: that shack & the back of the new city hall building ,where the motor license branch was,and I think a community clinic...... the new city hal opened in '58 ,after a couple years of building it.. Good memory prompt ,Thanks Again...... HF&RV

Les F said...

I wonder if the shot was taken from the roof of the car dealership which was right there on Bannatyne..
Keating ? or Toledo ??? maybe someone will remember . Old DannyB usually can recall the area well..

Guy Billard said...



I think the name was Doyle Auto wich is now Centre Communautaire Marcel Groulx as shown on photo.

Guy

john allison said...

What a picture, and what memories. We also would walk from Bannanntyne School, aacross the rink, and thru the laneways to 3rd Avenue. Winston (8353 3rd) Allison....What a wonderful life!!!!!

john allison said...

that is 835 3rdavenue

william Cooper said...

Been there done that. I recall the skate home on the street in freezing weather. I was totally pooped out after a full day on the ice and my ankles would give out. My mother would have to remove my skates for me on really cold days. Then it was hot Cambells Soup time and I was back on the ice asap. Oh ya.
Bill

Diane Roberts said...

What a great photo Guy...brings back just great memories. I used to walk home from Bannantyne School to Third Ave and first thing I did was put on my skates and head back to Willibrord Park, skating through the laneways near Bannantyne. When it was time to go home for supper it was dark and scary going through the lanes again, but it sure improved my skating speed. Perhaps when the new rink is all up and running, a few of us can plan a Reunion in Verdun, put on a pair of skates and probably make total fools of ourselves....I sure plan to, so maybe Pauline will join me....Diane

john allison said...

WOW....Wouldn't that be exciting to have a reunion of Verdun Connection members on the Willibrord rinks????

pauline garneau said...

YEH my skates are at the door. See you soon!

Diane Roberts said...

Sure Would Winston! Maybe we can all start getting fit and practicing our skating again. Bet the guys who stayed in Verdun could skate rings around all of us. I'll most likely be there in Sept 2011, so I'd better head to the rink real soon!....Diane

Sandra penner said...

what a photo,wasn't their 2 hockey rinks and one small rink for the rest of us back then? I see none of you elders are giving any thought to broken bones as you twirl around the rink in your late 60's?!?
I recall standing with my Mom and watching my brother play hockey & we stood on the snowbanks which were the same height as the side-boards....and froze!! I'll look around for a pair of those cheese-cutters,ya' know the kind I mean,blades with straps over your boots?? Or are ya' too young to remember?? (smile)
cookie

Les F said...

john allison said...

Nothing to worry about with broken bones. If we do break a leg or something, they can just haul us to the side of the rink, and shot us.....

Les F said...

Or we can save them a step ,by consuming a bunch of beer or wine or whatever & that way we will already be halfshot............................................HF&RV

john allison said...

Amen to that!!!!

Sandra penner said...

Hey Les, Is that a picture of your very own cheese-cutters that you saved??

cookie

pauline garneau said...




Cookie with these skates you’ll skate like a pro and they keep your feet warm too. The only thing you’ll have to watch out for is all the drunks sprawled out all over the ice. Pony

Les F said...

Still have to use them,after a few wobbly pops.........hahahaahahah

HF&RV

Sandra penner said...

pONY....I see you still have your fancy skates! A regular "Barbara Ann Scott".....?.....anyone recall Barbara Ann Scott, ?? oh yes you do...now stop pretending you never heard of her...

(smile)

cookie

pauline garneau said...

Barbara Ann Scott: Canada's Sweetheart - CBC Archives

pauline garneau said...

http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/clips/4216/

Cookie Yeh I still have my not so fancy skates. Was on them last year and I didn’t break anything. It’s like riding a bicycle you don’t really lose it. That rink sounds like a kids dream. Could you imagine having that when we were kids?
Way back then Barbara Ann Scott was amazing to us kids.

It’s a long video but it will refresh our memory of her.

Sandra penner said...

Winnie, Do you recall farther down on 3rd avenue or 2nd avenue .a lower flat,that was a chinese laundry?My Nana would give me a ticket to pickup uncles laundered shirts their? I cannot recall what happened yesterday, but this 1948 memory popped up?!?
cookie

john allison said...

Cookie. I do remember the Chinese laundry. It was on the even side of 2nd Avenue. near Verdun Avenue, by the laneway.....

Les F said...

Another Chinese Laundry was right at the lane on Gordon just above Wellington, an old wooden structure,immediately behind the restaurant that used to be on the corner of Gordon & Wellington,
I don't know what ever happened to that place.and right across the street on Gordon is where they built the Pastor Johnson 's church (new church) ...we played as kids in the construction site, I think I stepped on a nail there,which is probably why you don't wear $2.oo dollar running shoes on construction sites...........hahahahah Remember those running shoes with the round medallion logo on the ankle.? HF&RV

Guy Billard said...

Les,
Yes, I remember that chinese laundry having gone there a few times. Talking about running shoes, I was about 8, 9 or 10 years old walking on the boardwalk, I was dragging my feet and a large splinter entered the front of my right running shoe, (there must have been a hole in it) and entered my foot and blood started coming out. A passer by noticed this, picked me up and took me to the fire station on Lasalle where one of the firemen removed the splinter and put bandage on it. One of those small incidents that stays with you all you life. Thanks Les for jogging my memory.
Guy

David Flood said...

There was a Chinese laundry on 4th Ave near Verdun Ave. It was on the lane that ran between 4th and 5th. Nice couple ran it. Did a helluva job on starched shirts. My Dad told me stories of kinda running a protection racket for one CH laundry near Evelyn in the early twenties. For candy and nuts he kept the other kids from harassing the poor Chinese gentlemen who ran it. I am not sure if he did it for the candy etc.or just his sense of fair play.

Robin Turner said...

There was also a Chinese laundry on First Ave. just below Wellington - Charlie Fong and Lew How Hay ran it.

robert jomphe said...

I remember a chinese laundry also next to Dawson and before mayor Wilson's house. We used to go in front and make chop chop signs and run. Hey it was the time and we were kids.

Diane Roberts said...

Yeah Jumper, we used to do the same thing in front of the Chinese laundry on 2nd near Verdun Ave. Feel awful about it now, but as you say, those were the times......Diane