My name is Paul Melling. We moved from Eastern Avenue, to 222 River Street around 1948. Our house was just north of Gerrard St. We were just on the east edge of Cabbagetown but we considered ourselves Cabbagetowners "and we are still proud of it today". We lived just across the street from Riverdale Park which was our recreational domain. Baseball and sports in the summer, and hill sliding and skating in the winter.
The Wading Pool near the Zoo was also a summer favourite. My sisters Connie, Lynda, and myself attended Lord Dufferin Public School from Grades 1 to 8. We walked from River Street to Parliament Street to school along Gerrard St. I remember most of my teachers but most admired was Mr. Thompson our Phys Ed. teacher. Art Egggleton and I used to walk along Gerrard St. together. He lived on Gifford or Naismith St. He was an MP for many years.
I remember sometimes walking to school along Oak Street from River St. to Parliament St. The road was dirt and the sidewalks were wooden boards. Then the houses were demolished and Regent Park was being built. I remember riding on the elevators of the new 6 story buildings. Up and down until I had to run to school. Wimpey was the company that built Regent Park. My best school friend was Ken Weagle. We always called him "Wiggle" of course. He lived on Sherbourne St. just north of Dundas St. I would love to meet him again!
My best River Street friends were Jackie and Billy McLeod. They live at 226 River Street. Donny McLeod was their cousin and also my friend. He lived in the Spruce Court Apartments at Sumach and Spruce St. We all went to the K Club at Sumach and Spruce Street. Boys only I mean. "No girls allowed!"
I remember Burkes Variety Store on Spruce Street just around the corner from our house. Tommy Burke was the owner. We used to go to the Crown Theatre at Broadview and Gerrard on Friday Nights and to the Parliament or Carlton shows on Saturday afternoon. The Parliament cost 10 cents and the Carlton was 15 cents.
Then one day my Mother told us that we were moving. River Street was being widened for the Bayview Avenue extension and our house was to be purchased and demolished by the City.
I still attend the Tom Crewe Cabbage Town Toy Dance in November when I can, and have attended some of the special Lord Dufferin School functions. My sister Connie Melling [Fenton] is still a volunteer at Lord Dufferin School and has helped out in many school events over the years.
I hope that you have enjoyed this, as these are wonderful and special memories of my life that I am pleased to share with you.
Paul Melling Belleville, Ontario