There’s no denying that Parkdale is a storied community. From its early roots as a resort destination for Toronto’s wealthiest citizens, to its struggles coping with the Gardiner Expressway and other challenges, to its recent resurgence as a mecca for artists, foodies and worldly newcomers… our story is unique, poignant and colourful.
On April 20th and 21st at Spring Into Parkdale, professional theatre and media company FiXT POiNT offered tulips in exchange for stories from residents and business owners about their firsthand experiences in our eclectic neighbourhood. What resulted was hours upon hours of honest, moving and inspiring tales of a town that were edited into a podcast for The Walrus.
This exciting finished work premiered at Parkdale’s Lab Cab Festival on July 27th and 28th with great success. “A Walk Down Main Street – Parkdale Edition” includes true tales of “the hilarious, the touching and the flat-out weird.”
To listen to the podcast in its entirety including memories from Belle Optical, Jola’s Good Catch General Store, Cattlemen’s Meat Market & Ali Roti, click here >
Here’s a few snippets:
“We used to go in all the deserted houses… they were a perfect place to play.”
“Cattlemen’s Meat Market… hotdogs were three pounds for a buck.”
“I have an optical store called Belle Optical and I’ve been here almost 35 years… there were a lot of Filipino nurses… so I thought why not open a Filipino optical?”
“It’s clear he sees a bright future for the neighbourhood he proudly calls home.”
“Parkdale Community Centre was doing a health awareness thing and they had me become Murphy the Molar… and all the kids came up and started kicking me!”
“Many stories loaded with tales of chaos on these streets… it was rough, rough, rough.”
“Stories of the barriers she encountered in Parkdale, but also the help.”
“I lived across the street and there was a sign that said ‘for rent’ and I had already started a food distribution business, Good Food… where I wanted to introduce better food to people.”
“The nose was more rodenty than a pig and it had a couple hairs poking out… we were kind of in awe of this thing. It was very mysterious. And then a few months later I was reading in the paper about Baldy the hairless raccoon that had been spotted in Parkdale!”
“That’s my story…”
Created by Dave Brennan and Charles Ketchabaw in collaboration with Lisa Marie DiLiberto and Zevon Albert, this incredible piece of performance art was supported by Parkdale Village BIA, Ontario Arts Council and Mammalian Diving Reflex.
The Parkdale edition is just part of FiXT POiNT’s larger picture: capturing “The Tale of a Town,” panoramic memories of Main Streets across the province of Ontario before they are lost forever.
To listen to the podcast in its entirety click here >