A Stroll Down Memory Lane

As we drove down Kaladar Avenue toward Heron Road, I thought back to when we first moved into the neighbourhood with our young family in 1959. Heron Road was just two lanes and ended at Riverside Drive. It would later be expanded to four lanes and a bridge built to connect it with Baseline Road.

This brought to mind the many changes in the community since we moved here so long ago. At the corner of Heron Road and Kaladar Avenue was a large old white frame house with a wrap around verandah. The house was renovated from top to bottom and became a doctor’s office and is now home to Trigon Insurance Brokers.

Directly across Heron Road is O’Brien’s Pub, formerly Mason’s Confectionary, Ghady’s Food Store and Restaurant and then Galileo’s Restaurant.

Turning right off Kaladar to Heron Road and Bank Street was a much smaller Canadian Tire Store, later expanded to its present size.

On the left side of Heron at Bank is the Appletree Medical Center, formerly a Dominion Grocery Store. Going north on Bank in the Local Heroes strip was another grocery store, The A&P, as well as a Royal Burger. Dairyland was across Bank Street. Long before Blue Heron Mall was constructed, Beaver Lumber occupied the space that is now Farm Boy. For many years, a restaurant was on this site. Where the Blockbuster Video Store is now there used to be The Red Barn which was a very popular burger place. The Compuphile Systems Inc. shop at Bank and Evans Avenue was, for many years, the Sky Ranch Restaurant.

Back to Heron Road and Bank Street, a B.P. Service Station was on the site of Tim Hortons, Fendi’s Hair Salon and Extreme Pita.

The Roger’s Independent Grocer at Bank and Alta Vista was formerly Loblaws until they relocated to the South Keys Shopping Centre. At the other end of the mall, now Cora’s, McDonald’s was a landmark for many years.

One constant and never changing treasure, Heron Home Hardware at Bank and Heron has been serving the community for longer than I can remember.

I remember the wild raspberries growing along Saw Mill Creek. The ball hockey games on the road (frowned upon and too dangerous to be enjoyed now). Football games in the empty fields on Kaladar and Little League Baseball games at Kaladar Park.

There were two schools on Brookfield Road and one on Kaladar. Only Lamoureux on Kaladar remains. The other two, St. Victor’s and Heron Park (later to become Gabrielle Roy) were closed because of low enrolment. The children in the neighbourhood were growing up.

We seem to be coming full circle. As homes in the area are being offered for sale, more and more families with young children are moving into the neighbourhood. I am sure they will enjoy living here as much as we have these many years.

Bev Levasseur

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Posted on March 25, 2009, in History. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I am from the US, but spent a few years growing up in Heron Park. I have very fond memories of the place and people…. skating at the community rink, playing in the creek, and my all time favorite teacher, Mrs. Scott at Heron Park School. I recently brought my elderly mother back for a visit and thought it even more beautiful than I remember with mature trees, the park with a fancy community building. Thanks for sharing your stories and the history of the area.

    Gail Duncan

  2. Annette (Berthiaume) Facette

    I too grew up in Heron Park. Actually, it was my father’s parents (Berhiaume) that owned the big white clapboard farmhouse with the wrap around porch on the corner of Kaladar and Heron Rd. as well as all the land that eventually became known as Heron Park. It was initially their farmland. My uncles had a building company and had built an office right across the street from the big farmhouse. This site eventually became Mason’s Confectionay where I worked as a young girl waitressing in the mid 60’s.

    When my father and mother returned from serving in the war, my father joined his brothers in the family building business and helped to build many of the brick bungalows in Heron Park. He built a 3 bedroom bungalow on Clementine Blvd. (formerly Hill Street) for his growing family. Clementine was my grandmother. Many of the streets in the neighbourhood were named after my relatives. Several uncles and aunts lived in the area as well so I grew up with lots of cousins just a stone’s throw away. My family lived on Clementine until my mother’s death in 2003. My father passed away in 1983. The house was sold in 2007 with much sadness.

    I have many photos of the area when our family first lived on Clementine. You could see right up to Bank Street back then with only the odd house scattered in the neighbourhood. The streets, of course, were not paved at that time. We had a huge garden on the lot next to our house until they built duplexes on either side of us much to my mother’s dismay. Her view out the kitchen window was the wall of the house next door. The face of the neighbourhood began to change as more houses and a school were built.

    I recently drove through the neighbourhood and was saddened to see that all the mature ash trees had been cut down to stumps because of the recent infestation of the ash borer. I remember when the trees were first planted by the city and watched them grow to maturity for over 50 years. They made a lovely canopy over the street. I especially remember the tree on our front lawn which weathered the great ice storm of 1998. We lost a few branches but the tree was trimmed by the city and it thrived. Surely they could have figured out a better way to manage the ash borer problem. This has changed the look and the cozy feeling of the neighbourhood. What a pity.

  3. Thank you so much for your post. I lived in the area in the 1960’s with very fond memories. Went to Heron Park elementary and have written a story about growing up there. Was trying to remember the name of the catholic school and you supplied it! Awesome!

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