When thinking of historical houses, we usually imagine well-preserved old mansions where important people lived. But throughout our inner-city neighbourhoods are homes with histories that haven’t been uncovered yet.
Growing up as a post-war baby boomer, I’ve often thought the Second World War cast a shadow over my childhood and youth. My father lived through occupied France between the ages of eight and 13. My close friend’s father was a veteran who had marched north up the Italian peninsula with the Canadian Army. My grandmother would speak sadly of her older brother, who was lost when his plane went down while serving in the air force. War left a strong impression on these people which took a long time to process, not only touching them but also those close to them.
In the photo where the men walk down Alberta Avenue supporting the war effort, the two ladies rolling up the awning in front of Smith Bakery are Selina Smith, Francis Smith’s wife, and Ruth Smith, his daughter. His daughter Ethel Smith and niece Edna Ore were also working in the bake shop.
Information provided by Francis Smith’s granddaughters Barbara and Frances.