A private memory of a 95-year-old about the Sunnyside of her youth


Lakeshore Blvd. and the boardwalk at Toronto’s Sunnyside during the 1920s 

A family member of mine, when she was ninety-five years old, told me about an evening she spent as a teenager at one of Sunnyside’s outdoor dance pavilions. Her father, a staunch Methodist, had warned her not to attend such a place, but she had ignored his advice. There, a handsome young man asked her to dance. Remembering her father’s words, she felt guilty.

“I want you to know that after we dance,” she told him, “I can’t have an alcoholic drink, can’t have a cigarette, and I can’t go home with you.”

The young man gazed at her thoughtfully, paused, and then replied, “Gee whiz, girl! Is there anything that you can do?” She felt disappointed, but virtuous, as the man walked away.

Back in the present, she then said to me, “Now that I am a ‘mature’ woman, if I met that good-looking young fellow, I’d give him a whirl for his money.” Then she chuckled, a wistful smile creeping across her face. “Actually,” she added, “I’d give him more than just a whirl.”

I gazed at her as she giggled and thought, I bet she would, too.


The children’s playground at Sunnyside during the 1920s.

I have spent much of my adult life researching the history of Canada and my native city of Toronto. I love the city and enjoy exploring it through my writing. One of the books, “The Villages Within”, was nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. If interested in novels with a Toronto setting, descriptions of the books are available by following the link: https://tayloronhistory.com/2012/03/22/toronto-author-publishes-seventh-novel/

They can be purchased in soft cover or electronic editions. All books are available at Chapters/Indigo and on Amazon.com. The electronic editions are less that $4 on Kobo and Kindle. Follow the links:

There Never Was a Better Time: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000056586/THERE-NEVER-WAS-A-BETTER-TIME.aspx

Arse Over Teakettle: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx

The Reluctant Virgin; http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx

The Villages Within: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000175211/The-Villages-Within.aspx

Author’s Home Page: https://tayloronhistory.com/

Authors can be contacted at: [email protected]

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