Memories of MacGregor / Albert Neighbourhood
In 1944, when I was three years old, my dad bought 65 Albert Street from Dr. Zwick, M.D. It was a pleasant looking home, with white stucco over double brick with dark green shutters, which had been built in the late 1800s. My dad fixed it up by covering over the old cistern in the back yard and re-plastering the walls in most of the rooms.
I had the bedroom beside the kitchen which connected with my parents’ room via a three-piece bathroom. This was considered fairly modern for the times.
I was allowed to play outside with the rest of the kids in the neighbourhood which at that time was bounded by Laurel (now Bridgeport Road) Albert and Young Streets. These neighbourhood kids included the Beynons, Millers, Voelkers, Enns, Beans, Langs and Piries, to name but a few of them.
I liked summers best of all because there were strawberry socials to attend and Sunday band concerts in Waterloo Park to go to. And best of all, the Tattoo took place, where many bands from Canada and the US competed for top marks. Preston Scout House Band usually won top marks in the band category. The older girls always wanted to date guys in that band. On summer Saturdays, I would lie in bed and listen for the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves as they brought the Mennonites to the market building beside the fire hall to sell their produce. I competed in the fall fair which was held there and was surprised when my mum plants won first prize!
Because of the polio scare, the Lion’s Club raised the money to build a swimming pool in the Park so that the kids didn’t have to wade in the muck. (At the time, Silver Lake was used for swimming.) We gathered in awe to watch Ernie Meissner (Olympic Diver) practice his diving routines in the diving pool. But the best thing of all was that we no longer needed to carry salt shakers to get the blood-suckers off our legs. But….I did miss catching those frogs! All good things must come to an end sometime and so the end came for us when we graduated from MacGregor School in 1954. Off we went to KCI where we lost contact with our classmates from public school. Our world was expanding beyond the old neighbourhood.
A reminiscence of the neighbourhood prepared by former resident Jane Epp (nee Snider), 65 Albert Street.