I’ve recently received a message from a Wilfred Laurier student who is doing research about the history of the Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park in Mississauga.
Please contact me, in the event you have information that would be helpful, with regard to the above-noted research project.
I recently sent out an email to a list of people who might be able to help out with the research project. In the email I sent out, I got some of the facts wrong, in talking about another trailer park, and Garry Burke has kindly corrected me. I much appreciate his correction.
I’m also pleased to say that I met on Aug. 5, 2018 with Garry Burke, Patrick Long, and Ted Long to get first-hand information about the time that Garry Burke and Ted Long had spent at the Long Branch Army Camp and other locations as children during the postwar years.
We first met for lunch and then had a walk in the vicinity of the Small Arms Inspection Building near where some of housing had been located. What a great experience that was, for all of us! I picked up so much interesting new information – and fresh insights – related to the topic of postwar emergency housing in the Toronto area.
It will take me quite some time to transcribe audio recordings from our conversations and edit the video recordings that we made, as it is a busy summer on many levels for me. However, I’m pleased to get started with this project, by sharing some information (please see below) that Garry Burke has shared by email.
Garry Burke has shared a correction regarding the trailer park that used to be located by Etobicoke Creek north of Lake Shore Blvd. West; his text follows below:
The trailer park was located to the west of the Etobicoke Creek, not the east. And although the park area was indeed flooded, no trailers were washed away. I remember a TV news video of the trailer park on the Sunday after the storm, showing most of the trailers with water up to the doors, and the broadcaster’s resonating voice that the residents will have to, “start again.” Two people can be seen moving around some trailers in a canoe. I’m sure that video is still in an archives, whatever the Toronto’s TV station was in those days.
To say that trailers were, “washed away,” simply is not true. They were all there after the waters receded. Some of the smaller ones may have been shifted off their foundations, but they were still there. There was no current in that flood plain. The water from the creek just seeped in that Friday evening when the Etobicoke overflowed its banks. That’s why our friends, a young couple, living there said, “What the hell!” and moved in with my family for two days. They then went back and cleaned up the mess. I had a boyhood chum who also lived in the trailer camp, but I had lost touch with him by October of ’54 when Hazel struck.
My memories of that weekend are vivid. Remember, the Etobicoke flooded every spring, forcing the folks who lived in those lovely little shanties that bordered the river where Marie Curtis Park is now situated, to relocate for a few days. But Hazel really did a job on those dwellings, and their time was kaput. As a kid, I envied those families with a home right on the bank of the Etobicoke, even though they had to grab suitcases and head for higher ground every spring. The rest of the year must have seemed idyllic living there. I wonder now what kind of sewage facilities were hooked up to those cottage size homes.
[End of text from Garry Burke]