HOK #91: Keith Brown  

Meet Keith Brown.  

“I was born in the little white house on Stonehurst Avenue. Tom Brown was my uncle. I was born in 1929. The house I live in now used to be the old homestead, where my mother raised nine kids. My grandmother was the second resident in this area, and the street used to be called Front Street. It was a rural setting back then, and the river came up as far as the end of this street. We spent every summer swimming and making rafts. In the winter we would be out here playing hockey. We were the western end of the city limits. Back then, Parkdale was the city limit. Tunney’s Pasture was all bush. In the winter time we would go skating there when the creek would freeze. The Vachon Ice house was at the end of street and they used to drag the ice up from the river using horse power. 

“I love the quiet of the neighbourhood although it has grown to be not as quiet as it used to be. Growth has made it busier. We never used to lock our doors, front or back. We were totally rural out here. The city stable where they housed the horses used to be across from this park. We used to go over on Sundays and watch them exercise the horses. The round house held the train and it went all the way to Union Station. We had a good trolley train system. It was 5 cents to go from here to Britannia. Everything around here is changing so fast. I don’t have a lot of years left – I will be 90 this year – but I spent Friday shoveling the snow at my son’s place, my place, at my granddaughter’s place and then out here shoveling the rink. I guess that is what keeps me young, and I sleep like a log.” Collected by Ellen Bond

Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. View our collection of humans right here.

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