Category Archives: My Old House

Childhood Homes

Yesterday I was speaking to a group at the Gaynor Library in Selkirk and during the discussion time after my presentation, we talked about researching our family histories.

Earl, one of the gentlemen in the group said he had been exploring his family’s history by visiting the homes he had lived in during his childhood. This fascinated me because I’ve been doing the same thing. I still have a couple of homes to go but I’m making progress.

Two years ago on my birthday, I visited my first home on Dundurn Avenue in Winnipeg which is where my parents were living when I was born.

I’ve also been to our old house on Home Street where my family resided till I finished kindergarten and since the home had been resold recently when I was writing about it I could even use photos of how it looked some sixty years after I had lived there.

The year I was in grade one my family was settled in an apartment building on the grounds of the St.Boniface Hospital since my Dad was an intern there. Although the building is being used for something else now, it is still standing and visiting the site brought back many memories I could write about.

I was happy to find that the house on Beaverbrook Street where my family lived when I was seven, although quite changed on the exterior, was still there. I was able to find quite a number of old photos that showed our family’s life in that home so I could compose a blog post about it.

When I was eight my family moved to Steinbach. I have photographed the first home I lived in there and have written about it but I shared two other homes in Steinbach with my parents and I need to revisit them too.

One thing that Earl, the gentleman at the Selkirk Library had done was actually knock on the doors of his childhood homes and said the current owners always very kindly let him come inside to look around. That isn’t something I haven’t been brave enough to try but it sure would be interesting.

In our discussion at the library, we talked about the value of learning about your family’s history. Visiting your childhood homes is certainly a fascinating way to do that.

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The House on the Highway- My First Home in Steinbach

When my family first moved to Steinbach in 1961 we rented a house on the #12 Highway. I took this photo of the house in 2020 when I was in Steinbach on a visit. We lived in the house for two years before moving to a house we rented on Kroeker Avenue.

My sister and get ready to ride to school on our bicycles. We are on the driveway of the house on the highway. My sister and I shared a bedroom that was located up over the garage of the house.

My parents slept in a large bedroom on the main floor. Here my siblings and I are playing hospital in their bedroom. Since my Dad was a physician in Steinbach my brother is using some of his surgical gear and his stethoscope. I am the patient with my arm bandaged and my sister appears to have some medication ready to give me. Although my sister did grow up to be a nurse my brother and I both had long careers as teachers, following in our mother’s professional footsteps rather than our Dad’s.

Here I am with my younger sister and my brother on the steps of that house on the highway. My aunt and my grandmother are visiting us from Saskatoon and from the way we are dressed we are probably heading off to church.

This photo of me playing the piano was taken in the living room of the house. Through the window in the dining room behind me, you can see the big toboggan slide that was in the field just behind our backyard. It was high and scary and probably not that safe but was very popular with the kids in Steinbach in winter.

This photo was taken at Easter time because I am wearing one of the Easter dresses my mother sewed for me. Most of the photos I have of my childhood were taken by my mother’s older sister my Aunt Viola when she visited us from Saskatoon and she was visiting us for Easter in 1961 and 1962.

This photo was taken by my aunt in the dining room of the house on the highway where we were dying eggs with our Mom for Easter. My sister and I have curlers in our hair as we always did on Saturday nights.

When we lived on the house on the highway I attended the old Kornelson School just a few blocks from our home. It was on the site where Steinbach’s City Hall now sits. The school was demolished in 1964 just a couple of years after I attended it.

My grade three class at the Kornelson School in 1961-1962. Our teacher was Mrs. Mary Kihn and she had forty students in her class. I can still remember the names of about twenty of my fellow students. I am second from the right in the second last row.
This is my grade four class at Kornelson School in 1962-1963. Our teacher was Miss Esther Toews. I don’t know why this class was so much smaller than my grade three class. I am third from the right in the last row.

I have photos of a birthday celebration in the house on the highway. I am not sure if it is my 8th or 9th birthday. I am sitting in the big chair holding my gifts with my brother on my left and my sister on my right. Judy Kehler is to the far left, next is Marilyn Barkman and beside her is Valerie Hiebert. I don’t know who is peeking out behind my brother. Behind my sister are Penny Peters and Betty Hildebrand.

My mother had decorated a table in the basement of the house for the party meal. We are wearing hats we probably made. From left to right Judy Kehler, me, Penny Peters, Val Hiebert and Betty Hildebrand. My Mom always went all out for our birthdays making them really special.

I have lots of good memories of those two years we lived in the house on the highway in Steinbach fifty years ago. I wonder who lives there now.

Other posts……..

My Old House Is So Beautiful

I Lived At the Hospital

My First Home


Filed under Childhood, My Old House

Was There A Car On A Beaverbrook Street Front Lawn In 1960?

With my mother and siblings in front of our house on Beaverbrook Street in the fall of 1960

I have this memory from the year our family lived on Beaverbrook Street in Winnipeg in 1960 and 1961. One day I came home from Sir John Franklin School several blocks away and there was a car on the front lawn of our neighbour lady’s house.

This photo of our former neighbour’s house on Beaverbrook was taken last year. The house hadn’t changed much in half a century although I remember it being a rather bright yellow with green trim. Did a car really drive onto its front lawn one day in the 1960s?

I wanted to use the car on the lawn incident in the latest novel I am writing but wondered if I had just imagined it or it had really happened. In my imagination, the car had driven right through the front window of the house and I was quite sure I remembered that the Winnipeg Free Press had carried a story about it.

Thanks to my Winnipeg Library card which grants me access to old newspapers I was able to find a story about a car on the lawn of a house at 280 Beaverbrook Street on the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press. Turns out on December 20th 1960 there was a two-car collision on Beaverbrook Street that left one car on the front lawn of 280 Beaverbrook. Both drivers escaped critical injury but 34-year-old Karl Klees was admitted to the Misericordia Hospital for observation.

December 20, 1960, issue Winnipeg Free Press

However, there is no report that the car actually drove into the house as I remembered. I was a voracious reader as a child and so no doubt I dramatically embellished the story in my head but it was nice to know that at least part of it was true. And in my novel of course which is fiction, I will be free to make the story about the car on the lawn as dramatic as I want to.

Other posts………

The House on Beaverbrook Street

Family Tragedy- Thawing the Ground For Burial

Attending A School Named For An Explorer

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Filed under My Old House, Winnipeg

The House on Beaverbrook Street

With my mother and siblings in front of our house on Beaverbrook Street in 1960.

I lived on Beaverbrook Street in Winnipeg for one year. My father finished his medical internship at the St. Boniface Hospital and decided to do a surgical residency for a year with Dr. Jacob Isaac who worked at the Winnipeg Clinic. We had to move out of the apartment building for interns at the St. Boniface Hospital where we had been living. My parents found a house we could rent at 278 Beaverbrook Street. We lived there from 1960-1961.

Last week I went to find our Beaverbrook Home. It is still there but looks a little different. The front part of the house which was a sunroom when we lived there, has been stuccoed and most of its windows have been removed.

Outside our house on Beaverbrook Street in Winnipeg, ready to go to the beach with my Auntie Millie and her children.
Hanging stockings on our fireplace in the house on Beaverbrook Street
Mom reading Jack and Jill magazine to us, in the living room of our Beaverbrook house. Check out the leafy wallpaper behind us.

Mom took in foster children, two little babies, during the year we lived on Beaverbrook Street. Barry and Linda each lived with us for about six months until permanent adoptive homes were found for them. My parents didn’t take any photos of Barry and Linda but I remember them and how sad we were when they had to leave. I so admire how well Mom managed to look after her own three children and also take in foster children and give them loving care.

The house next door to us at 280 Beaverbrook still looks much as it did in 1960. An elderly widow lived there and I have a memory of coming home from school one day and seeing a car that had driven onto the front lawn of the house.

Grade Two Class Sir John Franklin School – 1960-1961- Teacher Miss Ushay- I’m in the back row right beside the principal

I went to Sir John Franklin School for grade two and my teacher was Miss Ushay. She was young and very pretty but I don’t remember much about my school year except I once got 7+7 wrong on a math test. I had two best friends April and Catherine who were both in my class and also both lived on Beaverbrook Street.

My sister and I on the playground at Sir John Franklin

My sister was in kindergarten at St. John Franklin. The school was closed in 1989 due to dwindling enrolment and was torn down in 1991.

This is what the site of Sir John Franklin School looks like now
278 Beaverbrook in 2021

I am glad my old house on Beaverbrook Street is still there although I wonder how long it might last since many of the older homes in the neighbourhood have been torn down and replaced by new modern homes.

Spring in the backyard of the Beaverbrook house with my siblings.
Summer of 1961 in the backyard of the Beaverbrook house with my siblings
With my family in the backyard of our Beaverbrook House
With my Aunt Viola on the yard on Beaverbrook

278 Beaverbrook was my fourth home in Winnipeg. I have visited the other three as well in the past year. You can read about them here.

My House on Home Street

My House on Dundurn Place

I Lived in a Hospital


Filed under Family, My Old House

Living at the Hospital- 1959-1960

On a bike ride this week I stopped to take a photo at my former home

I lived at a hospital for a year. When I was five my family made our home in the McEwen Building on the grounds of the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg.  Named after Dr Sanger McEwen a former medical director of the hospital, the building currently houses the St. Boniface psychiatry department. But when I lived there it was an apartment block for interns who were completing their medical degrees.  

Photo of the McEwen Building from the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation website

In the summer of 1959, my family moved into one of the many apartments in the McEwen Building since my father who was a medical student at the University of Manitoba was doing his year of internship at the St. Boniface Hospital. 

Dad and his fellow interns at St. Boniface Hospital 1958-59.  My Dad is in the back row third from the right. 

Our family was assigned a one-bedroom apartment.  My parents shared the bedroom with my baby brother who had been born in February of 1958 and I slept on a fold-out couch in the living room with my sister who was three years old. I can remember when we first moved I would wake up at night because I heard the trains on the tracks just across the river, but later I got used to the sound. This postcard was used to advertise the internship program at the St. Boniface Hospital. It features a photo of my mother and my sister sitting at the piano in our apartment. My mother was a talented pianist and college music graduate. This Heintzman piano was a part of every house I lived in as a child. My sister still has it in her home. You can see the small kitchen and our table pushed up against the wall to the left.  When we had guests the table was pulled into the living room so we could sit all around it.nun's christmas st. boniface
There were many other young families living in the building and my mother made friends with the wives of other interns and we often played with their children. There was a large common room in the McEwen Building. At Christmas time in 1959, the Grey Nuns who ran the St. Boniface Hospital hosted a party for the children of the interns. We played games and ate goodies and each of us received a gift from Santa. In the photo, I am sitting on Santa’s knee with my friend Candice. The nuns are walking in with more gifts to add to the pile under the tree.

Marion School built in 1950-photo from the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation website

While we lived at the hospital I attended grade one at Marion School. It was primarily a French school but my class was in English. I took a Winnipeg City Transit bus all on my own to school since Mom thought that was safer than having me walk a mile down busy Provencher Boulevard.

My grade one class during the 1959-1960 academic year at Marion School with our teacher Ms Bourreau. I am third from the left in the second row. 

Some of my memories of grade one include being made to stand in the corner because I dropped my thermos in the lunchroom and broke it. This made a noise and we were NEVER to make a sound in the lunchroom. I also remember sitting out in the hall all alone when the priest came to give lessons that would prepare my classmates for taking their first communion. My Mennonite parents asked I be excused from these lessons.

Photo by Canadian Heritage- Queen Elizabeth visits Winnipeg in 1959

One of my memories of living in the McEwen Building was the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Winnipeg in the summer of 1959. My father took me up onto the roof of the St. Boniface Hospital so he and I could have a bird’s eye view of the queen as she rode down Tache Avenue in her motorcade. I was so excited to see the queen but also so excited to be doing something special with my Dad. I’ve been on a pilgrimage of sorts to visit all of the different places where I lived in Winnipeg as a child. This week I went back to my third home in the city. 

Want to read about my previous visits to my past homes?

My First Home on Dundurn Place

It’s So Beautiful! My Old House

Other posts related to this one……….

The Children Are Watching and Listening and Wondering

The Clapper

Could I Have Been A Grey Nun? 


Filed under Childhood, My Old House

My First Home

Today’s my birthday and I decided yesterday to go and find my very first home in Winnipeg.  The address given on my birth certificate was 44 Dundurn Place. I wondered if the house would still be standing after 67 years. It was! I took a bunch of photos. My mother had told me quite a bit about what our life was like on Dundurn when I interviewed her for a biography I wrote about her. Mom and Dad moved into the second floor of the house at 44 Dundurn Place in September of 1953.  They had celebrated their first wedding anniversary in May.


Filed under Family, My Old House, Winnipeg

It’s So Beautiful- My Old House

That’s me in the doorway of a house I lived in at 110 Home Street in Winnipeg. My family moved into the house in 1954 and we lived there for the next four years. I have been back in Winnipeg for nearly a decade now, but for some reason, I had never made a point of going to look at my old house. I decided to do that this past weekend. I was a little worried about what kind of state the house might be in, but it was BEAUTIFUL and obviously, had been treated with tender loving care. Of course, it looked a little different sixty-some years ago.  This is the one photo I could find of the front of the house in 1954. My grandparents helped my Mom and Dad buy the house and various aunts and uncles lived on the third floor at different times while they were going to university or working in the city. The bedrooms on the second floor were rented out to university students and my Mom cooked and cleaned and did their laundry.  This provided income for our family since my Dad was a medical student at the time.

This is how the house looked in the fall of 2016

The house was sold in 2016 and so I was able to go online and see the listing, which contained lots of photos of the house.

Winter 1956 -Playing outside the Home Street house with my friend MaryJane.

On the front steps of the Home Street house with my friends Dorothy and Lynette

Here I am having a bath in the kitchen of the house in  1954. Here is how the kitchen looked in 2016.

My Dad reading my sister Kaaren and me a story in the living room of the Home Street house in 1958. The living room of the house in 2016.  The radiator is still under the window but it has been painted a different colour. There is a lamp in the same corner.

Standing on the steps of the house before leaving for Laura Secord School in 1959.   Standing in front of 110 Home Street in August of 2020. 

Other posts………….

House With A View

Our Home in Mexico

A House with More Than Just A View

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Filed under Family, My Old House