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