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Weston Christmases in the 1940's
by Orlando Martini


Christmas 1943 remains one of my most memorable for several reasons, the chief of which is that my family had recently moved to Weston.


In the spring of 1943, when I was ten years old, my parents borrowed $1000 from my uncle Peter, a local market gardener. They used it as a down payment on a $3000 modest four-room bungalow on Lawrence Avenue just west of Jane Street.


Unlike my parents' earlier dwellings, our new home on Lawrence Avenue was like a palace in that it had indoor plumbing, municipal water service, central heating and space for a Christmas tree.


During the early 1940s, World War II was being waged in Europe, and most Canadian factories were on "war work"; the factories were not producing toys for children.


Consequently, the number of presents under our first Christmas tree was very few.
However, my playmates and I did not complain because most (if not all) of us owned such basics as a pair of skates, a hockey stick, skipping ropes and some of us, including me, had a small two-wheel CCM bicycle.


As we reached the mid-1940s, World War II ended, and with each passing year after that, we were blessed with more and more presents under the Christmas tree.


On November 25, 1949, when I was in grade eleven at Weston Collegiate and Vocational School, the Premier of Ontario, Mr. Leslie Frost, cut the ceremonial ribbon and opened the Lions Club's new Weston Arena.


That was a wonderful prelude to Christmas 1949 for me and my peers.


For the past dozen or more years, the Lions' Club of Weston, which still owns and manages the Arena, has arranged for senior citizens to skate free for two hours, 9:30 to 11:30, every Tuesday from October to April. I have been skating there regularly for over five years and always remember my early years in Weston.

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