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A letter received in response to The Northend of Days Past by Colin Waye:

Hello,

I now live in the Southend of the city, but grew up on Cross Street in the Northend. Not only did I grow up there, but my mother also grew up in the neighbourhood on Ferry Street. Her father owned a store on York St. close to CN and Walker St. I still have a photo of the store as well as a record of accounts receivable circa 1903.

I also have a picture that must have been taken at Central School, which at that time may have been the Academy. It is facing north and shows the corner where Quality Cameras is now. At the time there was a home there and you can see Sacred Heart Church and the Lyceum.

Your article mentioned Melrose Restaurant. I was a teenager who “hung around” there and it was a great spot for us. Coming home from a dance, we always stopped to see who might be around. Even on stormy winter days, there was always a bunch of us who trudged through the snow to gather there. Alex Sophocleous (the owner) made the best hot hamburger sandwich around with homemade fries, gravy, and of course a Pepsi. It was the best! I remember leaving there without paying. Alex told me he didn’t worry about it he just knew I would be back. There used to be a time on Sunday afternoon that you wouldn’t be able to find a seat it was so packed in there – the jukebox going and filled with teenagers. It was very seldom that there was any trouble. We all just wanted a place to hang out and Alex didn’t put up with any nonsense.

I have many great memories of the Northend and am still very much a part of it through relatives and friends who also grew up in the area. I will always be a Northender, no matter where I live. Thank you for keeping alive a very important part of who we are. Keep up the good work.

AnnMarie (MacNeil) Spencer

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