By: James Silvaggio (Grade 5 student at Weston Memorial)
On Thursday June 8th as the elected Prime Minister of my graduating class, I organized a “Walk Around Weston” with the grade 5 students of Weston Memorial CS. We visited different places in the Weston community that make our neighbourhood a great place to live!
We started our journey on John Street, where we crossed the Pedestrian Bridge. We stopped for a while and allowed my classmates to take pictures and enjoy this immense structure.
We continued down John Street to Weston Road. There we crossed the street at the lights and walked north to the Toronto Carrying Place, where a plaque is mounted on the corner of Weston Rd. and Little Ave. Suri, from Squibb’s was waiting there for us, and shared the history behind this Native site. We learned that the Aboriginal people used Weston as a pathway that allowed them to walk near the Humber River. Just south of Weston, there is a BIG dip in the river that drops suddenly. This would have been very dangerous. So the Natives used this path as a way of getting safely to an area that was less turbulent. Suri mentioned that the pathway extends to different parts of our province. My dad mentioned that the path extends from Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario. Shortly after, the British came to Weston and took over. We know this by the street names in our community like: John, William, King and Queens. It would have been nice if the British named at least one street after a Native person. I’d like to think that the streets Elm and Pine were named with Natives in mind.
Then my class went over to Squibb’s to explore the oldest business in Weston. This year Squibb’s celebrated its 90th anniversary! First, Suri told us about how her store was not always located where it is today. In the window of her store there is a photograph of the first owner and his family. She told us that the first owner was a doctor. Her parents also owned Squibb’s and now she and her husband run this business. When we walked inside we saw books, stationary, figurines, school supplies and fidget toys!! Wow, a 90 year old place has fidget toys!! Very cool! My teacher Mr. Malone said that Suri knows everything about Weston and its history. I think he’s right.
Our next stop was the newest business in Weston: Zeal Burgers! The owner, Mark presented to us with “zeal” and confidence. He told us that he had many jobs before this one. He was 15 when he had his first job! He wanted to be a teacher (and he would have been a great one), but that wasn’t his destiny. We are glad to have such an amazing burger place in our neighbourhood. The burgers are TASTY and fresh! My godfather, Reno Notaro has tried many burgers around the city and he said that Zeal Burgers is the best. I never argue with my godfather. He’s always right. You also need to try his poutine and shakes because they taste soooo good!
We said farewell to Mark and told him that we’d be back soon. The grade 5s walked to our best transportation system in Weston – The UP Express. We stood on track 3, and a few minutes later, all of us boarded the train. We enjoyed the smooth 12 minute ride to Union Station. Many students were taking pictures of the scenery outside our windows. It was a fun ride. Then we turned around and made our way back to Weston!
We walked back to Zeal Burgers where 50 warm burgers were waiting for us to gobble up! My classmates were salivating for their burger. Mrs. Bellec helped garnish the burgers (I hope she’s not thinking of leaving teaching too), and then we made our way to Elm Park with a tempting burger in our paper bag. When we got there we ate, played and enjoyed the beautiful June weather. It was a fantastic experience and we enjoyed our day together. Thanks to Suri, Mark, Mrs. Madarasz, Mr. Malone, Mrs. Bellec, Luke’s nonna and my mom for making this day possible.