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Fay Gardner (nee Haber) was born in Toronto in December 1896. Her parents came from Austria. They met and married in New York and moved to Toronto in about 1894. As a child, Fay's family lived on King Street, LaPlante Street and Walton Street. She attended Elizabeth Street (later Hester Howe) Public School and Wellesley Street Public School. At age 16, Fay and her family moved to Margueretta Street. She got married at age 18.
Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto
AC 003 Side A:
0.14: Fay was born in Toronto in 1896. Her parents came from Austria. They met and were married in New York.
1.11: Fay’s parents moved to Toronto. Her father was a fur cutter for Fairweather’s on Yonge St. for about 30 years and her mother looked after a second hand shop on King St. for a short time.
2.37: Fay’s family moved to LaPlante Ave. There were few Jewish families in the neighbourhood. Across the street from their home was a mission and the old Sick Children’s Hospital.
4.19: At around age 10, Fay’s family moved to Walton St.
4.33: Fay and her sister attended Elizabeth St. School (which later became Hester Howe School). Hester Howe was the Principal. Fay reminisces fondly about Hester Howe. Fay recalls that she experienced no incidents of antisemitism at school or in the neighbourhood.
6.40: Fay graduated to Wellesley School.
7.00: Fay warmly recalls a welcoming incident with a non-Jewish neighbour, Mrs. Denson.
7.54: Fay recalls that when she came down with diphtheria she was sent to an isolation hospital located next door to the Don Jail. She recalls that Sam Factor (later a Judge) was in the hospital with her at the same time.
8.50: Fay remembers other Jewish families in the area near her Walton St. home – the Factors, the Goldhars and the Baers (?). Gradually, more Jewish families moved into the area.
9.39: Fay reminisces about first meeting Esther Manilla (Rosen) who became a lifelong friend.
10.54: Fay’s family moved to Margueretta St.
11.06: While still living on Walton St., Fay’s family belonged to the Bond St. Synagogue. Fay and her sister attended Sunday school at Bond St. Shul (Holy Blossom) until they moved to Margueretta St.
11.45: Fay’s in-laws belonged to the Rumaneshe Shul on Centre Ave.
12.53: Fay’s sister worked in the millinery at Fairweather’s.
13.06: Fay recalls that the old Toronto Star building was next door to Fairweather’s. She identifies Greg Clark as a journalist & Jimmy Fries as a cartoonist at the time.
13.44: Fay stayed at home to help her mother look after her younger siblings (2 brothers and a sister). She then became an apprentice for Mrs. Holmes in a dressmaking shop on Queen St.
14.33: Fay recalls the few Jewish families near her Margueretta St. home – the Greenwoods (Sol. There were no synagogues in the area.)
16.41: Fay’s younger brothers and sisters attended Kent School at Dufferin and Bloor.
17.26: Fay recalls how she met her husband at age 18. His family lived around Dovercourt Road near Bloor.
19.16: Fay discusses the start of Temple Sinai. Fay’s daughter, Kay, married to Lorne Sandy joined Temple Sinai and Fay followed suit.
20.00: Fay reports no awareness of discrimination against Jews or Blacks when she lived on Margueretta St. Her family was friendly with the neighbours.
21.30: Fay continued to live with her parents after she was married. Her first daughter was born there. Then she and her husband moved to a house on Beatrice and College. Then they moved to Bloor and Gladstone Ave. for more than 30 years.
23.02: Fay recalls shopping on Thursdays in Kensington Market with her mother. (Kaplan’s Creamery, Permutter’s Bakery).
25.11: Fay recounts a visit to Hester Howe School.
26.36: Fay recalls her home on LaPlante St. – outdoor plumbing, potbelly stove, coal oil lamps, chimney lamps. On Walton St. they had indoor plumbing.
28.38: Fay recounts a story from her childhood. Her father purchased a goat to provide milk for her mother’s health. The goat that was kept in an empty neighbouring lot escaped and the neighbourhood ran after the goat to catch it.
AC 003 Side B:
0.0: Fay describes the condition of the sidewalks and roads from her childhood. She mentions an aunt and uncle living on Haggerman St. and Brenner’s Junk Shop.
1.41: Sophie Milgram clarifies a few points made in the interview. Fay was born in December 1896. Her family moved to Margueretta St. when she was age 16. The club she mentioned was the Nordau Club. Fay recalled that while living on Walton St., there was a convert named Singer who attempted to proselytize in the neighbourhood and operated out of the mission.