Letters – July 2016

Katharina Duhatschek at her new home in Kilgour Estates
Katharina Duhatschek at her new home in Kilgour Estates

Memories of yesterday’s beauty shop

Last month Leaside Life featured an article about Sandy’s Cycle located at 864 Millwood Ave. during the 1970s and 1980s. The small shop was described as “the size of a two-seater barber shop” by Sandy’s son David.

This brought back many memories for me because at the back of the bicycle shop was a “two seater beauty salon” owned by my mother, Katharina Duhatschek. The shop was called Irene Anne’s Beauty Salon even though mom bought the business from a woman named May.

Neither May nor mom were willing to pay the few hundred dollars to change the business name so Irene Anne’s Beauty Salon survived long after Irene Anne herself disappeared.

My mom was no stranger to Leaside because she began her hair styling career at Sophie’s Beauty Parlor located in Sunnybrook Plaza back in 1955. Sophie’s was in about the same spot where Floka now sits.

Mom left Sophie’s to teach hairdressing at the Career School of Hairdressing on Temperance St. in Toronto in the ‘60s where she was known as Miss Kathy because no one could pronounce her last name.

Eventually, she returned to Leaside to buy Irene Anne’s in 1971.

My first summer job at the age of 15 was to work for mom keeping her appointment book up to date and taking curlers out of women’s hair.

Hair styles were different back then before the wash and wear haircut was invented and many women did not wash their own hair, ever. They had a standing weekly appointment at the beauty salon where they would come in with their flat, squashed hairdos and leave after an hour with a new fluffy look that would get them through another week.

Because appointments were so regular customers and stylists got to know each other well. Some clients had followed mom from Sophie’s to the Career School and back to Irene Anne’s. Most clients had been with mom for over 20 years.

Alan Redway’s wife was a loyal customer of mom’s when Alan was mayor of East York. She often had to squeeze in an emergency appointment so that Mrs. Redway would look good at the functions she attended as the mayor’s wife. If you ask Alan I’m sure he’d remember mom as it was often his job to pick up his wife at the beauty salon.

If you think about it, many women saw their hair stylist more often than they saw their family members. It’s no wonder that three times mom was left a bequest in former customers’ wills. There were a lot of stories and confidences exchanged in a weekly visit to the beauty parlor.

Our connection with Leaside continued even outside of the beauty salon business. We bought our house in North Leaside in 1987 from Alvina Gill, a 92-year-old widow and customer of mom’s. Twenty-nine years later my husband Dan and I still live on Divadale Dr.

And since 2008, mom is back in Leaside living at Kilgour Estates. Occasionally, as she walks to Metro to get groceries, someone will still recognize her as Miss Kathy and they talk about days gone by.

While hairstyles have changed over the years, the memories and good times shared at the beauty parlor will last forever.

Monica Duhatschek,
Divadale Dr.

I read with interest the mention of Perrem and Knight’s grocery store at the junction of McRae and Sutherland Dr. (May 2012.) My parents and family lived at 198 Airdrie Rd., a short walk from that store. Perrem and Knight’s store was our main source of meat purchases as they devoted much of their time to fresh cuts of meat.

During the war years they engaged in a small amount of selling black market meat.

At the age of 10 years, I recall my mother making arrangements with Godfrey the butcher on our normal Saturday of shopping to obtain a roast of beef outside the normal rationed allotment, i.e. no ration card coupons required.

With the order taken on Saturday the advice was to come to the store on a Sunday night after 10 p.m. and pick up the prepaid roast.

My mother delegated me for this purpose and when I arrived at Perrem and Knight the windows were all curtained and a white delivery truck minus any markings was parked at the front door with someone standing outside as a lookout beside the truck.

Upon entering the store I was surprised to see many people lined up to receive their meat purchases. Godfrey the butcher was happily sawing away on a side of beef with his ever-present cigarette dangling from his lips (often the ash exceeded 1/2 inch).

Meat in hand I beat a hasty retreat home lest intervention of the law took place.

As I recall, this activity took place in 1942 and I still have my old ration books.

Ralph Cameron,
Barrhaven, Ontario

I agree with Will Ashworth’s comments in the June issue about the new sign at the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens. I also believe the LPOA has better and probably more important things with which to concern themselves.

Personally, I think that the current sign looks cheap, whereas the new proposal looks distinctive and clean. The extra money to be generated by it is icing on the cake.

We need the LPOA and they have done a good job, but they can’t oppose everything and we Leasiders can’t live in a vacuum. Things change, so we have to move with the times and pick the battles that make the most sense.

Barry Thomas,
Bayview Ave.

I’ve lived in Leaside since 1996 and I have to say that I’ve dealt with a few partiers in my time. They have no regard for the property or other people’s property.

I found the ad for the house at 62 Vanderhoof Ave. and saw the house rules in their ad stating: “No smoking. Not suitable for pets. No parties or events.”

So I think that if any damages are done to the property of neighbours who live next to this house, the owners of the house should be charged.

Ann Gray,
Eglinton Ave.

In my letter published in the June issue, I noted that with no station entrance at the north-east corner of Bayview-Eglinton, there would be significantly more pedestrians crossing the intersection, from the condos at the plaza site and TTC commuters from western North Leaside.

The response from Metrolinx was that any entrance on that corner was the responsibility of the developer.

Any developer of a new large building adjacent to an underground TTC station should be required to build a public station entrance, and maybe an internal entrance for occupants of the building as well. I don’t think it should have to be fully accessible, as accessibility must already be provided by the two primary entrances.

The cost of constructing a station entrance would be very small compared to the total cost of a high-rise building. So the cost would be a very small portion of the price or rent of the apartments. A more direct entrance to the station would be a positive feature when marketing the units.

The cost to the city taxpayers and the TTC would be minimal, but the extra entrance would benefit both pedestrians and vehicles using the intersection.

P A. Reid,
Annesley Ave.

The recent LPOA survey results reconfirm what we already know, that the views of Leaside residents are essentially identical to every other community consultation meeting that is convened with the city planning department.

Our survey is restricted to the M4G postal code. The identified traffic issue relates to vehicular infiltration from areas outside Leaside. The comprehensive assessment of the severe effects of the proposed development cannot be conducted without considering the aggressive redevelopment in the areas outside the M4G area.

If Toronto is committed to successful planning, the planning department must show progressive advancements and revolutionary changes to the transit system if it desires to successfully address traffic congestion. An improved underground rail system is essential. Of course, trams and buses are still acceptable.

The bases for the assessment of applications are contained in the requirements of the Province of Ontario and the Toronto Official Plan. Although the community expresses many valid concerns, the planning staff will continue to follow these requirements.

I am sure that the planning department will not approach the government of Ontario for amendments to the requirements on behalf of the citizens. In reality, Torontonians may be facing unabated intensification without a satisfactory means for the movement of people.

Allan McCartney,
Randolph Rd.