Quotulatiousness

December 16, 2013

It was thirty years ago today

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 09:27

York County Court HouseElizabeth and I got married in Toronto on this date in 1983. It was a bit of a race to get to the courthouse on time — my so-called best man decided that he had to go back to Mississauga “for a shower” that morning, and was quite late getting back into Toronto. Trying to get a cab to hurry in downtown Toronto traffic was a waste of effort, so I very nearly missed my own wedding. Elizabeth was not pleased with me holding up the show (even though I could rightfully claim it wasn’t my fault). The rest of the day is rather a blur to me now.

Prince of Wales hotel in Niagara-on-the-LakeWe had the reception that evening at a lovely house in the Playter Estates (during which my father tried to pick a fight with Elizabeth’s uncle), and then set off for our very brief honeymoon in Niagara-on-the-Lake the next day. We could only afford two nights at the Prince of Wales hotel, and because we got married on Saturday, we were in NOTL for Sunday and Monday nights. Back in 1983, Ontario still had fairly restrictive Sunday closing laws, so there was very little to do — almost everything was closed. (And that was probably for the best, as we had almost no money to spend anyway…)

Chateau des CharmesOne of the few businesses we found open in the area was the original Chateau des Charmes estate winery (not the huge, imposing facility of today: a small industrial-looking building a few kilometres away), where the only person on duty was Mme Andrée Bosc who gave us an exhaustive tasting experience and showed us around the winery. Neither of us were experienced wine drinkers, so this was wonderful for both of us. I’d love to say that we started our wine cellar that day, but that would only be partially true: we bought about a dozen bottles of various Chateau des Charmes wines, but we couldn’t afford to restock after those had been opened. We visited the winery every year on our anniversary for about a decade, until we got out of the habit of going back to NOTL (which was around the time our son was born).

After our brief honeymoon, we both had to go back to our jobs. Very shortly after that, my employer (the almost-unknown-to-Google Mr Gameway’s Ark) went bankrupt, which was financially bad timing for us, having just spent most of our tiny cash hoard on our honeymoon.

2 Comments

  1. Happy anniversary. I don’t have fond memories of the Prince of Wales hotel or the Toronto Courthouse and, not surprisingly, the two for me are related. But go there we shall not.

    I remember Mr. Gameway’s Ark. It was on Yonge near Bloor, correct? A friend and I were in, probably, Grade 7 at the time of our first trip from Brampton to downtown Toronto by ourselves. We were down around Yonge and Queen when said friend wanted to check out a “D’n’D shop on Yonge Street” that he had heard about. We had no idea how far up Yonge it was, but we started walking north. The combination of youth, first-time-downtown-without-parents vibe and unfamiliarity with the area lead to the impression that the walk seemed far longer than it really was.

    After what seemed like a very long walk, we get to the shop and find its selection of D’n’D offerings to be rather thin and meagre — no better than what Vivian’s, our local hobby shop back in the sticks of Brampton, had on hand. What I remember most about the shop was an unusually large selection of kites. Forever after, the shop was known to us as “that [nasty gerund] kite store”.

    Good times, good times.

    Comment by Lickmuffin — December 16, 2013 @ 12:27

  2. Happy anniversary. I don’t have fond memories of the Prince of Wales hotel or the Toronto Courthouse and, not surprisingly, the two for me are related. But go there we shall not.

    Sounds like a fun story … although perhaps more fun for listeners than it was for you.

    After what seemed like a very long walk, we get to the shop and find its selection of D’n’D offerings to be rather thin and meagre

    Mr Gameway’s operated on very thin margins indeed. A vast amount of the stock was actually on consignment (not owned by the store), so what was available at any given time would vary greatly with how much the suppliers were willing to risk, rather than reflecting the actual demand of the customers. The kites are almost certainly an illustration of that … whoever was the supplier probably demanded that the store try to sell more kites than they would otherwise have ordered in exchange for getting at least some of what they did want to sell.

    Comment by Nicholas — December 16, 2013 @ 13:18

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