Early in December of 1975, after I had moved our earthly belongings from Toronto to our nearly finished studio-home on the 4th Line, I came down into the village via Tupper St. for some eggs and milk.
Long before Millbrook had become a desirable movie location, I found myself in what looked like the set for a WWII movie. I had not heard the blast from the propane explosion in or around the former century home across from the remnants of the arena. Fortunately, the blast occurred hours before Millbrook’s children were on their way to the public school. Parts from the levelled arena were found over a good part of Millbrook, and most of the windows of the buildings on the north side of King St. were blown out. Since it was early in a very chilly December, all windows had to be quickly boarded up with plywood. The broken glass littering the street and sidewalks, the clatter of ladders, the flurry of workers, the confusion of trucks, still are vivid in my memory.
Recently, while leaving our little cafe, a friend of mine marvelled at the gorgeous facades across the street. He noted one particular set of windows in the upper stories that stood out from the rest, all of which had been replaced with rectangular aluminum frames. Only Joe Longo, our barber, had maintained the elegant, arched, wooden window frames in their original beauty, thus preserving and honouring that building’s architectural integrity.
By Harald Glass