About the Project

This site brings together stories and remembrances about the Black Creek community located in North-Western Toronto, Ontario Canada. Through a series of oral history interviews, youth from the Jane-Finch community have captured local seniors' recollections on video. This website showcases and celebrates the local history of the Black Creek community through collected oral history interviews, photographs, and other resources. For regular updates on the project, please visit our Facebook page.

This photo, donated by the Hodge family, captures the spirit of the Black Creek Living History Project. Taken from inside a dilapidated barn with a vantage point towards one of the areas first high rise buildings, the photo is emblematic of a neighbourhood in transition. Its essence honours the community's rural roots while simultaneously celebrating its urban future.
 Photo credit: Bob Hodge, circa 1970.

 
Below is a poem written by long time resident of the Black Creek area Francesco Giuliano Tancredi. Originally written in 2004, the poem was later revised in 2007.
            
                                                                Derry
Downs, 1970

                                                    At Derry Downs in the brook

                                                    We dug for clay, all cold and chalky,

                                                    Held buttercups to our chins, skipped rocks

                                                    Off the pond.  We peered at dead mice,

                                                    Held them up to the sun.  We were young

                                                    And spied on older boys and girls

                                                    From behind trees, not knowing yet

                                                    Their secret.

                                                         It is no more, washed out by the flood,

                                                    The park we knew and loved

                                                    Between York Woods and St. Wilfrid school. 

                                                          But spring called,

                                                    And the toads and the kingfisher too;

                                                    We shook the dew’s wetness down,

                                                    Took our lunches to the river,

                                                    Broke bread on its banks, gave thanks.

                                                    We played hide-and-go-seek,

                                                    Caught tadpoles in the pools,

                                                    Water-bugs skittered here and there.


                                                    Everywhere was muck and mud and moss,

                                                    And nature’s riot and green ritual,

                                                    All of Black Creek, its trees and paths,

                                                    Was to me, was to us:

 

                                                    Sublime.