Advance praise for Memories of the Beach:
"Lorraine O’Donnell Williams has given us a charming and evocative memoir of the Beach district six or seven decades ago, when it was a separate world in the southeast corner of Toronto. Everyone who knew the Beach that was, and everyone who knows the Beach of today, will enjoy her account of growing up in that special place." – Robert Fulford, author of Accidental City: The Transformation of Toronto
"In this richly rendered memoir of a Catholic girl growing up in Toronto’s Beach community in the 1930s and 1940s, Lorraine Williams not only vividly captures the feeling of a more innocent age, but at the same time touches on a universal truth – that the place in which we are nurtured forms an integral part of the person we become. Simply wonderful." – Michael Bedard, author of the Governor General Award-winning Redwork
In this rare combination of history and memoir, Lorraine O’Donnell Williams details life within Toronto’s Beach community in the 1930s and ’40s from the vantage point of her front verandah, which abutted the boardwalk. Her extensive research has uncovered numerous hidden facets of the heritage of this exceptional neighbourhood, including the stories of what was in its time one of North America’s most remarkable amusement parks, the popular dance hall, and how the area was transformed from cottage to urban living.