Old Whitney Pier

Old Whitney Pier

Don’t cross those tracks,
Stay on that side of the overpass.

Whitney Pier?
A place some people feared.

A diverse community with lots of culture.
A Canadian heritage site like no other.

Welcome to the Pier Dear,
That was something you’d always hear.

Like many families that settled in Cape Breton,
Parents came to work, and then sent for their children.

They worked at the Steel Plant, Coke Ovens and the Coal Mines.
West Indians in the blast furnace: they could take the heat high.

Steel Plant, Tar Ponds, Canada’s toxic playground.
Now it’s a park with tracks, trails and sporting grounds.

Grandparents sitting back, reminiscing about the good old times.
Church every Sunday, mama baking bread and pies.

Some families didn’t have much.
But they invited you in, shared stories and fed you lunch.

I remember in my day, my mom would always say, for a dollar
You can get a bag of chips, soda and chocolate bar, with change left over.

You can always count on people from the Pier.
You get a smile, hello, how are you, and who’s your mother and father dear?

The Pier had businesses on every corner.
Barber shops, bakeries, grocery stores and plenty more.

We built churches, schools and community halls, so we would have a place to go.
Immigrants built the Pier from the ground up, many years ago.

You could visit Arties & Fred Tommie’s to get your daily cup of tea.
Men and women dancing around, jiving, doing the swing.

The Kabana Club, Clipper, and the Thistle were also places to be.
Putting hard-earned money, ching, ching in the slot machines.

We raised artists, athletes, cops, doctors, and lawyers.
Teachers, musicians, politicians and so much more.

A time when neighbours knew each other.
Welcomed everyone with open arms, and built friendships forever.

When I was young I had so much fun.
There was one-cent candy, and five-cent bubble gum.

Who remembers picking berries on blueberry hill?
Picked all day, ate until we were ill.

Lemonade stands, selling blueberries door to door.
Running errands for the elders, to the local corner store.

Children playing outside until the street lights came on.
You would hear parents yelling, Wanda, Marie, Jack, Noreen:
It’s time to come home.

Street Chase and Nicky Nicky 9 Doors, games kids loved to play.
Everyone enrolled in 587 Air Cadets, they’re still running today.

The Pier Day Care, United Mission and Whitney Pier Youth Club
Were a part of every child’s childhood.

Community Hall field trips, coming back all muddy.
The looks on our parents’ faces were frightening, but funny.

Running to Pier Video so we can throw quarters in the gumball machine.
Praying we would win free popcorn and movies.

Kids from all over Sydney would come to the Pier for the Menelik Hall dances.
Everyone got along, no one focused on our differences.

Christmas parades, Mission picnics, and lots of festivals.
Open loaders, pierogies, chicken and rice, hot sauce, and souse.

Want to learn some history?
Head to the Whitney Pier Historical Museum.

Sydney-Toronto Reunion, Action Week and sports.
Fun-run, baseball games, street dances, and the Tupper Street courts.

You could look out your door or walk down the street.
See adults and children talking and laughing, the sounds were sweet.

Oh the things I would give to live in Old Whitney Pier.

About Robyn Martelly

Robyn is from Cape Breton Island, she grew up in the diverse community of Whitney Pier, a Canadian heritage site. She's a contributing author and a self-taught artist, her skills ranging from painting to poetry. Some of Robyn's work has appeared in LOVE (Leave Out Violence) Newsletter, Teens Now Talk Magazine, Understorey Magazine, Montreal Writes, and the Cape Breton Post. She has 15+ years’ experience creating beautiful art and working with various community organizations throughout Halifax and Sydney. Robyn's art is inspired by her culture, community, and current events. Find Robyn on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

141 thoughts on “Old Whitney Pier

  1. Loretta

    This is beautiful Robyn, so happy your doing what u love , and I hope u inspire others to do as well, good luck my cousin.

    1. Joanne Black

      Great read! Well done Robyn. I always crossed the tracks, everyone was the same to me.

    2. Barb Best

      I remember all of this. Right on point . I won’t forget the struggles and the great times..Thank You

  2. Don

    That was very nice, well put..and a good read. You are sooo talented…

  3. Linda

    So true Robyn, you are as beautiful as this is. Great job from all at the Daycare .

  4. Linda

    So true Robyn, you are as beautiful as this is. Great job from all at the Daycare

  5. All Dorko

    Thank you for the wonderful memories.

  6. Darin Mombourquette

    A very nice read.

    From a Pier boy living in Thunder Bay Ontario.

  7. Jean Mazalin

    That was beautiful.well done. My husband is “from the pier dear:”

  8. Jenny Buckland

    This was beautiful ,you made my heart smile,no place like home

  9. Sharon Chisholm

    Wonderful place to live in many great memories. People were so kind and down to earth. After I moved away from the pier I realized I had been raised in a great “melting pot” of different cultures. The pier is a special place where people are so kind and caring.

  10. Terry Chisholm

    Wife of a ‘pier dear’ husband…..wonderful place and wonderful people..<3.<3

  11. jackie currie

    very true i miss it

  12. Marsha (Jones) Gannon

    What a nice read. I am also from the Pier dear. Tupper St. to be percise.
    Memories, that can never be erased.

  13. donna mclaughlin

    Beautiful and it is still the best place to live, wouldn’t change it for anything.

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  15. Shaun Phalen

    Great job Robyn. Keep up the good work!

  16. Anna MacLeod

    Excellent Robyn. You are so talented. ????????

  17. Shelly (Hickey) Knight

    That was great! So true too. You never know what you have until you move away. The “Pier” will always be home. I miss the community!

  18. Cathy Kolanko

    Beautiful Robyn and so true the memories just flashing through my mind. Thank you

    1. Marilyn Tortola Doucette

      Are you Tony & Kay’s daughter? Went to the store daily?

  19. linda forget

    Great story I love the pier and move here 27 years ago .

  20. Sandy Kawetzki

    Very nice. I grew up in the North End but most of my relatives lived in the Pier. Spent a lot of time there. Those were the days.

  21. Rene Holloway

    Really nice Robin

  22. Valerie Barrett

    I very much enjoyed reading this – well done.

  23. paula (Crane)Cocco

    I grew up in the Pier on the hill (French St) it was the best everyone was like family………BTW I noticed comments made by some of my old school (Eastmount) classmates……….love the memories TY

    1. Pat Ojoleck

      Very nice Robin,I grew up in the Pier but moved to Ontario many years ago . Bless you young lady .Noticed Paula Crane was one of my dear friends when we were growing up .Pat Ranni Ojoleck

  24. Florence & Doug Taylor

    Very well done Robin . You are a very wonderful young lady . Keep up with your dreams xp

  25. Char Lewis

    Well written Robyn, and brought back so many memories. I loved growing up in the pier, there’s nowhere else on earth like it.
    from a pier girl in Brantford, Ontario

  26. Brenda Clyke

    Brought back so many memories I grew up in the pier a childhood I would not change for anything. I lived on currys lane and remember all the places you have mentioned no place like home Thanks

  27. Barb

    Thank you Robyn!!????This made my heart swell.We were all so lucky to have grown up in the Pier.Wonderful memories and values that were shared in our homes ,schools and community.We were all Children of God in a wonderful rainbow world.Thanks for caring and sharing your wonderful Talents!!????????❤️????????

  28. Jenn Sheppard

    Loved it Robyn!!! 🙂

  29. Carmella Fogarty Murphy

    Love this. I grew up on Matilda Street in the Pier. I know all the places you talk about. I think I was a little bit before you. Matilda Street Was a wonderful neighborhood but as my dad was the mailman and worked every street in the pier we got to know everyone. Actually as children, we didn’t even know how diverse our neighborhood was. Everyone was the same. Over the last few years we’ve had some wonderful reunions from Matilda St. The memories and pictures are priceless.

  30. Evelyn Elchyshyn Hunt

    So true. All good memories.

  31. John Hennick

    Well said from a Pier Boy in Toronto.

  32. Donna

    Well said Robyn,,,,I was very lucky to have grown up in the Pier,…Lot of Memories and I will always say I’am Pier Girl….

  33. Janie Webber

    Every line brought me back to that special place,well done Robyn.
    Thank you for sharing ❤️

  34. Shelley axworthy

    Awesome job Robyn

  35. Debbie Snow

    This is beautiful love reading it and all so true.

  36. Karla Boutilier Harris

    Well Robin, so much of my life read in this.Made my heart swell easing it.

  37. Tanya Webber

    Great job Robin! I loved reading this, put a smile on my face:)

  38. Cathy Gouthro

    Great job Robyn! Brought back lots of memories.

  39. Mike farrell

    It brings me back to when I was a kid. Thank you so much Robyn. Everything you listed here I have done or had a family member who did.

  40. Rose Binns Conohan

    Well done Robyn..a beautiful piece…It brought back many fond memories..of my childhood as I read along..It was a time and place where everyone knew your name,doors were left unlocked snd wherever you were at supper time you sat at their table to eat or them with you at your table..a time when homemade bread or biscuits ..hot from the oven with molasses..never tasted so good..The Pier was a place where almost everyone’s Dad worked at the Steel plant , where your neighbour’s were your family and we grew up with families from all parts of the world! WHITNEY PIER..a magical place..a true “MELTING POT”.. so proud to have been born there!❤️

    1. Bill Tetanish

      So true Rose….very well said.

    2. Patsy

      Hi Rosie my dear .Hope you are doing well .Patsy Ranni Ojoleck

  41. Wendy Richardson

    It has been years since I lived in The Pier…..Broadway to be exact. Always proud to say…I’m from the Pier …..never said I’m from Sydney. It was a great place to grow up….people were always helping overs, and like others have said…you played outside from morning til dark….when your Mom called you home for supper. By today’s standards I guess we weren’t Rich….but we sure had everything we needed and more. The Pier sure was a melting pot….still is…..and for those of us who were born and grew up there….what a privilege ! Thanks Robyn….what a great read!

  42. Mary Phillips

    Nice read Robin. I am the widow of a “Pier Dear” guy and have lived here for 52 years. I love it. The people are so kind and helpful.

  43. Charlotte (Magis) Mac Isaac

    I am a proud Cape Bretoner who is especially proud of being born and raised in the Pier. In its day, it was known to be a melting pot, many nationalities who all got along. We had everything we needed in the Pier. Lots of wonderful memories from growing up in the Pier! So proud of being a Pier Dear that it is part of my e-mail address! Lol.

    1. Bill Tetanish

      Well said Charlotte. Haven’t seen you in oh so many years…

    2. Anna Marie MacPhee

      Grew up in the Pier and very proud of my roots. Remember playing tiddly, marbles, pick up ball in the field behind Hankard Street, my parents sold Toffy Apples every fall. Living in such a diverse community taught me no matter,race,religion or culture we were all the same.
      Charlotte (Magis) MacIssac….you and I went to school together… all those many years ago. Anna Marie (Dickson) MacPhee

  44. Bill Tetanish

    Thanks for the memories Robyn. This was forwarded to me from a friend. I’m a Ukrainian who grew up on Maloney Street in the Pier. You have posted so many truths about people from the Pier…well done. Enjoyed this very much. “Hi” to my many friends who have or will read this…CHEERS TO THE PIER.

    1. Charles Mintus

      A proud Pier Boy that could not be more grateful for the background in multiculturalism.

  45. Charles Mintus

    A proud Pier Boy that could not be grateful for the background in multiculturalism.

    1. Charles Mintus

      A proud Pier Boy that could not be grateful for the background in multiculturalism.

  46. Wayne MacLean

    Proud to be a Pier guy from St Ann St, but we all said we were from down Broadway. Great people, all so kind and thoughtful of others. Whitney school, hockey teams, great Little League baseball although we could never beat them darn Senators… Art Campbell and Kenny Crawford, 2 really fine pitchers had our number./// Great article, loved it. Favorite food place… BERNIEs PIZZA… Seen a few names on the comment list that I havent seen in over 50 years or more./// Favorite store, Willie CRANEs variety on St Ann ST, my hangout.///

  47. Anna Marie Dickson MacPhee

    Grew up on Hankard Street…. proud of being from the Pier and before your time…maiden name Dickson and many people from all over use to come at Taffy Apple time as my Dad made and sold them….Try to visit the area whenever I am home from Alberta. Great piece of writing and tons of memories.

    1. Marilyn (Tortola) Doucette

      Conjured up a lot of great memories. Life was simple & uncomplicated. Oh to go back to those days. Always great to get together with my Pier friends & reminisce about “the good old days.” Always thought it was the BEST place to grow up.

  48. Dorothy March Giacomini

    Coming from Dog Patch you have resurfaced so many fun memories of the Best People on Earth. How many of you remember the Pound Parties or the Dances at the Imperial Hall and St. Michaels/ Those were the days My Friends

  49. Sandra Lewis Hussey

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I grew up in Whitney Pier. I attended Whitney School, attended Trinity United Church and after church we headed to Bernie’s for something good for lunch. My mother still lives at the Pier.

  50. Jocelyn Dearing

    You pretty much captured all the memories of all of us. You did a terrific job with this and thank you for sharing this with all the people who Love the Pier Dear.

  51. Ron O'Rourke

    So true Robyn, great poem! I grew up on Bryan Street, I miss those days! What a great way to grow up, miss it dearly, what I wouldn’t give to have those days back, such great memories. Missing it from Edmonton!

  52. Mary Mollons( French)

    I grew up un Whitney pier, those were the days. Went to Holy Redeemer School. Nobody went hungry in those days. I remember the pound parties that we had for anyone who were down on their luck. We would take a pound of (butter,flour,tea,sugar)or whatever and fill their pantries. It was fun as well as helpful. I miss them and the beautiful people.lived in the Robert St. Jameson St area.

  53. Clarissa Arthur

    It’ll be 30 years next summer since I moved away and I can’t veleive how much time has flown by. Regardless of time, one thing remains… the Pier will ALWAYS be the place I call home. Thank you for reminding us and so many others why growing up in the Pier was the best gift every given! ???????? And my Dad, got a mention… he’d appreciate that… always and forever a part of history #ArtieArthur ❤️

    1. Harold Legge

      Clarissa we both grew up in the same house
      My dad sold the house to your dad in 1976 or 77
      I was 17 at that time
      Great read and it also brought me back to my childhood

  54. sharon rolls

    Thank you it was so great to read or see anything from Whitney Pier i have been away for 34 yrs living in Hamilton On but my heart has never left Sydney n s the Pier dere lol

  55. Joan Paul

    Will always be a proud Pier girl. Grew up on Railroad street.
    My maiden name is Hiscock.

  56. Cher Mcmahon

    Well said I miss the pier so much it will always bro home to me. Someday I hope to bring my grandkids there to see where I grew up

    1. Barbara Jessome

      Your work brings the Pier alive. Great job.

  57. Deanna Gibson

    Robyn, that was excellent. I am going to make sure your Grandmother gets a copy. She would really enjoy reading this. Take care and continue the great writing.

  58. Dean Smith


    What a wonderful and refreshing treat to read and reminisce through your piece. “Old Whitney Pier” brought back so many fantastic memories for me, and so many others. Thank you for this! As a board members of the Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute, this is the kind of work I am proud to put my support behind. As a Whitney Pier native, I am equally proud of you! It is also very nice to be partnering with the Alexa McDonough Institute.

    All the best.

    Dean Smith

    1. John violande

      John violande I too am a pier boy grew up in Canada’s best melting pot with so many different cultures it was a grand place to be part off well done

  59. Wayne

    Made me smile, Pier Boy living in Ontario.

  60. Robyn Martelly

    Thanks everyone for all the comments and support. I love reading all your memories. Continue sharing! : )

  61. Marilyn(MacLeod)Pasternak

    Thanks Robyn: Grew us on Kitchener St., and my husband on Mt. Pleasant St., brought back lots of good memories

  62. Wally MacLeod

    Great job Robyn Wally “Bookie” MacLeod, Left the Pier in 1958 when I joined the RCMP but I never forgot about the wonderful time of growing up in such a diverse place. Grew up on Kitchener street with my Mom and Dad Mildred and Bill along with my two siblings Ross and Marilyn

  63. Frank Holly Holloway

    Nice read.

  64. Barry Hawco

    No place else like it always a pier boy.

  65. Frances Waterman-O’Connell

    Excellent in capturing the authenticity of our Whitney Pier culture. It left a vivid image wth me as I read. Sis, Looking forward to your future creative writing:)

  66. Laura (Kokocki) Rafuse

    Amazing article and very proud to have been born and raised in the Pier. Went to Jamieson elementary, Whitney school, then onto Memorial Jr High. Was a part of 587 with people I’m honored to still call my friends and will always remember the feeling of walking in the Santa Clause parade and when we walked onto the overpass, we took a break because we knew we’d soon be playing for our hometown community and once we hit the other side, we would all be so proud and played our hearts out for our family and friends. Thanks for the memories

  67. Diane Clare

    Awesome Robyn a round of applause for a job well done!

  68. Anne Mombourquette

    Well written! Brought back many wonderful memories growing up in the Pier!

  69. Elaine

    Never were words spoken so true. Miss the good ole days of street dances and fun. Best place in the world to grow up. ????.
    Great job Robyn

  70. Kathy (Rykunyk) Monahan

    Well done Robyn
    I grew up on Fredreck St before they destroyed it and tore down our houses this brought back a lot of wonderful memories

  71. Linda -Manning-Mac Kinnon

    Beautiful read . Lived in the Pier all of my life. Wonderful place to live and grow up.

  72. John MacDonald

    Nice job Robyn. I grew up in the Pier …up on Lingan Rd. by the graveyard…. my mom is still there. I too have great memories of the Pier and I’m kinda glad my mom is still there cause I get to drive there every so often and get to reminess all over again as I pass through the various parts of the Pier. I certainly was well rounded with every inch of the Pier …I played little league with the Dodgers & our home field was Tupper St. … I lived up on the hill and went to Holy Redeemer school after Elmwood. I had friends at every end of the Pier and often I ended up being a peace maker when kids from opposite parts came into confrontations. I have many great memories of the Pier …. playing fastball with the Pier Aces … winning a school championship hockey crown with Don Bosco …playing in different bands enjoying the 60’s & 70’s music….. sliding down Church St. hill on the wire high snow banks & even playing with the tar behind the circus when we use to walk the tracks to get there & sneak in the back. No place like the Pier.

  73. Rhonda Webber

    Great read Robin! I enjoyed reminiscing with your words about the Pier.

  74. Ellen O'Reilly Sewell

    Beautiful read. Will always be home to me???? I moved away in 1993 but look forward to my visits home every summer.

  75. Cecilia Clyke-Dicker

    Thank you Robin, I grew up in the pier and loved every minute of it. Beautiful memories. I grew up on Curry’s land and remember the whistle from the steel plant and see men walking home with black faces from the dust. My mom yelling to me in and playing baseball in the sand lot just outside the house, any one who came along could play, the more the merrier. We had a ball and a bat. that was it.

  76. Evie Dickson

    Once a Pier boy always a Pier boy. Grew up on Hankard St.
    Great article. So many great friends and memories of growing up there. A great place to grow up. Skating on the rink at Villanova school and sliding down the icy driveway in winter and going down the bank by the garage on cardboard.

  77. Patricia

    Thanks for the memories. It sure was a busy neighbourhood. Blueberry picking afterwards swimming in the lake (name?). Knew when to go home when we heard the 4 pm horn from the steel plant. Sat. Nite at the corner of Henry & Victoria sts Listening to the Salvation Band. Playing hide & seek on Henry st. Groceries delivered on Sat. Church picnics. Swimming at Polar Bear . Monday’s wash days, all clothes hung on the line, even in the winter. Eastmont & Whitney schools. Families, baby carriages on a Sunday afternoon walk along Victoria St.

  78. Robyn

    Thanks everyone! I see there’s lots of great storytellers from the Pier. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and stories. Thanks again! 🙂

  79. G. MacChesney

    Yes, I am from the Pier Dear!
    On Victoria Rosd across from the school.
    My best friend was Walter Nichols, who left us at an early age.
    My memories are not so great.
    Alcoholism surrounded my world.
    Living a life of fear.
    Is what it was like in the pier.
    Recently visited that old house.
    But could not step anywhere near.
    Much of what happened in my Pier,
    Was not held with such revere.
    Whatever happened when I was young.
    Has skewed my mind of what once was.

    Yes I am from the Pier Dear

    1. Robyn

      That’s unfortunate.
      That your experience was so different.

      Yet, this poem about the Pier
      still brings us together dear.

      Whether the memories were
      good or bad.

      A life in the Pier Dear
      We both had.

      Thanks for sharing!

  80. JoAnne (MacDonald) Kingsbury

    Well written Robin…Growing up in the Pier during the ‘40’s, ‘50’s & ‘60’s such a diverse community. My Dad built our house in 1945 on East James St & it is still in the family. Such wonderful childhood memories Always a Pier Girl.

  81. Rev

    You can never replace the pier.

  82. Albert Dorko

    Nice read. Lots of memories, good and not so good, but that is life. Would not change much. Living on the west coast now,but still keep in touch with many old pier friends. Thank you Robyn.

  83. Bob MacLennan

    Fond memories growing up on Saint Ann’s Street. Soccer on Dominion street, hockey on the Lily pond, horseshoes, baseball, road hockey on St Ann’s St, and who can forget the spring water from John s’s Field !!!!!

  84. Peggy Johnson Costigan

    Lived in the pier all my life, and still here. Wouldn’t live anywhere else. Feel very safe here. Origanially from Railroad Street. Love the Pier Dear. Peggy Johnson ( Costigan )

  85. Pappy

    The memories that this brought back right on point cuz.

  86. Maureen( Keough) Capstick

    To this day I love saying I am from The Pier Dear. So many memories. Victoria Lunch and the mini Jute Boxes and oh the great French fries. I could go on and on. Thanks so much brought it right back to life.

  87. Linda (Costigan) MacKinnon

    I left the Pier almost 40 years ago, but still miss it so much. So many memories. Still have siblings living in the Pier & one still lives in our old homestead on Railroad Street. Thank heavens I don’t live far from the Pier & love getting my sons & grandchildren to visit where I grew up……hubby even enjoys the visits. Such an awesome community to grow up in.

  88. Robyn

    Nice to see that this poem is circulating again. Thanks everyone! 🙂

  89. Catherine Penman

    Hi, Robyn. What a lovely story. I was pleasantly surprised to see you mention my fether’s Close b in the story. Fred Tomie was my father. I was your music teacher. I loved your article. Take care.

  90. Maria Camilli Hashem

    This is wonderful!!! When I am asked where I am from, I say Cape Breton, Sydney, the Pier dear!!!

  91. Tracy Smith

    I felt home again as I read you beautiful depiction of a place I remember as home. Loved growing up in the Pier. I visit the Pier every day and hope some day to go back and be home again. You are truly an amazing writer. Thanks for sharing.

  92. Lillian Bona (Campbell)

    I grew up in the pier I must say seeing your poem (I experienced it all) and familiar names of those I grew up with etc. I am feeling homesick. I look forward to visiting when I can and have family living there still..thank you for the memories..
    Lillian Bona (Campbell)

  93. Margie Ferguson

    This brought a smile to my face. I grew up on French street.Walking to Nick’s store on Lingan road.YCS dances at Holy Redeemer. Singing in the youth choir. Amazing place to grow up.

  94. Dianna Brewster

    Very smart Robyn thank you for the great memories. The pier is definitely home. Your a very smart well educated woman it’s my pleasure in being your friend may god bless you sweetie.

  95. Derek

    What a amazing outlook of Whitney pier, grew up on Connaught street and remember those fond years, living in Toronto for 25 years now, brings comfort in hearing this tribute. Thanks

  96. gladys inniss

    this is so very special it shared my childhood my wonderful times in the pier dear. we had it all the iceman and the fish man was the same guy shout out to leo the wonderful man from south bar who was handsome and had a great smile will never forget him. mr marsh who ran the store on tupper street where everything was 5 cents. wonderful,joyful place I am both proud and grateful to have been born there. thank you for giving me that warm feeling in my soul of my special place ,well written.

  97. Joseph Le Lievre

    Awesome, great story.

  98. Bill McPhee

    A great read, thanks for sharing! A mainlander now with many memories of growing up on MacLean Street in the Pier. They were good times! Everything seems so small there now. Lol, tell my kids I use to walk miles to school when looking today it was actually a couple of blocks away although the school is no longer. Made for a great story of hardship though and the boys know no different!

  99. debbie white

    absolutely beautiful and true Robyn. I so miss those days and you brought back every memory …❤

  100. Ed March

    Left in 1968 but have many fond memories of the gang around Borden Street bordering South Bar. Also of Broadway and St Ann’s Street where lots of cousins lived. I remember summer days at Browns Lake and many times wandering up McLennans Brook after trout.

  101. Danielle Clyke

    You brought me to tears…beautifully written! This is how I remember Whitney Pier!

  102. Florence and Doug Taylor

    Robyn very well written . I live on hardwood hill when I met my pier boy . I love the pier we raised our four kids here . People always said to me why would you move to the pier ,because I love it here love my neighbourhood and my neighbours Robyn you being one of them . I would never leave the Pier 23 years on my street but over 33 years in the pier . Robyn alway like reading your columns From the pier dear .

  103. Tracey Lessley

    Your writing brought me right back to my wonderful childhood. Definitely brought a smile to my face and a nostalgic tear to my eye. Pier Girl living in London Ontario….Tracey Lessley

  104. Patricia Boyett

    What a great poem,my dear Robyn. I left the Pier in 1962@ the age of 21 and journeyed out to Los Angeles to pursue my nursing career. I have always reminisced about growing up in the Pier with so many great memories.And until this day I forever use the word dear in my vocabulary and always with a thank you my dear and to you also,thank you my dear????

  105. chessam

    Beautifully written and fond memories ???? Ican still remember selling lemonade on webster street. I used to get up so early and visit everyone in the neighborhood, they’d always let me in and make me a tea even though I was only 5 lol. I remember the orange sky from the plant, going to swan restaurant for fries and gravy, running to Bernies for fresh cinnamon rolls or Pizza, or over to purity bread for my mom. Everyone was like family, no matter what your background was. It never mattered. I remember every kid in the neighborhood would go to Mary Bordens and she would feed us all, even though nobody had much, everyone gave what they had. So incredibly proud to be from the Pier. It still boasts such a strong sense of community. Those roots run deep. ❤????????????????????????

  106. Erin Richard

    Great poem. I remember growing up in the Pier and the segregation. One end of the Pier being labeled as the “good end” abd the other end, the “bad end”! Any time I would tell any of my friends not from the Pier that I was from the Pier, they would say, “I would not go to the Pier, people will come after you with baseball bats”! I tried to convince them that it was a rumor and that it is 100% not true.

  107. MarilynBates

    Thanks Robyn for all the memories . Great job. I still live on Lingan Rd in the Pier.Alwayslove living here.

  108. Margie Gillis

    Beautiful poetry and literary skill! thank You Robyn, your poem tells the story!

  109. Tara

    Thank u for taking me down memory lane

  110. Helen Elchyshyn Day

    What a wonderful read ! It brought back so many great memories of growing up in the pier ! It was a time when there was more laughter than tears ! I left Sydney in the 70’s but kept many of my childhood friends . Whenever we got together we spoke about the good times we had growing up in the Pier . A friend from another province once said ,”I have to visit this place you call THE PIER , it sounds wonderful ! ! I also think of the many students that went through my classes while teaching at Jamieson school . They were the best years of my career !

  111. Gwen McLaine

    Beautiful Robyn…your so talented! ????

  112. Pearl Farrell

    Growing up in the Pier there was nothing like it. Walking over the overpass was the highlight of my day growing up. The memories I have are my treasures I’ll always have buried in my heart. Family and friends will never be forgotten my home will always be there where my roots are. Living up in Ontario but my head is with home my!!! Cape Breton❤️❤️

  113. Darlene

    Thanks for the beautiful memories. I grew up on Frederick St.


    Good read. Revived many happy and sad memories. GOOD SUMMARY

  115. Ellen Gallagher McNamara

    Thank you so much for the memories. You did a great job on the highlights. Very appropiate for what is going on lately.

  116. Jim Woodrow

    Lived on Matilda St , My father rented Mrs. Keating’s old home. Great times there and lots of good memories for sure.

  117. Marianne (Ratushny) Gillis

    Robyn: You captured the essence of what it meant to grow up in the Pier. I grew up on Breton Street smack dab in the middle of the Pier. Life was so good then, families were close and people looked after each other. Everyone got along regardless of gender, race or religion. It was a great time to grow up then (1960″s & 70’s). I so wish I could have brought my boys up in that atmosphere. Always A Pier Girl!

  118. James Del vecchio

    Grew up 98tupper st smell granddad bakery so much culture everyone loved as one lots great memorys

  119. Clarissa Arthur

    I read every line with a massive smile on my face. To see my Dad (Artie) mentioned made my heart so happy. This community is a special place; one that I will ALWAYS hold close. It’s made so many of us who we are today!

  120. Roy MacLennan

    I remember being able to play road hockey after dark thanks to the orange glow of the ore dust when it drifted over Dogpatch. Somehow a great memory.

  121. Albert (Al) Dorko

    Hello, Gladys. Great to see there are a few of the old guard still above the grass. We didn’t have much but we knew how to enjoy what we had.


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