Pickering, Ontario


For four years I lived in the old school in the village of Cherrywood. The school had closed down many years previously and after a varied history had been converted to a rooming house. It was the first place I phoned when I got to Ontario. I hadn’t planned to stay long but it was convenient and there was a constant steam of interesting roomers plus the location was good.

The school was used as the county sheriff’s office in(I think) the film ‘The War of the Worlds’. I arrived home one evening to find all the parking lot and the field at the back covered with trailers. It was an interesting evening. The scene being filmed consisted of two men walking into the sheriff’s office and asking him some questions. The sheriff talked with a Texan drawl and had problems understanding long words. Then the two men walked out and got into their truck. It took about four hours to film all this. While it was interesting, the dialog was unmemorable.

Cherrywood was a preserved area. Development had been frozen because of the intention to build a large international airport sometime in the future. The Airport never materialized. Facilities at the old school were less than perfect but more than compensated by the rural delights. There is a perverse joy of being woken up in the morning by the cry of the Canada goose.

Pickering also has its own nuclear power station. Jokes about the radiation were frequent and boring. I am fully in favour of nuclear power. It’s clean and safe, even counting the Chernobyl disaster. There is not enough natural gas, hydro, wind, or sun power available. So the alternative to nuclear is coal which is not so clean and tends to pollute.

Cherrywood used to have one of the last village post offices. You used to drop into the post office to pick up your mail. As the PO was next door, this was no hassle. The post mistress knew everybody in the village so service was good. Eventually this ideal service was discontinued and we got impersonal little metal boxes by the roadside. Such is progress.

Pickering has an excellent new swimming pool. When I started working as a salesman, I started swimming again. I used to go for a swim in the early morning then have breakfast on my way to work. The odd thing about Pickering was they don’t allow any diving at all.