Transcript: Main Street Ontario: Hamilton | Jun 28, 2017

Old pictures of different parts of a city overlap on a map.

A male voice says ALL THE ACTION WAS DOWNTOWN.

A female voice says THE DOWNTOWN WAS SO ALIVE,
THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE.

Another male voice says EVERYBODY ON THE MAIN STREET
KNEW ONE ANOTHER.

Another female voice says I REMEMBER THE MERCHANTS
HOSING DOWN THEIR SIDEWALKS,
CRANKING UP THEIR AWNINGS.

A third male voice says IT WAS BUSTLING.
THE STREET HAD LIFE TO IT.

The name of the show appears on a road sign. It reads "Main Street Ontario. Hamilton."

Photo cut outs pop up as each person speaks.

John DIliberto, a man in his fifties with short white hair says JAMES STREET WAS LA PIAZZA
FOR THE ITALIAN MEN
TO WALK UP AND DOWN
AND, UH, HAVE DISCOURSES.

Charlie Mattina, a man in his fifties with wavy gray hair says AHH, THIS WAS LITTLE ITALY.

Ron Corsini’s voice says I GREW UP WITH THREE SISTERS
AND WE ALL LIVED
ABOVE THE STORE,
MY GRANDPARENTS,
MY MOTHER, FATHER,
MY THREE SISTERS, MYSELF,
AND ONE BATHROOM.
(CHUCKLING) SO...
BUT WE MADE DO.

An old picture of the front of a store appears with the caption "Opened in 1928."

John says ON THE CORNER OF
MURRAY AND JAMES
WAS CORSINI'S GROCERY STORE.
I MEAN, THAT WAS A LANDMARK.

Frank Manolfi’s voice says I REMEMBER, UH, CORSINI.

Charlie says VERY SPECIALIZED
IN ITALIAN FOOD.

Ron says PARMIGIANO, ROMANO,
UH, PICCOLINO.
OUR OLIVES CAME IN, UH,
LIKE, WINE BARRELS!
IT WAS PACKED,
THERE WERE THINGS HANGING
FROM THE CEILING, UH,
THERE WERE THINGS ON THE FLOOR,
UH, IN THE WINDOW...
AFTER THE WAR, WHEN THE INFLUX
OF ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS CAME OVER,
UH, FROM ITALY,
A LOT OF THEM CAME OVER
WITH A DOLLAR IN THEIR POCKET,
SAW A FAMILIAR, ITALIAN NAME
ON THE, UH, GROCERY STORE,
AND WOULD COME IN,
AND MY FATHER WOULD ASSIST THEM.
GAVE THEM CREDIT,
IF THEY HAD A BROTHER,
OR A SISTER HERE,
AND THEY WANTED THE REST
OF THEIR FAMILY TO COME OVER,
MY FATHER WOULD SPONSOR THEM.

Frank, a man in his seventies with shot white hair says HE WAS AN OLD MAN, UH, PETER.
THEY ASKED HIM WHEN HE
WENT FOR THE CITIZENSHIP,
THEY SAID, WHO IS
THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA?
HE SAYS, CORSINI.
CORSINI, HE WAS
ONE OF THE GREATEST
UH, ITALIAN, UH, PERSON,
BECAUSE HE HELPED
LOTTA ITALIAN PEOPLE.

Charlie says EVERYBODY TOOK CARE
OF EACH OTHER.
THAT'S LIFE,
YOU JUST TOOK CARE
OF EACH OTHER.

Frank says EHH, IT WAS, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL,
I TELL YA,
IT'S BEEN BEAUTIFUL.
NOW, I GOTTA STOP.

Joey Coleman’s voice says JAMES WAS HIT REALLY HARD
BY THE RECESSION OF THE 90S.
BUSINESSES WERE CLOSING,
THE AFFLUENT ITALIAN
AND PORTUGESE FAMILIES
WERE MOVING TO THE SUBURBS.
IT TOOK AWAY
A LOT OF THE ENERGY.

John says ALL OF A SUDDEN,
THE PIAZZA-LIKE
ATMOSPHERE OF JAMES STREET
NO LONGER EXISTED HERE.

Mark McNeil’s voice says MANY OF THE BUILDINGS
WERE CLOSED DOWN,
WINDOWS WERE BOARDED UP.

Joey says I SAW THE STREET GO FROM
THAT VERY VIBRANT,
THE CENTRE OF THE CITY,
TO DORMANT.

Ron says A LOT OF PEOPLE,
AT THAT TIME,
WOULD NEVER EVEN CONSIDER
COMING DOWN, UH,
TO JAMES STREET NORTH,
BECAUSE, WHY?
WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?

Ryan McGreal, a man in his thirties with wavy brown hair says IT STARTED WITH THE ART SCENE,
IT STARTED WITH THE
GALLERY CALLED THE HAMMER,
WHICH WAS ON JAMES NORTH.

Jeremy Freiburger, a man in his forties with wavy gray hair and glasses says WE WERE THE ODDBALLS
OUT ON THE STREET.
WE HAPPENED TO INHABIT
A COUPLE OF SPOTS,
THERE WAS, LIKE, LOOSE CANON-

Dave Kuric’s voice says BRYCE AT YOU-ME-

Jeremy says SUBLIMATUS-

Dave says THE HAMILTON ARTISTS INC. FOLKS-

Jeremy says THE BLUE ANGEL-

Dave says THE PRINCE STUDIO...

Laura Ryan, a woman in her forties with short brown hair says I REMEMBER COMING DOWN TO
AN ART CRAWL, PROBABLY 2005...
ALL OF A SUDDEN,
YOU WALKED DOWN THE STREET,
AND THERE'S JUST
THESE BRIGHT LIGHTS,
SO IT JUST FELT LIKE, Y'KNOW,
THE EYES - THE EYELIDS HAD,
HAD POPPED ON
ALL OF THESE SHOPS.

Ella Sheppard, a woman in her thirties with long brown hair says BUT THERE WAS THIS, LIKE,
LIVE MUSIC COMING OUT
FROM ALL, LIKE,
THE LITTLE ART GALLERIES,
LITTLE VENDORS HERE AND THERE.

Chris Farias, a man in his thirties with short brown hair says YOU KIND OF KNEW
EVERYBODY ON THE STREET.
I JUST LOVE THAT
SMALL TOWN FEEL TO IT.

Joey says I RAN INTO A BUDDY OF MINE,
JUST IN THE MIDDLE OF JAMES
STREET DURING SUPERCRAWL.
HE SEES ME AND GOES,
WHAT HAPPENED?
LOOK AT ALL THESE PEOPLE,
WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES STREET?
AND IT WAS JUST PEOPLE SAID,
LET'S DO SOMETHING.
IT WASN'T A GRAND PLAN,
THERE WASN'T A GRAND DESIGN.
IT WAS A BUNCH OF
YOUNGER ENTREPRENEURS
AND ARTISTS SAYING,
OKAY, ENOUGH COMPLAINING,
LET'S DO.

Ron says WHEN I COME DOWN
TO THE ART CRAWL,
I LOOK AROUND,
AND I SAY,
WHERE WERE ALL THESE PEOPLE
WHEN I WAS GROWING UP?

An animated postcard reads "Dear Mister Corsini, If you could only see our street these days. You’d be amazed. Sincerely, James Street North, Hamilton."

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Produced in association with TVO. Never stop learning.

With the participation of The Canada Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

A production of The Tale of a Town Canada. www.thetaleofatown.com.

Copyright 2016, The Tale of a Town Inc.

Watch: Main Street Ontario: Hamilton