Transcript: Main Street Ontario: Guelph | Jun 06, 2019

The TVO logo appears on a black screen.

(music plays)

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. Guelph."

In off, Barb Minett says ONCE UPON A TIME,
THERE WERE TWO,
KIND OF ECCENTRIC, YOUNG PEOPLE
WHO LIKED EACH OTHER,
BUT DIDN'T FIND THAT THEY COULD
FIND A REAL PURPOSE
IN THEIR LIVES
BY WORKING FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
SO, THEY TRAVELLED
ACROSS THE LAND
AND DISCOVERED
THE WONDER OF BOOKSTORE.

An animation shows the cut out faces of the people talking on figures recreating the stories mentioned.

In off, Doug Minett says THE DOWNTOWN
ITSELF WAS EXTREMELY VIBRANT.
THE BUSINESSES WERE
PROBABLY 20 TO 25 YEARS OLD,
AND MANY OF THEM
OLDER THAN THAT.
SO, THERE WAS MANY
DEPARTMENT STORES, FISHMONGER,
IT WAS
A PRETTY DIVERSE ENVIRONMENT.

Barb says IN OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS,
WE WERE JUST OVERWHELMED
WITH HOW BUSY WE WERE,
AND WE CLOSED DOWN
BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS,
BECAUSE WE DIDN'T KNOW THAT
WAS A VERY BIG SHOPPING TIME.

A caption reads "The bookshelf opened in 1973."

They both laugh.

She continues SO, WE WERE
JUST CLOSED FOR THE WEEK.

In off, Audrey Jamal says YOU DON'T
OFTEN SEE PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
ACTUALLY CREATING COMMUNITY.

Doug says ORIGINALLY,
WHEN WE STARTED IN THIS BIZ,
YOU KNOW, WE WEREN'T THINKING,
OH, LET'S BE COMMUNITY BUILDERS
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

Barb says NO.

In off, Audrey says IF YOU GO
BACK AND LOOK AT THE HISTORY
OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING
DOWNTOWN IN THE 70'S,
MALLS WERE OPENING UP, RIGHT?
IT WAS THE GREAT
"MALLING" OF NORTH AMERICA.

Doug says WHEN THE DOWNTOWN WENT SOUTH,
THEN WE STARTED TO THINK MORE
ABOUT WHAT THIS CITY
LOOKED LIKE IF IT LOST ITS CORE.

Barb says AND ALSO,
IF WE WANTED THAT,
WE WANTED
THAT PLACE TO GO TO,
WE ASSUMED
THERE WOULD BE OTHER PEOPLE
WHO WOULD
WANT THE SAME THING.
WE WANTED A GOOD
PLACE TO EAT AS WELL,
SO WE DECIDED
TO START A CAFÉ.

The caption changes to "The Bookshelf Case opened in 1980."

Ken Hood, a man in his late fifties with glasses says WELL, I'VE BEEN
AT THE BOOKSHELF FOR 35 YEARS.
AT THAT TIME,
IT WAS A SINGLE FLOOR BUILDING
WITH A LITTLE BOOKSTORE
IN THE FRONT
AND A CAFÉ AT THE BACK,
WITH LOTS OF SPIDER PLANTS
HANGING DOWN.
AT THAT TIME,
OUR BOOK KNOWLEDGE
CAME FROM SOMETHING
CALLED BOOKS AND PRINT
AND WE WOULD GET THIS BIG,
LIKE THEY WERE
LIKE ENCYCLOPEDIAS.
I HAD TO WALK AROUND
WITH CATALOGUES
AND REMEMBER
WHERE ALL THE BOOKS WERE.

Photo cut outs pop up as each person speaks.

Andrea PatehvirI, a woman in her early thirties with black curly hair says I CAME IN AND I WAS INTERESTED
IN PURCHASING
A BOOK ON BUDDHISM
AND I WENT UP TO ASK
ONE OF THE STAFF MEMBERS,
HE ENDED UP BEING SOMEBODY
WHO WAS VERY PASSIONATE
ABOUT BUDDHISM
AND SO, JUST STARTED
TALKING TO ME ABOUT THAT,
AND ALL OF MY INTERESTS,
AND IT WAS JUST AMAZING
TO SEE SOMEBODY
WHO WAS SO PASSIONATE
ABOUT THE WORK
THAT THEY WERE DOING.
YEAH IT WAS, KEN.

She laughs.

Peter Henderson says I STILL REMEMBER, BARB SAID,
"HEY, WHAT IF WE BUILT
OUR OWN THEATRE HERE,
WOULD YOU BE
INTERESTED IN RUNNING IT?"
AND HOW DO YOU NOT SAY YES
TO SOMETHING LIKE THAT?
IN THE FALL OF '87
WE STARTED CONSTRUCTION
AND BUILT THE SECOND FLOOR,
AND BY THE SUMMER OF '88,
30 YEARS AGO,
WE OPENED UP THE MOVIE THEATRE.

In off, Steph Minett says THE EBAR
IS A BAR AND EVENT SPACE
THAT'S PART OF THE BOOKSHELF,
IT'S ON THE SECOND FLOOR.

Vish Khanna, a man in his forties with long hair says YEAH THE EBAR
IS TOTALLY A PLACE
THAT IS KNOWN AROUND
THE COUNTRY BY MUSICIANS NOW.
JUST BECAUSE IT'S BEEN
DOING THIS FOR SO LONG
AND I THINK PEOPLE
KNOW IT AS A PLACE WHERE
REALLY INTERESTING AND EXCITING
ARTISTS HAVE PERFORMED.

Seth says VERY QUICKLY
THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN
ONE OF THE FIRST PLACES
I WENT IN GUELPH
BECAUSE IT'S ONE OF THE MAIN
CULTURAL CENTERS OF TOWN,
IT'S WHERE YOU WOULD
COME TO BUY BOOKS
AND WHERE YOU'D
COME TO GO TO A MOVIE.
I PROBABLY CAME
TO THE RESTAURANT
THEY HAD HERE THEN TOO.

Andrea says A FEW YEARS AGO,
SADLY, MACONDO BOOKS,
WHICH IS THE SECONDHAND
BOOKSTORE IN DOWNTOWN,
CLOSED DOWN
AND IT WAS HEARTBREAKING.
AND I KNOW THAT SHOPPING
THE INTERNET MAKES IT SO EASY
TO JUST SIT AT HOME
AND BUY EVERYTHING ONLINE,
BUT IF WE DO THAT WE LOSE
THESE AMAZING CULTURAL PLACES.

Seth, a man in his late forties with glasses says I THINK IT'S HARD
TO ESTIMATE, LIKE, HOW IMPORTANT
A PLACE LIKE THE BOOKSHELF IS,
EXCEPT IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE IT.

Thomas King, a man in his fifties with glasses and a hat says EXACTLY.
I JUDGE A LOT OF TOWNS
BY THEIR BOOKSTORES
OR THEIR LIBRARY,
BUT THE BOOKSTORE
IS A CRITICAL THING FOR ME.
WHENEVER I GET TO
A PARTICULAR POINT IN A NOVEL
THEN I'LL
COME OUT OF MY SHELL,
AND I'LL COME DOWN
TO THE BOOKSHELF
AND I'LL HAVE COFFEE
AND I'LL WORK ON THE,
ON THE CHANGES TO THE NOVEL.

A fragment of a novel appears. The caption changes to "Property of Thomas King."

Audrey says THE BOOKSHELF
CREATED THAT KIND OF A HUB.
I CAN'T THINK OF ANOTHER PLACE
THAT BEHAVES THE SAME WAY
AND HAS MAINTAINED
THAT CHARACTER FOR WHAT?
FOUR DECADES ON?
IT JUST KIND OF
WEAVES THROUGH YOUR LIFE
IN A WAY THAT YOU
ALMOST DON'T THINK ABOUT
UNTIL YOU STOP AND YOU REALIZE
THAT IF THIS WASN'T HERE,
THE CITY WOULDN'T BE THE SAME.

Peter says PEOPLE ARE COMING
AND DOING WHAT THEY WANT TO DO
AND THEY WALK AWAY WITH A BOOK
OR A MOVIE MEMORY OR A MEAL
OR WHATEVER,
YOU KNOW THAT'S...
LIFE'S GOOD
WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

An animated postcard reads "Dear Booshelf, we are so proud of your ongoing endeavour, we hope that you are here forever! Sincerely Downtown Guelph ."

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 2019, The Tale of a Town Inc.

Watch: Main Street Ontario: Guelph