She wrote to every official she could think of, asking them how she could adopt a Vietnamese child. And you’re gonna wanna check it out. New language laws meant that many Simpson children, some of whom had learning disabilities or were just learning English, would be forced to attend French schools across the city. As the years passed and older teens moved out, still more new kids kept arriving. By the mid-’70s, more than 20 Simpson kids were cramped in the Pointe-Claire house, and it was clear to Sandra that something needed to change. “We were like, ‘Wait, we already have enough kids,’ ” Kesooni remembers. The chandeliers were of Sabino glass, manufactured in France by the the famous glassmaker, Rene Lalique. After a few months, she finally went to the doctor, who took one look at her and told her right there in the room that it was throat cancer. Watch full episodes for free and see the TV schedule for Citytv. She took all the children out of school in May, never mind their teachers’ objections, and only reluctantly brought them back on Labour Day. The latter was located directly across from Simpson’s, on the north side of Queen Street. A kid who wet the bed wasn’t the end of the world—just more laundry. Inside, it housed dozens of children from around the world—kids from war-torn countries, kids other people gave back, kids who had nowhere else to go. In 1998, they removed her larynx, and Sandra never spoke above the faintest whisper again. When I visited him this winter, it was in the plush dining room of his eponymous new restaurant in Rosedale, where you could order Labatt—a tribute to his dad. Sandra threw her off the diving board. Three women, two Indian and one White, were sitting there and began talking to him. “But I didn’t really care what people thought.” In the midst of this flurry of adoptions, Sandra gave birth to a daughter, Melanie. Talk to the Simpsons today and they’ll say they were just like any other family. Each summer, Sandra and Lloyd brought the kids back to their beloved Montreal, at first by plane and then, when air travel became too expensive, by bus or car. One child, a girl from Vietnam, had contracted polio as a child and lost the use of her legs. The Arcadian Court in 2012, shortly before it closed to the public. “We just seemed to get that rap, no matter where we were.”. If you are interested in adopting please see our adoption … It aimed to attract more well-to-do patrons, often referred to as the carriage trade. Since lockdown began, she’d been on her own in the Pointe-Claire house she’s always considered home. Between 1994 and 2009, Mel’s Montreal Delicatessen stood on the corner of Howland and Bloor in the Annex, and many of their siblings, including Manu, Kate and Jasmin, helped out at the restaurant. All content and photographs copyright Doug Taylor, 2014. The Simpson kids are now middle-aged, many of them cresting 50, with lives as varied as their birthplaces. The Simpson house was overflowing, but Sandra decided she couldn’t leave him there. Sometimes there were families with young children, especially on Saturdays. | July 27, 2020. When he arrived in their home in Pointe-Claire—a tiny kid in a poncho and sombrero—he didn’t speak a word of English. With bottomless energy and sheer tenacity, she carved out avenues for international adoption that had never existed before. A smartly attired hostess escorted all guests to their tables, where the waiters invariably inquired if guests wished to see the menu or would prefer the buffet. (Kate was eventually placed on the autism spectrum.) Between adoptions, Lloyd and Sandra had two more biological children, Nicholas and Kathryn. They are usually up for adoption because: Eventually, the dinner crew would make their way to the kitchen and whip up industrial-sized pots of spaghetti or mounds of hot dogs. This is a pity as the venue has been a part of the Toronto scene for over eight decades. Her siblings pulled it down and put it back inside. It explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. Sandra was as strict as always: she wanted every room spotless. In the process, they’d met Sandra and become inspired by her story. Now, 40 years later, the Simpson kids have grown into chefs, business owners, athletes, hospitality workers and parents with kids of their own. Did he have parents? Through FFC, an Ontario family had adopted Kate, a five-year-old girl from Bangladesh thought to have an intellectual disability. “Fine!” she answered, characteristically curt. If someone tried to sneak home after dark, they’d find the doors locked—the only way in would be to wake Sandra. Then he carefully put it back in the box, still not quite believing his luck. She drinks her hot cocoa. According to family lore, Sandra wanted to adopt a child from the orphanage, but the idea of choosing seemed impossible. Most of all, Sandra was worried about what would happen to the kids. Three months into the adoption, the mother decided to move to the U.K. and didn’t know what kinds of services would be available. Sandra saw kids in peril and knew she could help. The operation became a glaring symbol of some of the thorny issues around international adoptions. Sandra visited the orphanage a few times a year, and whenever she came he would beeline to her side and clutch her skirt, saying, “Mummy, mummy, Canada, Canada.” By the time he was seven or eight, in 1978, Sash’s chances for adoption were waning. The story of the Arcadian Court began between the years 1928-1929, when the Robert Simpson’s Company built a nine-storey Art Deco addition to its already enormous department store. What happened on Russell Hill Road is not just the story of an extraordinary woman, but of a radical experiment in child rearing. In the 1970s and ’80s, the house was filled with dozens of children, from tiny preschoolers to gangly teenagers. Where Woodhouse Brew Pub chef Graham Pratt gets takeout oysters, cold-cut sub sandwiches and Portuguese pastries. Instead the family made more room, stretched Lloyd’s salary a little further, and signed forms to make those children Simpsons. Sandra was born in 1937 in Barranquilla, Colombia, where her father worked installing telephone lines. When Charles learned of the Simpsons’ predicament, he made an extraordinary offer: come to Toronto, move into the empty house, stay as long as you want. The day before the house went on the market, a handful of the remaining Simpsons descended on the house one last time. If there was a neighbourhood theft or some petty vandalism, all eyes immediately went to the strange family of adoptees. In its haste, a private adoption agency had separated a child from his parents. There they’d find a decorated tree and a wall of gifts, at least three presents for every kid. Chauffeurs idled Rolls-Royces outside the shops on Spadina so society ladies could sample artichoke salads and buy the city’s freshest shrimp. The election of the Parti Québécois had created an anxious atmosphere for Anglophones like the Simpsons. Did he sleep on the street? It was impossible for anyone to say with any certainty. The family lived at the Simpson pool all summer, so any new child would need to swim. Charles was a philanthropist, funding a leprosy hospital overseas and donating to SickKids. As they got ready to hoist it onto the roof of the van, it began to rain and Kathryn started crying. The new structure was at the corner of Bay and Richmond Streets, its main entrance located on Bay Street. Sandra, too, believed that the best option for most orphaned children was to be raised in their home countries, but sometimes that simply wasn’t possible, especially for kids who were older or mixed-race, or had disabilities. Some of the older kids, especially the ones adopted from Canadian foster homes, drifted away from the family. If this submission was flaired inaccurately, click here. Many children who are adopted publicly are older. PO Box 30010 RPO Boxgrove, Markham, Ontario, L6B 0R5 | 416-482-0021 | TOLL free 1-877-236-7820 The first radio broadcast of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the Arcadian Court in 1929, under the TSO’s Viennese conductor Luigi von Kuits. The Gundys lived in a massive home on Russell Hill Road and owned several other properties on the same block. A few hours later, the kids would get up. Locations within The Simpsons, from all around Springfield and the rest of the world. The first time I wrote to Sandra Simpson, she told me, quite firmly, to go away. For more information about the topics explored on this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/tayloronhistory-comcheck-it-out/. Neighbours sometimes bring over groceries, but she keeps her distance. Kate shrieked whenever she was in an enclosed space, so the family brought her crib out into the hall. To Sandra, that was unconscionable. When the Toronto Star published an item about Sandra’s work, readers were appalled. “I was an ambitious kid,” Sash says. At 83, Sandra is still the head of FFC and still wakes up well before sunrise to correspond with the orphanages in India and Bangladesh, using her iPad to send countless messages to the staff there, who call her “Mummy” and relay what the children ate last night, what cash donations have come in and how they’re being spent. Some kids learned sign language to speak with her; others used finger spelling or wrote notes. They chafed against Sandra’s strict rules. Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s former movie theatres will be released in June, 2016. For the child, it could mean life or death. He had arthrogryposis, a rare condition of the joints: his limbs were bent, he had no muscle tone, and doctors said he had little chance of ever walking. International adoption was and remains controversial. More adopted children arrived quickly after Mai. The Arcadian Court in The Bay in 2011, photo taken from the mezzanine level by the author. The city's animal service made the husky puppy adoption Toronto announcement on social media yesterday. The Simpson’s venue was also one of the city’s favourite places for dining and dancing on New Year’s Eve. “They were horrible racists,” says Sandra. The Arcadian Court was created to compete for the lunch crowd with the Royal York Hotel, as well with Simpson’s retail main rival—Eaton’s. To believe in the power of adoption is to believe that the most profound way to help someone isn’t through large-scale structural change or foreign policy, but by opening up something as intimate as the family unit—by committing to love a kid you’ve never met. “There was no one to look for.”. Jasmin from South Korea was born deaf and legally blind. “We were all orphans,” she says. Sandra built her life and work around the belief that a loving Canadian home, with loving parents, could be transformative. But in the mid-’90s, her voice began to waver. But as a teenager, he suddenly became angry and erratic. After-school playdates outside the neighbourhood weren’t permitted—the logistics were just impossible—but friends were welcome to come back to the Simpson house, and they often did. In 1978, one of Gundy’s homes—a 22-room brick mansion at 45 Russell Hill Road—was sitting empty. The word everyone uses to describe her is “sharp.” She’s a sharp thinker with a sharp sense of humour who doesn’t hesitate to let you know how she feels. And so, that autumn, they moved in. It was said that when it opened, it was the largest restaurant in the world that was located within a retail store. To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/. “I don’t think anyone could really explain her.” She had a unique brand of stubborn, no-nonsense altruism that persevered in the face of bigoted NIMBYism. Forest Hill had only been amalgamated into the city of Toronto a decade earlier, and the neighbourhood still felt like a small village, held together by a network of private clubs and private schools, boardrooms and family connections. They weren’t looking for their identity. The Arcadian Court in the Bay Store at Queen and Yonge still exists, but it is no longer open on a daily basis to the general public. One child from a non-FFC organization, Thanh Campbell, later discovered he still had parents in Vietnam who had left him in the orphanage because they believed he would be safe there. “There was no initiation,” says Mai. Sandra knew how to move among the rich. An additional Surrender Fee might also be required for costs incurred by Rescue. When the lockdown began, she was in court, suing the provincial and federal government’s student loan programs for discrimination against people with disabilities. That marriage ended, and in 1967, Sandra remarried, this time to Lloyd Simpson, who came from the same tight-knit West Island community. However, because many of the clientele were older, attendance slowly declined, which contributed to the restaurant no longer being a public dining place. When a new kid arrived, they’d often gone through horrible experiences—illness, broken adoptions, years on the street—and were suddenly thrust into a strange Canadian home and told that 20 strangers were their new siblings. To subscribe, for just $29.95 a year, click here. They brought him to the FFC orphanage in Podanur. Furniture lined the curb, stretching two houses down. For Sandra, the house at Pointe-Claire, with a swimming pool and a lake nearby, was still home. Lloyd’s work depended on new buildings, and construction was dwindling. As the Simpsons try to console her, Lisa plots with them to get the baby back. The women running FFC were also criticized as White saviours—bleeding-heart liberals who practised what the academic Tarah Brookfield calls an ideology of “maternal internationalism.” According to Brookfield, these women believed that the best thing for poor waifs suffering overseas was to be welcomed into the homes of well-meaning Canadians. They arrived in Forest Hill in 1978 like an asteroid, crashing into a wealthy white neighbourhood that had never seen so many Brown faces before, let alone enough Brown faces to field both sides of a baseball game, and all under one roof. Hey you! While Sandra was off adventuring around the world—setting up an orphanage in Somalia or yelling at politicians in Ottawa—he’d remain at home with the kids. Its name was now simply “The Arcadian,” and it operated as a private event venue. In the decades since Sandra brought international adoption to Canada through sheer force of will, our thinking around the practice has changed radically. There were only eight or so left, and the house seemed too large. A few years later, when Antoinette Gundy died, her family decided to sell it. Photo from Urbantoronto.ca. Melanie remembers a flaming bag of dog poop left on their stoop. Eaton’s had opened its Georgian Room in 1924, and Simpson’s was desirous of luring diners and shoppers away from its competitor. “I can’t understand the thinking of those couples who adopt children of foreign races,” read one letter to the editor in 1979. Unfortunately, due to the diminishing number of patrons, the Arcadian Court closed in 2011. The remaining kids, most in their early 20s, moved back to Toronto. “Sandra and Lloyd have been my parents since day one, so why should I go back and look?” The fact that so many of them came from orphanages, Kesooni says, made the idea of searching for lost parents or buried histories beside the point. Included in the new building was a two-storey restaurant, on the eighth and ninth floors. Along with her husband, Lloyd—a dependable presence who supported his wife over the course of their marriage—Sandra spent decades adopting children from around the world. Lisa is mistakenly given political asylum in Canada during a family trip to Niagara Falls. All day and night, the Simpson kids went room by room, from top to bottom. Without him, none of it would have been possible.”. “Grande agua.” Then he stepped off the edge in his clothes, sinking to the bottom before his siblings could dive in to fish him out. “She was so funny, and too smart,” says Sandra. This was a pity, as the history of the Arcadian Court included many events that were important in the lives of Torontonians. Liberace once performed on a grand piano in the Arcadian Court, to an enthralled audience. When Jasmin’s care became too much for them to manage, they sent her to Sandra’s neighbours in the hopes that they’d pass her to the Simpsons for adoption. But the Simpson clan could absorb anyone. She doesn’t venture out. The very idea that having 30 adopted siblings was worthy of serious introspection was, to many of them, nonsensical. All clothes were shared. I usually chose the buffet. The daughter of the king of Bulgaria lived in the neighbourhood. The Simpson’s venue was also one of the city’s favourite places for dining and dancing on New Year’s Eve. “To tell you the truth, she’s not normal,” her daughter Kathryn told me. The siblings filled countless garbage bags, hauling out clothes from every era, a lifetime of report cards and school projects, hairbrushes and fridge magnets, the accumulated detritus of so many lives. A childless couple, seeking the one baby who would complete them, could get overwhelmed by a kid who required extra care. In the mornings, the breakfast kids would get into the kitchen and begin cooking—pancakes on the enormous griddle served with “maple syrup” (made by boiling down water and brown sugar), or the family’s signature scrambled egg on toast. “The rule was: if you fit it, you got to wear it,” says Melanie. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 125 archival photographs and relates interesting anecdotes about these grand old theatres and their fascinating history. He was kind and easygoing, with a solid middle-class job as a construction estimator. Most devastatingly, adoptions often broke down. Built in 1910, the brick mansion backs onto a sloping garden, and a few years ago, it sold for at $3.6 million, a typical price for a home on one of the wealthiest blocks in the country. Each week she typed out highly specific grocery lists—powdered milk instead of the real stuff, huge bags of puffed rice instead of name-brand cereal. He adored Sandra, enjoyed the huge chaotic life she had built for them, and loved the kids who crowded every corner of their house. This administrative assistant makes $63,000 a year. David was Black and Samantha was mixed-race, and the adoptions raised eyebrows among Sandra’s neighbours in Pointe-Claire. View is from the main floor level, looking upward to the mezzanine. Every afternoon like clockwork, he’d walk home from his TTC stop on St. Clair, a kid or two often meeting him along the way to enjoy a few quiet minutes with their dad. On a trip to the orphanage in India, she chatted with a visiting Princess Anne, as comfortable next to royalty as she was playing with the kids. She wanted to arrange adoptions for the neediest, but found that many Canadian couples weren’t willing to take on children with disabilities. Toronto had never felt like home. Around the age of eight, Simpson had a … By the time Sash Simpson’s formal adoption application was typed up in 1984, the family had 26 children, 20 of them adopted, four biological and another two fostered in the home. “There were so many kids.”. After multiple operations, he not only learned to walk but became a strong swimmer. The family would pile into an enormous picnic table in the back room, excess kids spilling up the stairs. They were, in her term, “maverick mothers,” who often clashed with the views of government officials, who preached caution and encouraged would-be parents to adopt locally. New kids arrived without fanfare. The Adoption Council of Ontario. Adoption Fees. Now 83, Sandra lives in a rambling home in Pointe-Claire, an Anglophone suburb of Montreal. Through lots of research and investigation, we felt that Lifeline Children’s Services was a great fit for our famliy. With their sprawling numbers and the haphazard way they came together, the Simpsons pressed up against the boundaries of what it meant to be a family. We deal with public adoption, private adoption, international adoption and relative adoption. And so the family kept growing. But Canada’s immigration laws made adopting a child from overseas nearly impossible. It is likely that it was a private banquet being held in the venue. “He was a great father, always there for everybody,” says Kathryn, the youngest biological Simpson kid. Adoption fees vary depending on age, vaccinations and Veterinarian care received. She defrosts the meals her kids bring her when they visit. Kids were forbidden from going into the fridge outside of mealtimes. “Once you’re in, you’re in.” And Sandra didn’t coddle any of her kids, regardless of their disabilities. “Did you always want a big family?” I asked. Sandra dressed simply and never dreamed of splurging on a handbag or shoes. The methods Sandra used to adopt Mai—refusing to take no for an answer, badgering functionaries in high places, invoking her authority as a mother—came to be her modus operandi. “They weren’t too crazy about the Black kids,” Sandra says bluntly. COVID-19 Update: Although some of our services are now starting to open, we are still closed for animal viewing at this time. The thick carpets and massive chandeliers added a degree of elegance never before seen in the city. We support and encourage people along their adoption journey, connecting them to the families and resources they need. It was a warm afternoon, and we spaced out across the yard, careful to maintain our distance. Generally, inter-country adoption must be facilitated through a licensed Ontario adoption agency that is authorized to facilitate adoption by both the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Servicess and by the child’s country of origin. Because much of her work with FFC took place in Asia, Sandra usually woke at 3:30 a.m. By then, her fax machine would have been buzzing for hours with business from the orphanages, and she spent the hours before sunrise hammering out responses on her electric typewriter. It relates anecdotes and stories by the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses. At home, kids were constantly crawling through the house, or being carried upstairs by one of their siblings. In some cases, Sandra lost control over the kids. https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 . As hard as Lloyd worked, it was a constant struggle to stretch his salary across two dozen children. It is interesting to note that when the Arcadian reopened, the original chandeliers were missing. Public adoption Public adoption means adopting a child through the Children’s Aid Society (CAS). For further information follow the link to Amazon.com here or to contact the publisher directly: http://www.ipgbook.com/toronto–then-and-now—products-9781910904077.php?page_id=21. Adoption is a radical, intensely personal response to distant suffering. But the truth was that the Simpsons were broke. These incidents were devastating for the children involved, and Sandra, who had often arranged the adoptions, felt compelled to step in. Their family may have been a grand experiment in altruism, but it was also the only one they’d ever known. They embodied a particular strain of mid-century Canadian liberalism—a belief that the complications and inconveniences of race could simply be discarded and replaced with a new collective identity. “I was just over the moon that the lady who owned the orphanage wanted me,” he says. Payment of the adoption fee in cash, debit, Visa, Mastercard or American Express; Whenever possible, all family members should come into to the shelter to select a new pet. The Simpsons Phil Hartman provided voices for several regular characters including Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure. She saw him out of the corner of her eye and stepped out of the way at the last moment. This book will be released on June 1, 2016. View available animals. She invited it into her home and made it family. “I had clients offering to pay cash under the table”: This woman petitioned the government to declare dog-walking an essential service, “I was a pub owner, now I’m a farmer”: When Covid killed her business, she reinvented her life, What’s on the takeout menu of Barbershop Patisserie, Jill Barber’s new puff pastry palace. Thirty-two? The array of salads, hot dishes, and desserts was on par with the finest restaurants. She was fearless and meddlesome, scornful of authorities who dragged their feet when children’s lives were on the line. “Whenever something happened in the area, the Simpsons got blamed,” says Roberto, the kid from Ecuador who had grown into an athletic teenager. With Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith. Through Taylor, Sandra finally arranged to adopt an infant girl. Were there 28 kids? After breakfast, the elementary-aged kids would head off to Brown, the teens to Forest Hill Collegiate or Deer Park, and Lloyd would go to work. The attentive service and quiet atmosphere was appealing to diners who were older, but also attracted businessmen seeking a quiet spot to discuss transactions or become more acquainted with clients. By Toronto Mike May 14, 2015 @ 8:35 AM The Simpsons 15 comments They recently renewed The Simpsons for two more seasons, which will bring them to 28. I particularly enjoyed the roast beef and the chicken pot pies, both available on the menu as well as the buffet. Shortly after they were married, the couple adopted four kids who had been through Canadian foster homes—Michael, David, Samantha and John. Pre-1968 photo of the Arcadian Court, before the original chandeliers were sold. He would never learn to read or write, but had a prodigious memory. They saved their big extravagances for holidays. Tim was a preternaturally cheerful kid from Cambodia whose mother had been exposed to Agent Orange. But she was also conscious of how her kids would be perceived and anxious to protect them. Even as their home grew crowded, the same moral conundrum kept presenting itself: kids needed homes. The house at 45 Russell Hill Road, just south of St. Clair Avenue, is tucked behind a short stone wall and a copse of birches. However, the Arcadian Court was different as it more luxurious than the Georgian Room. Sandra married a military man after high school, and the couple had a daughter, Kimberley. Inter-country adoption involves the adoption of a child from another country by a resident of Ontario. As the Vietnam War entered its second decade, Canadian newspapers were filled with heart-wrenching descriptions of the orphans left behind. When that didn’t work, she connected with an Australian nurse in Vietnam named Rosemary Taylor, a kindred spirit who had spent years battering the Vietnamese bureaucracy with pleas to allow orphans to be sent abroad. Robert Simpson's original store (Simpson & Bogart after 1861), was opened in 1858 in Newmarket, Ontario at what is now 226-228 Main Street South (original building since demolished). Surrounded by ornate wrought iron railing, and with Lloyd she found a partner. Familiar with the process the big news is that Harry Shearer will not be a part of the older,... Fees so we can continue to Rescue cats and kittens Leafs game or Lloyd on. 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