Toronto, Ontario; Bala, Ontario; Gravenhurst, Ontario
My father, Kent Ing, filled in the story. Although steak was available, the most popular dish at the Queen’s Cafe was fish and chips, at 30 cents. When the price was raised to 35 cents, the customers really complained. The popular breakfast order was pancakes, drawn from 3 pails of batter each morning. Chinese food was on the menu, with the popular choice chop suey — lots of beansprouts! — and chow main (chop suey with dried noodles on top).
My father Kent came to Canada in 1949. My grandfather Henry (See Chong) Ing had been in Toronto for some years. In 1951, my grandmother (Toy Ping) and uncle (Harry) came to Canada. My grandfather wasn’t making enough in the Toronto to support the whole family.
My father Kent spent a summer working in the Chinese restaurant in Orillia. My grandfather and father decided to try their own business. They first talked to a restaurant owner in Brampton. Asking how many were working in that restaurant, the response was 1-1/2 — the owner, and half-time by the old man upstairs. That wasn’t enough business to sustain the family.
There wasn’t a Chinese restaurant in Gravenhurst in 1951. The store at 350 Muskoka Road South had been a radio store, but was vacant. My grandfather and father bought the store. They got a loan from family (an Ing in Toronto, on Dundas Street West) for the full amount. A Toronto fixtures company offered to design and construct the whole restaurant, no money down, with payment due in three years. There were also plumbers and electricians to pay. Banks wouldn’t loan money.
There were 7 Chinese who came to Gravenhurst, including Henry, Kent, Sen, Jack and his nephew. They were so poor that lunch was a slice of bread with a little bit of jam.
When Queen’s Cafe opened, it was the most modern restaurant between Toronto and Parry Sound. It was so nice that customers were initially intimidated to come in. The reputation grew as a place that served good food, both Western and Chinese.
My father recalls a boom year, between 1957 and 1958. The construction on Highway 11 near Wasago restricted traffic to a one-way bridge at Washago. This meant that traffic was backed up from Huntsville down Muskoka Road in Gravenhurst. The volume was so high that there was a lineup at the door, and as soon as a customer finished eating, the next would hop into the chair. The profits from that year were enough to fund a house in Toronto on Beverley Street, where my grandfather would eventually retire, and Uncle Harry would go to University of Toronto.
My father Kent said that George White used to come into Queen’s Cafe at night for a coffee, and to talk. He was complaining that his television wasn’t working, and the serviceman had come over more than few times, and it still wasn’t working properly. He asked if my father would take a look at it.
Kent went over. He said that it was one of the old televisions where the magnet is in a yoke that goes around the neck of the picture tube. He just adjusted it a bit, and the television worked fine within minutes.
George went back to work at Rubberset, and said that Kent was a miracle worker. This led to other people in town asking for Kent to fix their televisions.
So, George White is a key figure in the transition from Queens Cafe to Kent Tv. My father’s business started from the referrals that George started.
The February 2019 Systems Thinking Ontario meeting was an opportunity to bring those unfamiliar with the work of Christopher Alexander on methods revealed in the Eishin School and Multi-Service Centers projects.
An invitation as a keynote presenter at the 2018 International Conference on Smart Cities and Urban Design (SCUD) was initiated on a recommendation by Susu Nousala to the program chair WU Jing. Blending the conference theme with my recent doctoral research, I proposed the topic “Innovation Learning for Sustainability: What’s smarter for urban systems”? For […]
The March 2018 lecture on Architecting for Wicked Messes for the OCAD SFI Understanding Systems and Systemic Design course was influenced having just taught Systems Methods at UToronto, and launching the Open Innovation Learning book.
Social ecology and environmental psychology described @dstokols @Social_Ecology , interviewed by @katiepatrick . References #WilliamsJames on attention. Book on Social Ecology in the Digital Age released in 2018.Read more ›
Concerns on #personaldata should be reframed as interpersonal, says @sheldrake , less the nodes and more the edge connections. “I want to take back control” superficial, @hartzog says control doesn’t scale. Agency is about negotiation in the world, more rhizomatic…Read more ›
Doing science should be wayfinding (pathfinding), says #TimIngold , gaining grounding in the art of paying attention, towards research as the pursuit of truth. Truth is more than objective facts, where science and art are embraced with materials, so that we can see the quality inside the natural world as it forms, rather than as […]
We should be more vigourous, says @MazzucatoM , in debating differences between value extraction and value creation, and between profits and rents. Lecture at Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford U., January 2019Read more ›
Most destructive analogy last 100 years @DavidGelernter @econtalker : Post-Turing thinkers decided that brains were organic computers, that computation was a perfect model of what minds do ... and that mind relates to brain as software relates to computer Read more ›
Before judging democratic systems over authoritarian, examine the functioning of governments through its diplomats, where plutocracy has an alternative in meritocracy, says @mahbubani_k @longnow @asiasocietysfx. [1:19:30] … when people compare the American government with the Chinese government, they say: “This…Read more ›
Does “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is now” date back further than 1988? It is time to look long and hard at the value of the urban forest and create the broad-based efforts — in research, funding and citizen participation — needed to improve […]
Workshop led by @RohanAlexander and @prof_lyons at #CASCONxEvoke on "Barriers to Data Science Adoption: Why Existing Frameworks Aren't Working". For discussion purposes the challenges are grouped within three themes: regulatory; investment; and workforce.
“You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts” by #DanielPatrickMoynihan is predated on @Freakonomics by #BernardMBaruch 1950 “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts”. Source: “There Are Opinions, And Then There Are Facts” | Fred Shapiro […]
Satire can be an antidote, says Prof. #PaulBabbitt @muleriders , to #bullshit (c.f. rhetoric; hypocrisy; crocodile tears; propaganda; intellectual dishonesty; politeness, etiquette and civility; commonsense and conventional wisdom; symbolic votes; platitudes and valence issues).
If we don’t first know “what is system is”, how do we approach an intervention? #MichaelCJackson OBE and Dr. #LuisGSambo appreciate the difference between “systems thinking” (plural) and “system dynamics” (singular), and suggest expanding theory with Critical #SystemThinking in Health Systems Research. An ignorance of history is, if anything, even more pronounced among those authors […]