14 – Two Rivers – “Yolanda”

Biltmore hats copy.jpgOriginal Recording Date August 21st 2015

Guest: Yolanda

The ward has a significant population of immigrants who came over from Italy in the early twentieth century.  There were several waves of immigration that occurred starting in the early 1910s and 20s, and continuing into the 50s and 60s.  Many arrived as teenagers and went to work in the factories located in the ward, such as the Northern Rubber Factory, the Guelph Carpet Factory and Biltmore Hats.  They bought and built houses, grew beautiful gardens, had children, and as those children grew to be adults many of them settled in the ward as well.  They are such an essential piece of the fabric of the ward, and their heritage has had an undeniable effect of the neighbourhood.  The mobile radio project would not have been complete without hearing from a member of this history.  Yolanda moved to Guelph from Italy when she was 17, 55 years ago.  She worked at Biltmore hats for 40 years.  She describes her lifetime of living in the ward as being full of hardwork and long hours, but full of love and gardens and family as well.  She was such a delight, and there couldn’t have possibly been a better guest for the final episode of this Two-Rivers Radio Stay.

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