Cottage Sketch

Doors Open 2011

Many people visited the cottage on Saturday 28 May and Sunday 29 May during the Doors Open event this year.

Our restored Tollhouse/museum was open, staffed by our hard working volunteers.

One of the activities was a limerick contest. The subject, as usual, was either roads or tolls/paying a toll. This escaped the attention of some writers who concentrated on the limerick form itself. However, Professor Latham awarded the huge financial prizes as follows, although winners- notified by telephone- may have to wait to spend their winnings until after the postal strike is over.

The subject of either roads or tolls/paying a toll, on-the-spot writing (ie no off-site-consultation), and the structural requirements imposed by the classic limerick form, were not deterrents to every one of this year's poets. Professor David Latham of the Department of English at York University, who is knowledgeable about Great Art and understands well the rungs to be climbed on the way to Immortality, took great care (and a bit less wine this year) in selecting this year's winners. His comments on each winning entry are included here. Thanks to all contestants, and to those who did not win, there are 365 days ahead in which to practice, bearing in mind the on-the-spot writing rules which, unfortunately, are not further specified.. The winners are hereby congratulated again. They have been notified by telephone, and should receive their cheques within a week (or so) after the postal strike, which we assume will be over at some point in time..

Winners of the 2011 Limerick Contest!

Saturday 28 May: First Place John Gilbert

Our guide was named Doreen
Conversant in what in past has been,
Amazing she'd know
So much about long ago
Of people's travels to and fro.

Judge's Remarks: John Gibert commemorates his enjoyment of your present-day experience of learning about the history of tollkeeping in Toronto.

Saturday 29 May: Second Place : Catherine Spearin

For years along old Davenport
Bilking the toll was a sport,
"I haven't a penny ...
"You don't deserve any ...
"And don't you dare take me to court!"

Judge's Remarks: Catherine Spearin romanticizes our history with a vivid Kreighoff-like scene of the toll-bilkers hell-bent on saving a penny.


Saturday 29 May: Third Place: Roy Chan

There once was a man who refused tolls
As he said it was against his soul,
So as he beckoned
And one would reckon
He decided to walk back and fro.

Judge's Remarks: Roy Chan presents a comic scene of resistance to tolls, as the rebel would prefer to walk free than to ride a wagn and pay.

Sunday 30 May: First Place: Bev Jones
The tollkeeper's daughter named Sarah,
Had a brother who said to her, "Dare ya
To charge extra pennies,
It wouldn't take many,
To buy some ice-cream for our dinnah."

Judge's Remarks: Bev Jones modernizes the pioneer family with Simson's-like children who plot to exploit the toll-system to sweeten their dinner with ice-cream.

Click here to see the limerick winners from 2009 and 2010

     Thanks for Your Support!

A Community History Project site
The Tollkeeper's Cottage