Susan Murdoch

191 St. James Street

For Susan Murdoch, back lanes provide a whole other dimension to neighbourhoods, gravel lanes especially so. Gravel lanes have advantages over their paved brethren. They’re cooler in the summer, there are fewer problems with water runoff, and birds can drink out of the puddles.


The following story is narrated by Susan Murdoch of 191 St. James Street.


I think the lane is a great thing. Our sort-of garage backs onto the lane and we can park there really easily. Easy to get in and out. And I know there are some other laneways north of here. There’s one between Sydenham and Oxford Street. Glenn and I have driven down that one just having a look at the neighbourhood from a different angle. There was some talk about the possibility of paving the laneway which I think would be a bad thing. Cars would drive more quickly through the laneway. It’s hotter, I think, than dirt. You’d have to deal with water runoff, I think more than you would if it’s just dirt, and the water can sink into the dirt. And more puddles for birds to drink out of. So I really hope that it doesn’t end up being paved. And I think that lanes add just a whole other dimension to neighbourhoods. And our particular lane is great because it’s a T intersection, or a T shape so we can access it from St. James St, from Sydenham, and from St. George. Which is – it’s great. It’s a very functional lane.


If you would like to hear more stories from the Great Talbot area walk south along Richmond Street and turn right on Sydenham street and look for another Hear, Here sign on the north side of Sydenham Street. If you would like to hear stories at The Village walk south along Richmond to the CPR tracks and look for the Hear, Here sign just north of the tracks.