Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.
Lane names are my new obsession as I wander the city.Laneways, also known as alleys, are narrow streets that add to the diversity of the overall public space network, supporting the fine grain character of a city. ... Laneways can work as a network for pedestrians to navigate the city and build an overall identity for the city center.
Just 10 per cent of Toronto's more than 3,000 public laneways have a name. Usually the titles recognize community figures, events or local traditions, but many are delightfully strange with brilliant backstories.
The four Galipo brothers founded, owned and operated a local ice cream shop on College Street for many years.
The following information was provided by the applicant: Galipo Brothers "This is a story like no other. It’s one of hard work, dedication, and a little bit of faith. Four young men with nothing but a dream of a better life. A selfless leap. A plan to support their families. To establish themselves in such a way that would prove them worthy of being Canadian. They put the dream into action and saying they succeeded is quite the understatement. Aurelio, Natale, Franco, and Giuseppe immigrated to Canada in the late 1950s. The hustle and bustle of Pier 21 was quite foreshadowing of what their lives would become on this new land.
They found a house on Crawford Street, but they found a home in 712 College Street. On May 28 1959, with wives in hand and babies on the way, the four brothers dug their roots into their first piece of land. The idea was to provide a comforting taste of home to other immigrants coming in from Italy.
It was to create a community. They would sell coffee and gelato in their small storefront cafe. They used their original Sicilian recipes to craft the gelato in the back.
It was shortly after that they would begin receiving requests to cater functions, growing as large as traditional Italian weddings consisting of hundreds of people. In 1980 the brothers purchased two homes behind the cafe, on Montrose Avenue, and tore them down to build a factory, where they would produce large quantities to keep up with demand.
Their wholesale business grew more every year, leaving them reliant on the help of the second generation. The second generation began working in the business in the 1980's, when the girls were trained to run the storefront, the boys were taught the art of gelato, and both were taught how to make the perfect espresso.
The torch was officially passed down to the second generation in the 1990's, however retirement was never in question for the brothers.
A new chapter of the Sicilian story began in 2004, when a second expansion was much needed. The second generation purchased a piece of land in Vaughan, and designed and built a new facility. Today, the product originally created by the Galipo Brothers is available in major supermarkets, small independents, Italian bakeries throughout the City, and of course, at Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe, which still resides on College Street. I am proud to say that in June of 2010 at the young age of 15, I became the first member of the third generation to step into the business. Every day I’m grateful for the legacy my grandfather Aurelio and my uncles have created. My goal is to pass it on another three generations. Although the last name may eventually come to the end of its line, the Galipo blood is very much flowing through myself, the rest of the Galipo family, and generations to come.
A mural by artist Paul Glyn-Williams was commissioned by the City of Toronto in conjunction with the Little Italy BIA and was unveiled in 2019, the 60th anniversary of the Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe.