Pier Perspectives Blog

  • Quarantine Memories of Chicken Wire and an Uncomplaining Mom

    His sister’s case of the measles landed six-year-old Mike Sumner’s family in quarantine after they arrived in Canada in March of 1963.

    “I spoke to my dad and he thinks it was around 3 to 4 weeks that we were there,” Mike recalled. “The brick walls and the bars on the windows.

  • One Person’s Quarantine Room Divider is Another Person’s Fort

    Vita Seidler contracted the measles shortly after emigrating from Russia with her mother and siblings in December of 1928 to join their father in Montreal.

    “…my dad met us in Montreal…Ah, the excitement! I got off and we went to another cousin that we stayed with,” Vita explained.

  • A Scarlet Fever Quarantine and the Subsequent Adventures of a Spirited Little Girl

    Scottish immigrant Christina McKay Liness Murchison didn’t let a little scarlet fever get her down. Her family’s home was quarantined due to her illness in the early days after their arrival in 1930 on the Duchess of Richmond.

  • A Mother and Daughter Recall Frightening Days in Quarantine

    They were robbed on the ship to Canada and quarantined when they arrived at Pier 21, but the Haddad family still felt blessed.

    The Christian Palestinian refugees had already fled to Lebanon, then Syria, then Lebanon again.

  • Turning Seven in Quarantine

    One six-year-old made the best of long weeks of quarantine in Pier 21’s Accommodation and Detention quarters. Gerard Van Kessel arrived in Canada with his family in 1951.