From the Publisher
Already established as London’s most important colonial center of commerce, the city had just witnessed the construction of a great Iron bridge across the mighty river considered by many to be an “ eighth wonder of the world.” Adding to that was the completion of a lengthly canal that would allow shipping from the city’s port into the interior of the continent. Already, a host of industries were establishing themselves along this canal; steel foundries, grain mills, sugar refineries, countless manufacturing companies, water filtration plants and the city’s gas works.
The old city had been founded next to it’s port a few hundred years earlier, but then began expanding east and west of it’s center and up the sides of it’s mountain. There are a series of three natural horizontal shelflike terraces climbing their way from the waterfront up the face of the mountain to just below it’s summit. Basically flat open areas on a slope, it was here on the uppermost terrace now called ‘Newtown’, that three men were looking down into a long shallow pit that had just recently been dug up. With it’s earth in neat piles stacked around it, stones in tidy little mounds like jewels in a very long tiara...lay the pit that would become a rink.
“ Are you sure about this? “ asked Holton, in a tone more inquisitive than skeptical. “ Absolutely “ replied the two young architects, quickly answering the question with a unified response that seemed almost rehearsed.
“ But you’ve just built churches, how will you build a rink?”
“ Same way we build a church but with a rink in it.”
This last remark brought a deep warm chuckle from Holton who knew very well how wealthy churchgoers would be falling all over themselves, vying to become investors and charter members of his new rink association.
Holton possessed an acumen into the affairs of men as only a man can have that started at the bottom and raised himself to the very top. One of the most successful men of his era, he had an innovative mind which put pieces together like ships and railroads, banks and property, rinks and churches. His restless and inquisitive nature brought him into realms of genuine pleasure and creativity. Dammit all, ‘ This rink shall be my Queen‘ he told himself in the privacy of his thoughts. Often he would think back to the time when he was a poor rural boy growing up in the old port. He was only seven years old when his father passed away, leaving his mother to raise six young children while attempting to run a struggling farm in eastern Ontario. She dreamed of a better life for her children than the harsh reality of an impoverished farm life, and so, sacrificing her love of family and her own emotions, she arranged for her nine year old son to stay with relatives in the old port city.
She could have never possibly imagined what her decision would one day mean... to all of us...to us all.