Although this isn't music related by any means, one of my favorite aspects of grade 6 was my new found freedom at lunchtime. We were now actually old enough and responsible? enough to leave the school grounds on lunch hour. I had heard epic tales of a haven of sorts that kids hung out at when I first started Williams parkway and I quickly found some friends in my class who grew up in the area to show me the way.
They brought me up a street between Williams parkway and north park drive that was a mere 5-10 minute walk and the street was appropriately named after the plaza we were headed towards on our journey....Mackay. If you grew up in Brampton then you know Mackay Plaza needs no introduction, but I do have readers in the u.s. and Europe, so for their sake an explanation is in order.
Mackay Plaza is a strip mall that consisted of a grocery store, a bank, a pharmacy, a convenience store, a pizza parlor, a video store, and a barbershop. At least that's how I remember it from back then. There is also a beer store in the parking lot separate from the plaza and a recreational centre located on the same property, where I swam a lot as a youth throughout middle school. The convenience store was called "Jugg City" and it catered to all of your junk food needs and I believe there were some arcade machines in there at some point. The pizza parlor was called "Mackay Pizza" but most Bramptonians called it "Greasy Gus" in reference to the owner Gus and the renown amounts of grease his product contains.
Mackay has an outstanding reputation for great food to this day and they have never really raised their prices over the years. They also have the meanest "Pati Mahn" this side of the western hemisphere. I take mine with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, hot peppers, & mayo! My fondest memories from there are the great food and playing video games like pole position, track & field, karate champ and kung fu master.
There was always some form of hijinks going on as well, be it stealing candy out of Jugg City or a fight between 2 school mates. To this day i still make a point of stopping by Mackay for a bite when I'm in the B-Town area and if I'm visiting a friend who lives there i will order delivery. It became a ritual to venture there every day on lunch and it never seemed to get boring....until I found my first middle school girlfriend...