parkdale toronto

90-year-old Toronto man hands out donated bread at same street corner every week

Rain, shine, or snowstorm, Bill Hudson can be found at the intersection of Queen Street West and Dunn Avenue twice a week handing out bread to anyone passing by.

It's something he's been doing with his church, Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian, since the start of the pandemic.

"I get my pleasure out of seeing the response of the people who really appreciate receiving something. It seems to make a lot of difference in their lives," Hudson told blogTO.

"Life can be hard for a lot of people, and if you can help in some way, you should do what you can to help them."

Hudson, who is in his nineties, has lived in Parkdale just one kilometre from the church that stands tall on the side street of Dunn Avenue for the past 15 years.

He's been helping to bag and distribute bread every Thursday for years now, and just started handing it out on the street alongside three others last year.

"I walk [to the church] every day pretty well and twice a day on Thursday. I go to wrap up the bread and then come back in the afternoons [to hand it out]," he told blogTO.

The mix of white, brown and wholegrain buns as well as surplus cakes and pastries is donated from COBS Bread in Etobicoke and Caldense Bakery.

Hudson helps to distribute the donations into bags before it's given out every Monday and Thursday evening.

"It's for anyone walking by. We hand it out until it's all gone," he says. "We're usually handing out between 60 to 80 [bags of bread] on a Thursday and 100 or so on Monday."

Helder and Joe Costa, owners of the Caldense Bakery at Dundas and Ossington, have been donating pastries to Parkdale Presbyterian for about 10 years.

"We were born and raised in a small town in Portugal and those were very difficult times for us as children and for the families in our town," they told blogTO.

"There were so many people who would go without food and that continues to be an issue for many families even today in Toronto and especially during this pandemic. We can and should all do more."

Lead photo by

Bill Hudson

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