A Canadian Family

Natives, French Canadians & Acadians

“Oh, you beautiful doll … you great big beautiful doll!”

This photo revives memories of my earliest childhood when my parents and my younger sister and I lived in a third floor walk-up on rue de l’Eglise. It was in the working class district of Verdun, Quebec and we didn’t have much money then (my father was still at university) but there was enough to eat and my mother took very good care of me and my baby sister. In fact, if you look closely you’ll notice that there’s chicken-wire around the edge of the balcony. My parents were very safety-conscious for those days!

You can also see the doll of my childhood – ToTo. I treated her like a real friend – possibly because she was almost my size  and we both had “bangs”.  Just a few years later, when we moved from Verdun to our brand-new little bungalow in Ville Lasalle, ToTo came along with us.

ca. 1956 Verdun, rue de l'Eglise.

ca. 1956 Verdun, rue de l’Eglise.

Toto’s head (which I still have in a box!) seems to be made of a harder plastic/rubber (?) than the body and as you can see the “hair” is molded. The rest of her body was made of what I believe was a soft vinyl. I do remember that her torso, arms and legs were “squeezable”. There was a stuffing that eventually broke through as the vinyl(?) cracked.

I’ve since learned that there were several types of plastic dolls in the mid-fifties (hard and soft) but whenever  my mother bought dolls for me and my sister (and later for her two grand-daughters) she always chose those with malleable bodies because she felt that little girls should be able to hug their dolls!

Are you a doll-lover or a doll-collector?

If you know anything about my doll (e.g. manufacturer or material) could you drop me a line in the comment box below? I would love to know more about ToTo!


This post is in reponse to the weekly 

Genealogy Writing Prompts Event by Thomas MacEntee at:


who is working from Amy Coffin‘s original list at



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January 14, 2009 - Posted by | . |


  1. DonnaB has a nice blog posting about her doll memories.


    Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | March 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. Well Evelyn, here I am viewing your doll post. I love the line about both of you having bangs. This is my second visit to your site – the first time was after your comment on Kay B’s Place.


    Comment by dmbr622 | March 2, 2009 | Reply

  3. Did Grandma buy Bambala too?


    Comment by gabylharvey | August 15, 2013 | Reply

    • Hi Gabrielle – Actually Bambola was given to Francesca (Luisa) from her Italian Nonna Luisa 🙂
      Auntie Evelyn


      Comment by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault | August 15, 2013 | Reply

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