Extendicare Kildonan

Marking Black History Month at Extendicare | Meet Mr. S. Williams, a resident at Extendicare Scarborough

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What are you passionate about?

I like to relax and have a cold drink by the porch. I am really passionate about working with my hands and fixing things. I love classic cars, especially Oldsmobile vehicles. I used to purchase classic cars at auctions, fix them, then flip them. I value relaxation and connectedness to people more than wealth.

What was your profession?

I have been a builder for most of my life. I have worked on both indoor and outdoor building projects. I have worked on projects of all sizes and varieties. I have also worked as a chef, cooking food from all around the world. I even worked as a DJ specializing in Caribbean music such as chutney and dancehall.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your family

I was born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. I was raised by my grandparents and aunt. I moved to Trinidad when I was a young adult and lived there for a while before moving to Canada. I am in in a common law relationship with my partner for 33 years. I have two children, sons aged 18 and 29. My older son works as a journalist. When moving to Canada, I was surprised to experience winter for the first time!

What did being Black in Canada mean to you?

I faced adversity in the form of racism when I moved to Canada in a small neighbourhood in Scarborough. I was the only Black family that lived in the area and my neighbours called the police for simply standing outside my home. I have been pulled over by the police just for driving a nice car. Racism is all too familiar to me since moving to Canada however I also find Canada as a land of great opportunities for growth.

How do you stay resilient in the face of adversity?

I try not to stress myself out. I stay focused on my goals.

What sage advice would you like to share with us?

Listen. Listen. Listen. When you give space for someone to speak and to hear their story, be silent and be receptive. You will hear rich responses and learn more from them.