When people from St. Catharines recall Diana Sweets, they often talk about a certain feeling about the place. It felt special, it felt familiar and warm. Was it the floor to ceiling cherry wood furnishings, etched with the initials of generations of local teens? Was it the impressively large menu that never seemed to change? Was it the familiar faces of those who worked from behind the counter, or served you ice cream floats?
It is clear that still twenty years after it’s official closing, patrons of Diana Sweets Restaurant, which operated at 115 St. Paul Street for 76 years, continue to hold on that feeling. People remember “the Di,” and they remember it fondly.
The St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canal Centre is hosting a Diana Sweets Community Reunion on the evening of August 2nd. We’re inviting members of the community to come together to celebrate, remember and share stories about Diana Sweets Restaurant. We want to learn what Diana Sweets means to you. We encourage you to bring your own photographs, memories, and paraphernalia as you connect with others who spent their youth hanging around the cherry wood booths at “the Di.” There will be old photographs, newspaper articles, and high school yearbooks to look through, rock n’ roll music playing, and artifacts from life in 1950s & 1960s St. Catharines on display. Even Yummy Treats Ice Cream truck will be there to serve up some frozen treat nostalgia!
We know that the memories and stories are out there, just waiting for an opportunity to be told. We want to provide that open space for our community to share, reminisce, and connect. Even when we announced our reunion event on Facebook, we were amazed by the enthusiastic response from our audience. People immediately began to share their memories with us. Check out of some of what’s been shared with us so far:
There will be plenty of opportunities for you to share your own stories with us at the community reunion on August 2nd. Share your part in the legacy of the Di! We’ll see you there!
Sara Nixon is a Public Programmer at the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canal Centre.