Across Cultures

See everything, hear everything

Watch 60 films, 170 excerpts and over 80 archival artefacts selected by NFB specialists as part of this unique project.

Paul Tomkowicz: Street-railway Switchman

Paul Tomkowicz: Street-railway Switchman
1953, director: Roman Kroitor

Film (9:12)


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> European Canadians | Eastern bloc | Polish Canadians | Winnipeg | Prairie provinces | Persecution | Work

  Description     The film  
In winter the rail-switches on streetcar tracks in Winnipeg froze and jammed with freezing mud and snow. Keeping them clean, whatever the weather, was the job of the switchman. In this film about a bygone era, Paul Tomkowicz, Polish-born Canadian, talks about his job and his life in Canada. He compares his new life in the city of Winnipeg to the life he knew in Poland, marvelling at the sort of liberty Canadians enjoy.