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There Was a Time…

One of Roy Bonisteel’s most loved books is “There Was a Time”, a memoir about his life growing up in the Bay of Quinte area which he recorded on tape. Yes, cassette tape!

Cassettes are a curiosity now but folks still ask how they can get a copy of his long sold out book. So we are pleased to announce this limited  release edition on MP3 flash drive format on the tenth anniversary of his passing, August 16, 2013.  Hear Roy in his own voice reaching back with memories of family life, a sometimes hardscrabble and challenging existence, always with humour and affection for the colourful characters who would come and go over the years.  That famous baritone voice which entertained and educated Canadians coast to coast over radio and television for over 25 years belonged to a man who, even after gaining international  acclaim moved back to Trenton, only a stone’s throw from where he grew up and where these great stories took place.

Order “There Was a Time” on USB


Roy spent many enjoyable hours with Andy Thompson who did the original recording at his Northumberland Music Studio .  Andy also wrote and performed the original music, did the mixing and mastering and has now remastered the recording for us in this MP3 format.


There will only be a limited number made available.
You will be able to get your copy at the Old Church Theatre after August 16, 2023.
Old Church Theatre
940 Bonisteel Rd
Trenton, ON
K8V 5P8
OR request to have it mailed to the address you provide.

We’re a registered not for profit business. No profit will be made from the sale of this USB, we only hope this new version will be a welcome bit of history to be enjoyed at home or in the car, and of course, it makes a great gift.



From the inside flap:

For seven generations the Bonisteel family lived on a farm in Ontario’s Bay of Quinte region.  In 1971, Roy Bonisteel, best-selling author, columnist and host of CBC’s “Man Alive,” decided to move his family from the city back to the countryside of his youth.  As he did, the memories started to flow. With a warmth reminiscent of Russell Baker’s Growing Up and the humour of James Herriot’s rural escapades, Roy Bonisteel recalls a simpler time when the work was hard and the rewards were basic.  Bonisteel’s sparkling anecdotes often underscore values of thrift and conservation, homemade entertainment and community living that many people are today trying to rediscover.  There was a time…can be seen as a meditation on “progress”. The book takes the form of an almanac, a nostalgic journey through the twelve months of the year.  Through it all shines a warmth for the past but no illusions about its limitations.  It is a luminous, yearning book–a reverberant echo of a life-style that has nearly disappeared.