Canal Street and Canal Place, formerly the Mott Haven Canal

Until it was filled in in 1937, Canal Street was an actual canal. Norman Davis (1925-2010) remembered playing by the canal as a child: “Many of the men fished there. They would have two barges in between River Avenue and Canal Street. They were half submerged in water with two planks leading from each side. We used to get up there and play adventure things. And don’t fall in there! Cause one of the fathers would have to be close to rescue you.”

Listen to Norman Davis and Thelma Jackson remembering life on 136th Street by the Canal in the 1930s, when there were only a few Black people in Mott Haven.

Have you spotted the banner with Norman’s story where the old canal used to be?