|#20, June 2011|
We bought #20 in 2007, shortly after our marriage. After we bought it, friends of mine, Sanne and Jeff, told me they had looked at it in another lifetime, when it was essentially the dump of the neighbourhood, and was fit only for a serious gut job, and rife with all manner of critter. My neighbours still tell me of the cockroaches which migrated when the renos began.
But now it is my palace, my perch, my sunny spot. It has walls that lean inward, and floors that tilt upward, but it is full, and I mean full of sunshine. It is south facing, high on a hill, and I have no curtains - there is no need - no one looks into my house but the birds in the cedars next door, and the garden gnomes in the back yard. And Katie and Don at #22, but they are the very souls of discretion.
|Bubbles on the front porch with Granddad, October 2010|
I have lived in a LOT of houses. I mean a lot. By high school, I had lived in several different countries and different houses. But this one, my forever home, has had a veritable life of its own, and I feel its nascent quality. Before we bought, it had been a rooming house, complete with mosque in the basement, and so the story goes, 27 Turks (not sure where exactly that detail comes from) lived here in squalor, with a LOT of cats. Apparently, it was flipped a few times, and then the owner before us took possession. Well, he turned out to be Mike Holmes' nemesis, not for us, thankfully, but for a long line of others who eventually came to our door and told us their tales of woe, including several collection agencies and bailiffs, but that is another story. So, the photo below is the old house, but nobody's home. Beaten up, in need of TLC, and living in a cancerous state.
|20 Corley Ave. in 2006, with separate mosque entrance, and old tree. |
Nice garden. Not. Sanne took this pic.
In his book Enjoy Every Sandwich, Lee Lipsenthal talks about his back yard as his place to meditate, with its palms and pool, and sunny Californian weather and such. His home is his castle, and where he does his heavy lifting thought wise. Mine is here, and I cannot think of a better place for it.
|La Grande Dame in 1921, in the mid-distance. City of Toronto Archives.|