Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


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Browsing through iPhoto I found pictures of our Toronto house. They were pictures of its last day.

Originally it was a cottage on farmland that existed in that part of North Toronto. Over the years the house was transformed into a story and a half, many times renovated by its many owners. The basement leaked, as did the roof that flared out like a bell at the eaves collecting snow which turned into an ice dam during the cold of winter.

There were many problems with the Toronto house. But, we lived through them spending large amounts of money rectifying as many as we could. In the end we let the Toronto house go to developers. To live in it through our retirement years would required an infusion of cash that we weren’t prepared to spend. I don’t know why I bought that house. I never should have.

The Toronto house was a focal point. It was the only home our youngest daughter knew for 28 years. My son spent hours in the dark, damp basement honing the craft he now practices. To my two older daughters the Toronto house became a revolving refuge until they asserted their independence. In later years family and friends flowed through like waves reaching for the shore. Looking at the pictures brought back so many memories.

Memories, I find are stronger than any structure. Old age is perhaps the only force that memories can’t defend against. Age can dim them such that they are only sporadically recalled. Memories do last, however, because they are passed on building on a foundation that doesn’t crumble – that can’t be destroyed by a machine.

The Toronto house doesn’t exist anymore. Memories of it do, though.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

October 25, 2011 at 5:14 PM

One Response

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  1. ah Ed…I feel your pain….an old friend sent me the online newsclip of my childhood home burning to the ground. It was a home my father had built and then moved from Eden Mills to Guelph when I was four..I watched it come up the steep hill as I stood in front of the Church…an odd sight for a four year old to grasp but it is firmly implanted in my memory. A couple of days after it burned, I made my way to Guelph to pay my last respects to this home and felt the whole experience to be extremely cathartic. It was my last bond to Guelph, now broken. My father’s cottage was in Southampton on the corner of Lansdowne and Grosvenor. He spent his final years there and loved Southampton so much that I had the lighthouse, harbour, seagulls and sailboats engraved on his headstone. Memories are to be cherished for sure and homes are truly where the heart is.


    November 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM

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