Search This Blog

Loading...
...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Back on the coast...


I've been in Toronto visiting my daughter for a week and a half.
This is the view from her and Robert's 23rd floor...
A bit of a change from ours in the country!
As expected, I took MANY photos.
It will take a few posts to cover it all....
A good time was had by all.
Old memories came flooding back...
New ones were created.
One thing that was on the top of my list was a trip to my dad's childhood neighborhood. 
I've been there a few times, but not for many years and it seems like the older we get, the more important our history becomes....
Toronto is known as 'The city of neighborhoods' and this is my dad's old haunt...
It was once a rough and tumble place full of new immigrants, many of them from Ireland.
The streets were full of kids on bikes, not many cars, and mothers out on the stoop.
Blue collar. Hard working. Hard living.
This is the house where he grew up.
Probably the smallest house in the neighborhood.
The feel of the streets have changed .
It looks much different today than when he was a kid.
Although the bones of the beautiful old houses remains.
The area has become a desirable place to live and a few years ago this house sold for...
$568,000....Yup you heard me right!
My dad's mum was offered the right to buy it when their rent was $35 a month for $5,000 but of course, they couldn't afford it.
She raised 5 kids there and battled poverty for most of their childhood.
Anyway it's a gorgeous, treelined street now, close to parks and downtown.
Around the corner is the Necropolis Cemetary.
It's one of the oldest in the city.
My dad has so many great stories about this place back in the day.
Stealing flowers...seeing ghosts...being chased by the police...
Imagine growing up around the corner from the graveyard! 
With the rampant imagination of childhood flowing through your head...
And nothing but time!
This place is a Gothic masterpiece and dates from the early 1800's.
Some headstones are elaborate....
Some very plain...
...and some disappearing back into the earth.
Across the street is the old Riverdale Zoo which is now called Riverdale Farm...
This rock wall is all that remains of what I remember...it was the way down to the monkey house.
It was an 'old school' zoo with big black barred cages with dirty polar bears and sad lions...
I'm glad to see a new generation of animals here..
It was grand to wander around, recognising street names and recalling all of those tales my dad has told and I've retold to the next generations...