Day Three in Toronto! This is a Canadian city I never lived in, yet it seems strangely familiar. This isn’t just because I’ve been here so much, but I think just because of the place Toronto occupies in English Canadian culture. It’s the city that serves as a backdrop in TV and movies, and it’s the biggest city in English speaking Canada. And even though it’s a world away from my home in British Columbia, it still strikes me as similar sometimes in the way the city is planned, especially in how many small parks there are. Parks and public space seem to be a high priority in Canadian cities. I appreciate that about my homeland.
I’m camped out at my sister’s house right now, at her new/old house: the home she’s lived in with her family since they moved back in 2013, which she has spent the past 18 months rebuilding. It’s been an incredible effort on her part to manage the construction, acting as the foreperson, managing contractors, and overseeing the entire building site of a major architectural revamp. Now, after a year of full time work, she’s been able to move her family back in. There’s still construction going on, especially in the kitchen, but it’s a home again. She’s done so much work, and put so much of herself into building this for her family, it’s incredible. It even has a guest suite downstairs for when my family
flee Trump’s America come to visit for holidays.
Still, it’s a bit crazy, as it is whenever a move takes place. My sister and I are trying to dig through everything Mom brought from the West Coast, including a lot of random flotsam and jetsam packed by her moving crew back in late 2016 when she left our childhood home in Oak Bay. We’re trying to get her room to a point where she can move through it with her walker. Mom will be home tomorrow morning, after all: we’d like her to be able to manage in her new space. But the cleanout has led to some discoveries of things that probably shouldn’t have made it from BC, such as:
- A school project on the 1988 Olympic Games in Korea (mine)
- My sister’s complete report card collection
- A series of English pewter beer steins engraved as to my father and his first wife (ie. not my mother)
- Shares certificates for the Racquet Club and the BC Resources Investment Corporation , total of maybe $5….if they were even still valid
With all this going on, it’s actually quieter visiting Mom at the hospital, even though that requires a cross-city drive. Sometimes though, it’s nice to just turn on the radio, listen to CanCon, and look out at the Toronto neighborhoods as they go by. Maybe that’s why Toronto seems so familiar, because I’m driving through it listening to 54-40 or old Metric. Or maybe it’s because Toronto is to Vancouver as New York is to L.A.: the origin point of the white men who first laid out and built the city. Whatever it is, it’s like being home to be here for a few days, even in the wake of a move.