As anyone who follows me knows, I usually write about food and nutrition.
This, I had to write because I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. It haunts me.
I often take my dogs to Neville Park, in the east end of the Toronto. I walk along Neville Park Boulevard to get to the dog park. I’ve become familiar with some of the people who live on the street, as well as the lovely houses on Neville.
I even have some nicknames for the houses. The ‘tin can’, a cheap rebuild house, ‘my favourite house on the street’ and the ‘cat house’ (the lady who used to live there collected cats. There always seemed to be cats every where on her porch and on the property.
I remember walking past the ‘cat house’ and seeing the lady who owned the house sitting on her front porch reading the newspaper. It had a brilliant porch for that. Very large, with a great sight line to the street. All along, ‘her’ cats would be sitting on the porch with her or elsewhere on the property.
One of my favourite things about this house was the little studio at the end of the driveway. It had floor to ceiling windows on all sides. I fantasized about having a studio like that. How lovely it would be to be painting in there as the sun streamed though the windows.
One day I noticed one of those large metal containers on her driveway and I thought to myself, I guess she’s renovating.
Then I saw a FOR SALE sign on her front lawn. I thought, I guess she did the renovations to sell the house.
I found out from one of the residents on the street that the lady who owned that house had died of cancer. How sad, I thought.
As I do with many houses, I looked it up on Google to see the listing. The house was listed for $999,900.00. The pictures of the interior showed that it had a lot of wood trim, and if I remember correctly from the listing, a wooden Arts and Crafts looking pantry and cabinetry in the dining room and kitchen.
It was for sale for quite some time.
Then it sold.
Then it stood; sold, for a long time.
Just recently I heard it had been purchased by a man for his ’20 something’ son.
I thought, how lucky is this kid, to have such a beautiful house purchased for him.
That was until the bulldozer arrived.
I was walking my dogs on the street the day the bulldozer came to tear down the house.
I took pictures because I couldn’t believe it. My dogs were getting impatient as I clicked away, but I couldn’t stop. It saddened me so to see this house flattened.
In the windows on the second level of the house, the curtains still hung, as the claws of the bulldozer ripped through the roof and then through the windows.
I took my dogs to the park, upset over what I had just seen.
On the way home, I stopped again.
The demolition team of men were on the road watching the destruction of this lovely home, laughing. Laughing.
I couldn’t help myself – I told them how sad it was that this lovely house was being destroyed. It was as though no one had ever lived there before, that this house had no history before this. That the lady had never sat outside on the lovely porch with ‘her’ cats and that the studio never saw anyone use it to paint lovely pictures of flowers and nature.
How sad, how utterly sad.
Sad for the lady, for the house, for the little studio at the end of the driveway, for the misplaced cats who I still see hanging around forlornly at the neighbouring houses.
And so, so sad for the ’20 something kid’ who’s father believes that if it doesn’t suit you – just get rid of it. Tear it down and get something ‘better’.
I thought writing this might make me feel better, to get it off my chest. But it doesn’t.
I so miss seeing the lady reading her paper on the porch and I miss fantasizing about that little studio at the end of the driveway.