Yesterday morning Joseph and I walked down to the Old Power Dam. The air was not only cool, but cold. Joseph seemed quite invigorated by it, and ran about like an Arabian Stallion. I felt invigorated, too. But I didn’t run. Afterwards, I walked alone into town, as I wanted to visit the Salvation Army Thrift. Along the way I took a photo of the Comic Book store, which is located in the basement beneath Robinson’s Pharmacy. I also took a photo of the Tea Room at the Robinson-Bray House, because I like the sign.
At the Thrift Store, in addition to a sweater, I found two small turtle figurines, a Santa Claus candle holder, Amish husband and wife salt and pepper shakers, a Mickey Mouse nightlight, and best of all, a Mexican man Christmas tree ornament. The cashier asked me if I realized its arm was broken off, and I answered yes, that’s why I’m buying it.
This morning I drove out to Rattlesnake Point Conservation near Milton. My favorite hiking spot. On the way I stopped and bought a coffee, which I had with some Banana Bread my sister made. I also stopped to take photos of the old gas station at Hwy 25 and 15th Sideroad, which is practically the only evidence of a town called Speyside. I used to stop there occasionally, and purchase I can’t remember what.
I wish some people would learn not to drive so fast. Especially, in places like out in the country. On a blind curve I came upon a freshly killed raccoon. His blood was deep red, and his face was pretty, and staring directly at me.
I finally reached Rattlesnake, then remembered that they only took cash, which I didn’t have. But the man at the gate let me in anyways. I promised to pay next time, but he told me not to promise. I then parked my car and stepped out into the cool air.
After hiking for a little while, Mother Nature defied my expectations, (which were to defy hers) and started raining on me. I persevered though, and in the end they proved to be only passing showers.
I kept close to the face of the cliffs, occassionally looking down at the farm fields way below. Here and there I came across other folk who I usually would greet with a hey. I eventually had to decide whether I would venture down into the Nassagaweya Canyon and walk all the way to Crawford Lake. The alternative was go back. But I don’t generally like going back before it feels like I should. As I turned towards the canyon two couples came walking from that direction. On the back of the one woman was a huge carrier and inside it a baby who I smiled at.
When I reached the middle of the Canyon I stopped to look at the stream. I wanted to catch a glimpse of the Salmon spawning. But I didn’t see any. I then started on the steady incline that would lead up the other side and towards the lake. When I got to the steeper parts I met an woman who I judged to be in her eighties. Possibly even her nineties. I asked her if she was friend or foe. She smiled and answered, friend I hope.
I did not not bother walking around Crawford Lake, as that is a hike in itself. Instead, I went into the Visitors Center and chatted with the young woman working at the counter. She asked me if I was just returning. I told her that no I was at the half way point. I then purchased a tea and some peanuts and sat down to relax. I pulled the dates I brought along with me from my pocket, and enjoyed my lunch. Then I left.
I normally would have chosen another route to return by, but time was slipping away quickly and I had to visit friends at 3 o’clock. So I grudgingly retraced my steps. I met a very large group of young Amish, who I said hello to. I asked one of them if they were going to the lake. He said yes. I then asked if they wished a hard trail or an easier one. But he didn’t seem to know. So I wished him a good hike no matter which.
Before I reached the parking area the sun finally came out. It shone through the trees beautifully, and brightened all the leaves. I pondered whether I should leave, or maybe walk a bit further. But then the sun disappeared again behind grey skies, and so I left. Nearby, I encountered a Chinese woman taking photos of something just off the trail. So I went over to see what it was. They were yellow mushrooms growing from a stump.
Early this morning I drove to the cemetery to see my mother and fathers gravesite. Surprisingly, their were still flowers poking through the fallen leaves. I then sat in the car, listened to music and stared at a magnificent Maple. Once their was enough light, I got out again and walked about. The beauties of Autumn slowly give way to the coming winter. The rain has been cold, and the winds blow powerfully at times. And the birds retreat and have become silent.
Friday morning I asked Joseph the Cat to take a walk with me down by the river. Just the two of us. That seemed to make him happy. When we reached the small creek we both sat on a fallen tree. A gentleman showed up who told me he was collecting the garbage the young folk had tossed everywhere. So I decided to help out and picked up the carpet, and cardboard boxes that were lying on the pathway. Joseph followed me back to the dumpster.
Last Sunday morning I went on a very special walk. One that I had been planning for weeks. The starting point was Valley Home Farm, where I had my sister drop me off with the car. From there the plan was to walk East into the forest, then North of the Highway, through another forest, across the Sandford Fields, (stopping at the old Sanford Farm) and finally continuing North again to Steeles Avenue. I would then call my sister to come pick me up. The point of it all was to see and photograph lands I fear will disappear, if ever the bulldozer folk get their hands on them. Most of it I had never explored.
Unlike the last time I visited Valley Home Farm, this time the gate was locked shut. Which I suppose normally means KEEP OUT. I found another way in though. The laneway looked pretty in Autumn and the property was peacefully quiet. I was tempted to hang out there, but I really wanted to reach the forests.
I came upon an open field, that had been plowed. As I took photos, I heard the plaintive cry of a hawk. Which gave me a good feeling. I then entered the forest and began to hike in earnest. The trees were mostly newer growth. Their were no trails, and everything seemed relatively untouched. And their was a Creek, that was rippling and making nature music. I stopped to admire it and to rest. Further on a little, I found a place where I could cross over. When I reached the other side I left the branch that I had used to help balance me, against a small tree. Which is the Way of the Pilgrim.
Their was a Creek, that was rippling and making nature music.
I found a beautiful spot, where their were mature trees growing along a ridge that overlooked the low lying forest and the Creek. I debated whether to go up it, or move in the direction of the highway, which you could hear nearby. I chose to climb the ridge. When I reached the top and looked over the other side I noticed two wooden boxes attached to the side of a tree, about twenty feet up from the ground. Curious, I went up close to look at them, and then realized that they were houses made for Bats to live in. I had never seen one before, and was fascinated. Exhilarated actually.
I found a beautiful spot.
From there I made my way towards the highway. I knew that I would be able to get to the other side of it by following the Creek. In the tunnel the air was cool, moist and smelled like clay. Very pleasant. I discovered a trail leading from the tunnel on the north side, that led me to the other forest. I followed it with the Creek on my right. Both of us winding along together. Then I left the trail and climbed another ridge. I began to catch whiffs of sacred herb. Soon I came upon a young man smoking, and his 2 dogs. One of them ran to greet me as if I was a long lost friend. The young man offered me a puff, but I politely declined. After a short conversation, we bid adieu and I proceeded towards the edge of the forest. There was a row of Sugar Maples that looked out on the Sandford Fields, which I took a picture of. At first, I wondered if their might have been a lane way there once, but then decided that they were most likely planted because of the property line.
I was glad that I had finally reached the fields. All my life I have wanted to walk through them , and now here I finally was. The grass was tall, but the deer had made tracks. Their were soybeans that had been planted, and a beautiful Willow growing near a stream. When I reached the fence that divided the fields, I stopped and examined my surrondings. In the distance I could see two trees and beyond them more forest. The two trees turned out to be Apple trees, which someone had planted a long time ago. I hugged and kissed them, then laid down in the grass and ate an apple. I also placed two more in the pockets of my jacket for later.
When I reached the forest that I had seen earlier from a distance, I caught my first glimpse of the farm. I had never seen the Sandford House, and was hoping that no one was living it. (Otherwise, I could find myself having to explain why I was there.) But I had reason to believe it was empty. What I discovered was a magnificent mansion, almost Gothic looking, with the windows boarded up, and a security fence all around it. The lane way that led up to it was, (oddly enough) lined with Walnut trees, and was already strewn with walnuts. In their branches a hundred birds were perched, chirping loudly. I could see a second house further away, also sitting empty.
A hundred birds were perched, chirping loudly
I walked around the Mansion taking photos, then walked over to an old chicken coop and took photos of it as well. When I had satisfied myself with that part of the property, I went and investigated the second house. It was much smaller and relatively newer. The door was open and so I decided to snoop around inside. The rooms were filled with trash and old periodicals. It reminded me of when I was young, and my friends and I would search abandoned houses for pornography. The upstairs appears to have been used as offices.
I left there and followed along the lane way. When I got about half way to the road, to my surprise I discovered a third empty house, which was in good shape, but locked up. In the backyard was a tiny retreat cabin. Their was also a well that I was able to pump water from.
Their was also a well that I was able to pump water from.
I soon found myself at Old Derry Road. I looked back on the Sandford Property and then towards the River. It was now clear to me that I wouldn’t reach Steeles Avenue. Instead, I decided to walk to the Conservation Area and call my sister to pick me up there. I crossed over the bridge, then stopped to take pictures of it. Several hundred feet away I could see an extremely large Oak Tree growing near the riverbank. I was a bit intrigued, and so left the road to go and look at it.. Not only was it an extremely large Oak Tree, but quite possibly the largest Oak Tree I had ever seen!
Before I reached the Conservation Building, I came across a Praying Mantis who appeared to be struggling through the grass and weed. I got him to attach himself to my hand, then looked at him up closely. His arms and legs were remarkanly delicate, and his head swiveled back and forth with a look of intelligence. He was in every way beautiful. I lowered him unto a long stem of grass, that he immediately grabbed on to. Maybe he will pray for me.
This morning I telephoned a friend to ask if I could stop by for a cup of tea. But he said no. So I drove over to the Leslie Log House instead. I wanted to explore parts of the property that were closed off to the public when I was there a few months ago. While walking about I heard the howling winds of winter. Which gave me a nice feeling. I eventually came upon a dirt roadway which I followed to a clearing beside the river. There were trees growing on the side of a hill that had turned bright red and orange. On the return walk I stopped to check in with the old Walnut Tree. Most of its leaves were now fallen
When I got back to town I stopped at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for a quick look about. I purchased a wooden elephant mask and a nice pair of hiking boots, (which will replace the runners I’ve overworked.
From there I made my way to the cemetery, where I collected the ceramic angels from the grave site. They will be washed and stored until next spring. The groundskeepers showed up just as I was leaving and pulled out their horrid leaf blowers.
I have wanted to go and collect some of the apples from the trees I have come across, and keep them on my balcony to feed to the deer, during the winter months. So I headed over to Caroline Street, and sneaked into the yard of the house that has no one living in it. The two trees were both bursting with apples, and the ground was already covered with them. I filled a recycle box, and then left. But I will return soon and get more.
Two days ago I received a phone call from a young boy who said that he had seen Charo the cat going into a backyard in the Kenninghall area. So I went over there and brought him home. He still refuses to answer any of my questions though.
I set out this morning for a photo walk. I remembered that I had not visited the Mullet Creek Waterway in some time, which used to be a haven for the graffiti artists. I wanted to see if it still was. But first I stopped in at the Trinity Anglican to listen to the worshipers singing. They sounded very nice.
To get where I was going I would need to use the Railway Tracks. I would be walking directly through what was once my comfort spot. The place where I liked to be alone. (Which back in those days was most of the time.) The track that veered off to the right had been lifted and removed, and some of the trees cut down. But one of the Poplars was still there and seemed to greet me with the sound of its fluttering leaves. I stroked it, and apologized for my long absence. The number of birds there was astounding. The noise they made reminded me of the church people I had heard singing.
Before I even reached the Waterway I felt the old comfort returning. The suns warmth was embracing, and I could see the days of youth in my mind. And I felt them, too. I walked down into the Waterway, and looked about me. An old bicycle was laying there and I took a photo of it.
The graffiti artists had maintained the place. The walls were covered in spraypaint. It was like being at a museum. Then just when I was preparing to leave, lo and behold who should turn up but the artists themselves! They came with chairs, and rollers and paints. They said hello, and I spoke with their leader John. I told him that I had once tagged here, but a long time ago. Catching graffiti artists at work is like capturing a ghost on film. They are normally quite elusive. So I was rather pleased that I had infiltrated their fraternity. They may have been less pleased though.
I finally left and returned by way of the old Canada Brick lands. Their was once a pond there, with Mullet Creek running through it. But now their is only Mullet Creek. I wonder whether the large turtles are still around? I found a spot to lay down, and spent time sunbathing and watching a hawk circling above me. Eventually, I crossed over the tracks again, and made my way along Queen Street.
I mentioned that North Town is less pleasant looking or historical compared to South Town. There is at least one house boarded up, and others sit empty. I decided to take another gad about, and sneaked into the backyards by pretending to be officious. I took lots more photos, including one of a very tall Walnut Tree that looked pretty with the sun shining through it.
I was now tired from all my exploring, and so slowly walked in the direction of home. I stopped only to take a photo of 85 Queen Street South, which now serves as offices for a big name realtor, but was once the home of an elderly couple. The husband gave me a license plate from 1928. Or did I steal it? I honestly can’t recall.
NOTE: This is now my 50th Blog Post! I want to thank everyone who has been reading my nonsense thus far, and for all your comments. Now, lets see what other things about Streetsville need to be uncovered 🙂
Yesterday, I was not feeling too cheerful. In fact lately I have not been feeling very cheerful at all. In the afternoon, after my nap, I walked outside and found the day beautiful. A perfect Autumnal mix of sun and breeze. I languidly walked along the street, in no rush, and enjoying the warmth. My only objective was to visit the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
But when I got there, I was very nearly disappointed because I could not find anything that interested me. But then I found a very small porcelain dog, that I purchased and put in my pocket. Afterwards, on the walk home I felt more cheerful. I even went out of my way to walk along the Railway Tracks. The sunflowers I wrote about a few weeks ago, were now dead heads. Except for one. Then a train passed. I sometimes miss their cabooses. It would be interesting to buy an old one and turn it into a home, or a small cafe.
Despite having lived nearly my entire life here in Streetsville, their are parts of it that, for one reason or another, I have never explored. On Sunday I rode my bicycle out to Falconer Drive to look and call for Charo the cat. Nearby, just east of Creditview Road, is an area which has remained undeveloped and forested. Their is also a very long driveway that goes way back, and crosses over the river, that I have always been curious about. Years ago I walked about half way down, then realized that their was a house situated on a property, hidden from the road, and with people living in it. So I aborted my mission. Then for years it was closed off. I had assumed that the house had been knocked down, and that the developers had taken possession.
But on Sunday, I discovered the driveway was opened up again, and their was no sign saying No Trespassing. So I took that as an invitation. I’m so glad I followed my instincts and ventured it. I discovered a farmhouse, possibly more then 150 years old, with a large front yard. I encountered nobody. In fact the house was now empty.
I walked all around the property, and took pictures. Along the lane way were large oak trees, and in the middle of the yard, an ancient Beech, which was quite beautiful. Their were also several tall Spruce trees, that looked like ones you’d see in a Dr. Seuss book.
Yesterday it rained continuously. But I was determined to accomplish 2 things. Firstly, I wanted to walk along the river and call for Charo the cat, who has not come home in 19 days. Secondly, I wanted to get to the cemetery and finish the pruning I started last week. So I set out along the paths near my home, and in a short time I was wet and muddy. I had to also pick the burrs off of my clothing. When I reached the Power Dam I went inside the old Sea Cadets building with a flashlight. But he was nowhere to be found.
So I went home, feeling a bit depressed. My sister had taken my car so I walked to the cemetery with a pair of pruners in my back pocket. Along the way I took photos, including a few of the old Timothy Street House. Which is not only the oldest house in Streetsville, but the oldest in the County.
I reached the cemetery and finally managed to get a few good photos of a lion statue that they have placed atop a small hill, overlooking the driveway. He is reclining and has a look of confidence. Or maybe sleepiness.
I pruned back the Rose of Sharons drastically. Very drastically, I feel. (I hope I won’t regret it!) The dwarf Lilac I already took care of last year. I will return when I get a chance and dig up the annuals and prepare the bed for next year. I will also bring the ceramic angels home.
I crossed back over the River Bridge, and walked underneath it to examine the graffiti and get out of the rain for a bit.Nearby are some scrubby looking trees, which were there when as a kid I used to swim here. But now they look beaten down and worn from age.Sort of like me.
I walked along the rivers edge towards the park. There was a crab apple tree with branches hanging out over the water, that had over a hundred apples growing on them. I am thinking of returning and picking them all, and then leaving them around for the deer in winter.
At the park I took a photo of the swings. Their have been more then a few swings in this park over the years. I have not tried out these particular ones yet, but may do so in the near future.
After I left the park I stopped at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and took a photo of the unique crosses they have placed on the doors. Such a beautiful old church. Maybe someday I will do a whole blog devoted to it. Afterwards, I visited the Salvation Army Thrift Store. I had hoped to find some more Halloween decorations, but instead left with only a red frog with a coin in its mouth. Which now makes 2 frogs with coins in their mouths, that I own.
This morning I went searching for Charo the cat, who has not come home in 12 days. The plan was to visit all the places he likes to wander off to. So I set out along the Back Road. Whenever I met someone I would stop to ask if they had seen him. But everyone said no they hadn’t.
I turned right onto River Road and followed it to the end of Amity, where there is a little walkway that leads out to Britannia Road. I then walked the Culham Trail.. I came across 5 pretty caterpillars that I picked up and carried to safety. One of them seemed to really like me.
I crossed the bridges, and stopped here and there to look at the river and take photos. Their were several Salmon lying dead in the water.
When I reached PineCliff Park I climbed the short hill then turned left onto Kenninghall Boulevard. Last year Charo spent weeks hanging out in this neighborhood, and so I looked about and called for him. But he was no where to be found. An older woman told me that she would keep an eye open for him. I thanked her. Then a younger woman told me the same thing. I thanked her, too.
I then took the path that leads back towards Riverview Heights. I met an elderly gentleman who lives on Suburban Drive, who told me that he had seen a gray cat crossing the road a week ago. I asked him about his wife who I met in Springtime. He informed me that she was now in a nursing home. Sometimes changes come so fast.
I took the short cut to Ardsley Street, and stopped to photograph number 24, which is an older house. Most likely one of the oldest in town. It is very pretty.
I was now back at Brittania. When I was 13, I had to take a bus to school. In the mornings I would wait with the other children beside a small lamppost. Strange, but I don’t believe it has worked in ages, and looks almost out of place now. But it’s still there.
I eventually arrived back where I started. I will go look for Charo again later. Then tomorrow as well, if he hasn’t returned by then.
Three nights ago I was at the Meadowvale Station when I noticed what looked like a very large Oak Tree in the parking lot, surrounded by a fence. I found a gate, but it was dark and I needed to return to work. So yesterday I decided I would go back and look at it in the daylight. I carried my bicycle down the stairs to the street, and made my way along the Back Road. One of the workmen renovating my old childhood home was standing outside, and so I went and spoke with him. I asked if he had found any old hockey cards or plastic men behind the walls. But he said no. I then continued along Earl Street and crossed over Britannia Road. From there I snaked my way around to Matlock Avenue and took some photos of the Railway Tracks.
Nearby is the Mopar Parts Warehouse. Out front of it is a large grassy area, where once stood several Willow Trees, which have now all disappeared. All except for one that is. I crossed over Queen Street and visited with it, and said goodbye in case I didn’t get a chance later.
Eventually, I left there and made my way across The Parkway and ended up at Meadowvale 4 Rinks. When I was sixteen I fell in love with the confectionery girl who worked there, and who eventually broke my heart. (Which to tell the truth broke pretty easily in those days.)
I locked my bicycle up behind Rink 2 and walked under the Parkway Bridge. It is a favorite spot for graffiti artists, and beer drinkers and young people who light fires at night. I frowned at all the garbage left behind.
When I left, I retraced my route a little and crossed over on the Parkway and turned right onto Millcreek Road. I was now where Streetsville and Meadowvale overlap and meet together. Near the corner is a Buddhist Temple. The wind at this point was against me and I had to peddle hard, but at least it would be blowing at my back on the way home.
When I finally reached the station and could look at the Oak Tree up close, I discovered that it was in fact not one oak tree but two. Both were quite beautiful. I entered the unlocked gate and went and placed my head against them. But they were silent. On the way home I encountered hundreds of grasshoppers.
This morning I walked down to the Old Power Dam. I spent most of my time collecting garbage, while the cats watched. (Though Maribel did try to catch a chipmunk, who was lightning quick and left her behind on the lower branches of a tree.) Afterwards, I rode my bicycle to the cemetery, as I had not watered the flowers in several days. I discovered that a Maple tree near the gravesite had dropped its leaves already. I also found a bee that I gently poked. But just like summer, its time was at an end. I then rode along the river and through the park. When I reached Queen Street I stopped and took a photo of the mural that is outside on the wall of the Mexican Restaurant.It is lovely.
Across the street is a white clapboard building that was once the library. When I was growing up it was used as a clubhouse for the lawn bowlers, who were all elderly folk. I also took a photo of the front door of the United Church, which has a pretty cross above it.
When I reached the Salvation Army Thrift Store, I locked up my bicycle and went inside. I nearly bought a skull with a kerchief on its head, (like how a pirate wears it.) But I left it behind. But if it’s still there on my next visit, I will purchase it and hang up beside my Chinese Dragon. I then stopped for a coffee and chatted with my friend Randy, who was wearing a hat that had the words Make America Great Again printed on it, and which we both thought was funny. I left him after a short while and rode over to Via Ciclante, to put some air in my bike tires. Then I stopped at the bank. Just outside on the sidewalk, the town has installed a proper post for securing bikes to. Which is nice.
This morning I walked down to the old Power Dam with two of the cats. The days are becoming breezy, and less then warm. Autumn it seems has arrived on the heels of summer. Everywhere along the river are Goldenrod, with some purple flowered Asters mixed in. I stood and stretched in the sun, and then laid down on the concrete. Nearby were 9 ducks, and a grey Heron, who normally fly off if you startle them. I also saw a very large toad, a small snake and 2 snails that looked as if they were kissing. When I reached home I carried my bicycle down to the street and rode to the cemetery. I surveyed my mother and fathers graveside and determined that I will need to prune back the Rose of Sharons considerably and straighten them out with string. I also examined the leaves on the Lilac I planted, that have become whitish. I hope they are not diseased, as I would hate to lose it.
Yesterday afternoon, before having to go in for work, I walked to the store to pick up a few things. But I took a roundabout way getting there. Along Queen Street, not far from the library are some lilac bushes that my mother sometimes used to cut flowers from. But now every spring somebody prunes it back so drastically, that I have not seen flowers growing on them in many, many years. Which seems piteous.
I turned left on Caroline Street, then stopped to take a photo of a house that once belonged to the family of a childhood friend of mine. Today their is a pink banner hanging out front of it that says SPA.
I strolled along William Street trying to decide how far I should wander in the opposite direction of the store. At Ontario Street I turned left, then left again at Rutledge Road. As I crossed the railway tracks a convoy of school buses were pulling out from the Public School nearby. Before I reached Tannery Street, I took a short cut and crossed over the tracks again so that I would come out behind the Plaza.. Someone had written the word FUCK on a large construction sign, which struck me as an incomplete statement. I happened to look over and saw a patch of sunflowers growing next to the parking lot, which I felt attracted to. I was not the only one. There was a large Bumble Bee and three Monarchs also attracted to them.
My legs feel sore from all the walking I’ve been doing. But I wanted to tie up a few loose ends, and take some photos, so I hauled my bicycle down the stairs and went exploring. First though I made a stop at the cemetery to check on the flowers. A funeral procession was just leaving, and I nodded at the people as they passed. When I was done there I rode out through a gateway that leads to Carolyn Street, which is located East of the River.
The area was once the last of Streetsvilles homes before you drove out into the surrounding countryside. They were (and are) unique because of the large, and deep lots they sit on. But the old houses have almost all been knocked down, and replaced with newer, more expensive ones. I stopped to look over the few which have survived from the old days, and that are no longer lived in. The backyard of one of them had a few apple trees, whose branches were bent over and touching the ground, under the weight of all the fruit.
I made way along Creditview Road, then turned right onto Eglinton Avenue West, which was once called Lower Base Line. I was essentially on the fringes of what was my childhood town. I stopped to take some pictures of a row dwelling, that is very old and once housed the mill workers. Next door to it is another house that is abandoned. I spent some time here wandering about through the overgrowth, and listening to the ghosts.
Then I continued on and turned right onto Mississauga Road. At the old L.A Auto Repair Shop I took a photo of the words ARE YOU HAPPY? that are spray painted on the boarded up front part. (I have told few people about this blog, and have had few people read it. But today a friend told me that someone they knew was inquiring about the Old Signalmans House, (which I had written about) and that they had referred this person to my blog. Which kind of made me happy, I guess.) Anyways, afterwards I took another picture of the house. Then I crossed the tracks. I stopped at the Thrift Store and bought a small wooden man who looks like a Rabbi. I had purchased his wife last week, and was pleased to re-unite them, for only one dollar. When I left there, I came across a Wolf-Hound, that I followed until he disappeared. He had a blue scarf around his neck.
Then I took photos of some sunflowers. Here I met a woman named Monica who came outside when she saw me, and who I spoke with for a little while. I told her how much I liked the small backyard that the sunflowers were growing in. She told me the couple who owned it were Portuguese. I told her that I knew that, and that I was Portuguese as well. Then she told me her husband was Portugues, and about their 120 year old house. Then I told her about my blog. Maybe she will read it.
The heat of summer has past. Yesterday afternoon rather then take my bicycle to work, I walked instead. I left extra early as I wanted to see how the renovations on the house that I grew up in were coming along. They appear not to be. I was tempted to go and look about the property to see whether any of my toy cars or plastic cowboys had been dug up.
On Arch Road I saw a house sitting empty, that I made a mental note of. I crossed Brittania and walked along behind the Plaza, taking photos of the back doors. I realize that it’s a strange hobby, but it’s like artwork to me. Across the road I could see that someone had spray painted graffiti on a tanker car. The graffiti was dated 2016, which is a really nice thing, don’t you think?.
The old Lumberyard is very nearly across the street from where I work. I still had some time left, so I went up close to examine the metal siding, and the big doors. When I reached the backyard, I encountered a gentleman who was operating a machine. I smiled at him, but he did not want to be smiled at.
My job is in the North part of Town. Mostly I ride my bicycle to work. But I thought it might rain, so I had my sister drive me in. Then around midnight I walked home. The night was cool, but I had brought my jacket. I think their are fewer sounds more comforting then the chirping of crickets. I heard them the whole way home. Many, many thousands I suspect. I slowed down to examine the old Lumber Yard, and realized again how fragile its future was. It is a true leftover from the Streetsville I grew up with. But it is also a very old, run down sort of a building, that is not really nice to look at anymore. Except maybe to me. I have no idea what its used for now, or if its used at all. Though their is someone, it appears, in the office part of it.
I rambled my way home from there, in no rush, and in a exploring mood. My ramble included walking through the plaza, and the Beer Store parking lot, where I took pictures. I was surprised to see the Pool Hall still open, with young men loitering about. When I reached the old Macs Milk Store, (which I mentioned will soon be opening as a coffee shop) I tried the door. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it looked as if it was unlocked. Which oddly enough it was. I then stopped to admire the sign that our local psychic has out front of her house, and ventured up the steps to get a shot of it. Summer was not really all that hot. At least I didn’t think so. Still, it’s nice to see it ending, and my favorite season almost here. Then winter again.
I walked to the front door of Trinity Church, and examined the stained glass above it. After the old building burnt down, I had little to do with the new one. But maybe some day I will visit on a Sunday morning. Remember I said how comforting the sound of crickets can be? Well, the sound of Trinity’s bell also has that effect on me. I’m sure on many other people, too. (I almost wish sometines I had religion.) Anyways, I made it home finally. The cats were all waiting to greet me.
The days are getting cooler. This morning the cats and I walked down to the river, and stretched and poked about.I noticed that the beaver has begun building a dam, and the creek is drying up.
Afterwards, I got on my bicycle and rode over to Thomas Street to check on whether a certain house was empty. Along the way I decided to try and get some photos of the Fresh Mart, as I had been wanting to for some time.
When I finally arrived at the house on Thomas Street, I spent several minutes trying to decide if it was lived in or not. (Some day this blog will serve two purposes. Firstly, to help people know what this town was like in the 2010s, and secondly, to help get me arrested for trespassing.) In any case I crept into the backyard and took some photos of the old shed. Across the street from this house is a small lot, that is overgrown with weeds and sits right beside some newer homes. Years ago a little house sat there. But then one day it was gone.
From there I rode over to the old High School, and used the track and field as a short cut to the neighborhood in behind it. I wanted to see whether any more houses had been knocked down. On Theodore Drive I found 1 partially demolished, and 3 others waiting to be.
When I was done exploring, I weaved my way back to Joymar Street, crossed over Mullet Creek and and came out at Ontario Street. I then stopped at the store and bought potato chips, which I took home and ate.
This morning I helped a neighbor to move into another apartment unit in our building. Afterwards. I got on my bicycle and rode to the cemetery to check on the flowers. I watered my parents, and my Aunts, and Mrs. Pachecos, and Mr. and Mrs. Marques, and three other peoples. Including the geraniums planted at a grave of a woman who died in her early twenties. I met her mum a few months ago and promised to water them each time I came. I then sat down on a bench, and tried contemplating what to do about a problem I am faced with. But nothing came of the attempt, so I rode to the park and laid on the grass with a bunch of geese instead. I then went and visited another cemetery. This one belongs to the Presbyterians. There is a very large oak tree there, that I would venture to guess has been alive since the 1800s. I stopped then at the optometrists, and the Comic Book Store, before checking in with the crying man at the Fresh Mart. I have no idea why he cries.
I stopped by the cemetery this morning to check on the flowers. But because it rained on Tuesday, their was no need for me to water anything. From the cemetery I bicycled eastward towards Caroline Street, then turned left unto Durie Road. I stopped and took photos of a a small white house that sits on a large lot. East of the River was once all countryside, but is now newer houses that are part of the encircling and devouring of the little town I grew up in. This little white house is a hanger on from the countryside days. At Bristol Road I also got a few shots of the old Brick House that sits on the corner. It’s lovely.. And because it’s a designated historical home, their is no fear of it being knocked down anytime soon. On my way home I stopped to take a photo of a mobile trailer that has been parked all summer, just back off of Mill Street, in amongst some trees. I like to imagine that someone lives there.
Today Sam and I went to the Irish Pub for beer and food. Sam is blind and likes to tell me about his life. Which I enjoy. He once had a guide dog named Blazer, who is one of the most intelligent creatures I have ever heard about. I wish I had met him. I walked back with Sam to where he lives, and he played me music. When I left it was raining, but the rain was pretty and not very wet. I was still feeling contented and light headed from the beer, and made my way slowly, taking photos and smiling at people. At Central Plaza I encountered the Thunderbird, and opened the drivers door. The smell was an old smell.
I had a lovely Saturday morning. The cats and I took a stroll down to the old Power Dam, where we laid in the sun and poked about. Afterwards, I decided I would go and visit the cemetery and check on the flowers. Along the way I took photos. There were not a lot of people in the town square, so I took a few shots of the cenotaph.
From the cenotaph I walked east along Main Street. Their was a large patch of white flowers growing in the empty lot at the bend, which when I got closer I realized were Queen Anne’s Lace. I wish they wouldn’t build houses here. Many, many crickets have made it their home.
At the top of the hill, just as you are entering the cemetery, the city has place a statue of a lion, which I like very much. (But have somehow misplaced the photos I took of it.) I could hear the Chinese in the park blowing horns, and singing, so after I checked on the flowers, I went there, and stood very close and watched and listened. They have made Sunday mornings for me quite interesting and enjoyable. Some of them invited me to join in with them and do Tai Chi, so I did. I am not quite sure what they think of this man who walks about the park barefoot, but they seem to be getting use to me. I stopped to check on the soccer field, which is still overgrown with grass. Then I climbed the hill, and walked along Queen Street taking pictures of the old houses.
I had only a small amount of time in which to go for walk and explore, so I chose the north end of town. My main objective was to get a photo of Evan’s Variety Store. Along the way I took a few photos of the Orange Hall, and houses along Queen Street. Then I sidetracked and swung by 15 James Street, which is an automotive shop, but was once a School Bus Company I worked for. Their are always cars crammed around the front of the building. and so I couldn’t get as clear a shot of the entrance as I had hoped too. But I did get a nice photo of a small shed that has somehow survived 50 years of different owners. Now the grass cutters use it to store their wheelbarrows in.
From there I walked along the Railway Tracks, and came out behind the Gas Station. I took photos of the tires and some freight cars that were sitting nearby waiting to be loaded. The people at the gas station stopped what they were doing, and stood staring at me, so I crossed the road and made my way over to Evan’s. After getting a few pictures of it, I got some of the seedy looking bar at the end of the plaza as well. At this point I needed to head back home. But I stopped at the Hardware Store anyways. The building was originally a Kinney Shoes, that seemed like such a novelty to us in the early seventies. Across the street from it a new coffee shop is preparing to open in what was once a Macs Milk. Its curious as the North Town tends to attract fewer new businesses then the Downtown, which has resulted in it looking slightly more depressed and worn out. When I reached my apartment building the cats came out to greet me. So instead of going inside I walked with them to the picnic tables out back of Branch 139 of the Royal Canadian Legion.
A little house on Queen Street that has lived to see three of its neighbors knocked down.
Streetsville Plaza in the North Town.
A new coffee shop is preparing to open in what was once a Macs Milk.
This morning I walked to the old Power Dam with the cats and spent some time with them there. We heard rustling in the tall grass below us, and when I looked to see what it was, discovered a big beaver, who then slid into the river and swam happily about. At one point it disappeared beneath the ruins of the dam, then reappeared a few minutes later. At noon I walked over to my friend Sams, and then the two of us went to Cuchalainns for beer and food. He told me some things about a woman who lives in his building, which greatly surprised me. I had formed a very one dimensional opinion of her (though not unkind) that I now regretted. I had not intended to do a photo walk on my way home afterwards, but that’s exactly what happened. Firstly I took pictures of a very old house at 263 Victoria Street. Years ago their were several cats that lived there that I used to visit with. Then the house sat empty for a long time. Next, I took photos of a walk up apartment at 191 Broadway Street. Lastly, the backside of the plaza at the corner of Queen Street and Tannery Street There was something beautiful about it.