My parents bought the Scarborough house in 1971. The story goes like this:
Lil Webb lived at the house next to the one my parents would eventually buy. She was my grandparents age *late 50’s at that point I believe* and her and her husband knew my grandparents briefly. They told my parents to buy the home because a young “colored” couple had viewed the home and as the neighborhood was all Caucasian – it would be an issue to have a colored family move in next door.
Now I pause and ask you to not hold it against Lil or her husband for these remarks, being ignorant on race and religion was a lot different in 1971 than it is now and those comments would never have been acceptable to my parents.
My father liked the house enough as it had a pool (which was torn down in the 80’s due to wood rot) and a basement with a big enough room for a ping pong/pool table. This was what my father required. My mom liked it because it was still along the bus path and she didn’t drive at the time. The only thing missing was a garage. However after looking at other homes – a garage would have cost them a couple of thousand dollars more and the house was already at the top end of their budget – $28,000. YA I SAID $28,000. They carried a mortgage. Good grief, my car cost me $30,000. I still shake my head like crazy when I picture a home costing $28,000.
They moved in and quickly got to know their new neighborhood and their new neighbours. They soon got pregnant with son Paul who was born in 1973 and 8 years later, little me came along in the beginning of 1981. Our family lived their together in the Scarborough house until 1994 when my mother moved out and my parents divorced, but my father continued raising us in that home until his untimely death in July of 2013.
This home, the Scarborough home, has been the place where my brother and I could always come back to no matter how many times we left (and we both left at various times for various reasons) and it was my only home. Nowhere else had felt like home to me, not even the apartment I shared with my ex or the homes I lived in while I was attending University. However after my father’s passing, the heart of the home was gone. I came back to the house on July 21st after our final hospital visitation and this place was no longer my home. The soul of this $28,000 home was gone. I knew I would have to continue living it for some time, to catch my breath, to heal, to grow and to make my plan B, but it was now the place I was living. It wasn’t my home, it was my house. There is a massive difference.
I bought my home, as you all know in March and without even putting the Scarborough home on the market, I have received word that it has now officially sold. New owners will be taking over this house and creating their home in its four walls. We got what we wanted – a lot more than $28,000 that’s for sure – and as of July 23rd, it will no longer be the place my brother and I can come back to when life doesn’t’ work out as we feel it should. This thought hurts…I have no safe zone. It really makes this whole past year VERY real to me.
The new owners are so fortunate to have my neighbours and my schools and my stores and sidewalks and roads and trees…it really is a beautiful street and a nice neighborhood – even though it has changed A LOT in 42 years.
It’s time…to say goodbye and focus soley on my new home. My new memories…building dreams within my four walls of Ajax.