Very Long Ago


For all intents and purposes I consider myself a “Beacher.” It’s a term used appropriately by those who grew up and still live in an area in the east end of Toronto called The Beaches, and also — inappropriately — by those who moved here from outside the neighbourhood. To me, they are tourists who just haven’t left yet. 🙂 But, I’ve got a secret: I was not born in the beaches and did not even move to this end of town until I was nine years old. Prior to that, I lived way out in the west end in a ratty, rundown neighbourhood called Parkdale. Mauro and I visited this very neighbourhood yesterday and even ventured up my old street, O’Hara Ave, near Queen St. and Lansdown Ave. The area hasn’t gotten any better since I was a kid, really. It could even be argued that it’s gotten worse. Anyway, the above photo is of the house I grew up in until we moved east. I did some editing to give it an old photo sort of look. I wish I could say those were the good ol’ days, but to be honest all I can remember is a very horrible childhood. Thankfully I’ve blocked most of it out save for the most traumatic stuff.

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12 Responses to Very Long Ago

  1. Mauro Metallo says:

    Beautiful insight and beautiful photo, prooerly exposed and framed.
    I love the tones. God job!

  2. uncoveringyou says:

    that is a great shot! What you wrote gave it more character…an eeriness even..great composition too

  3. milkayphoto says:

    Sorry for your traumatic childhood, Dave. Seems to me you faced a few demons that day. I’m glad you had a friend with you. 🙂 Whether you intended it or not, the tone you gave this image supports your story. You didn’t give an old-time nostalgic feeling; instead, you gave it sort of a gritty, dark, sad, disheveled look – pouring in your memories and emotions of that time. It ain’t easy going back and I hope this visit helped you close that chapter and leave it behind altogether!

    • davecandoit says:

      Thanks, Tracy. That’s exactly the look I was going for. As for closing chapters, with time comes indifference. I no longer think about those days, but I couldn’t pass up seeing the house again. I should probably point out that the trauma came from external sources, not family. Simply put, I was a lonely, shy kid who was severely picked on by all the other kids in the neighbourhood and school. I really should be writing this with violins playing in the background, no? 🙂

      • milkayphoto says:

        Thanks for clarifying! And, if they could just see you now! I completely understand – moved away from my hometown many, many, MANY years ago and never looked back. The only reason for return visits is family is still there. Never attended a HS reuinion either. The best thing from HS came with me (my husband!) 🙂 Every now and again, I get contacted by old schoolmates who want to “catch up” and I’m like “I haven’t spoken to you in, like, 25 years, why the heck would I want to now??” C’est la vie!! 🙂

  4. davecandoit says:

    LOL… Yeah, once in a blue moon I’ll hear from someone from my distant past and obviously they did not have the same experiences as I did growing up so they can’t begin to understand how much I don’t want to “catch up.” It’s like, “Wow, I remember you, the last time I saw you I was 11 years old and had your boot pushing my head into some mud at recess. I’d love to grab a coffee at Starbucks and relive all the fun we had at my expense, but I gotta run. For kicks and giggles, how ’bout you boot me in the nuts for ol’ time sake?” 🙂
    So you married your HS sweety, eh? I have a couple of friends who did the same. I never did marry and at this point can’t imagine it happening. Oh well, life goes on, right?

    • milkayphoto says:

      HA! Nice to see you have a sense of humor about the whole thing! Yeah, married my HS sweetheart – nauseating, isn’t it? 🙂 Great guy and truly my best friend in the whole wide world.

      Never say never… you’re true love just might be waiting out there down one of those gritty alleys you like to photograph so much! 🙂

  5. milkayphoto says:

    You are sooooo bad! 🙂

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