In a busy heart-of-the-city section of Toronto, just south of the 401, is a half acre lot with a small war bungalow on it. Around it the city has grown up, with highrises and fancy wrought-iron fenced homes, and over the years this once-rural street has become a bustling, diverse community. One by one the other war time bunglaows were torn down, their lots turned into town homes and single-family montrosities, but smack dab in the middle of all of this is Aunt Elvina's.
She bought it post war and has been happily living there since. She planted the maple in the front yard, close to the street, and she still has raspberry canes and rhubarb in the spacious back garden behind the garage. Now in her mid 90's she still maintains and looks after the gardens and the house, though apparently she now hires someone to clean out her eavestroughing.
We were there the other weekend, and it's always so peaceful. The city is all around, but you can sit in the swing on the patio and not hear it. You leave the busyness of the world behind and instead watch the breeze blow blossoms across the grass, and listen to birds in the trees that are all around the garden.
You know what I'd like, she told us. An Inukshuk. So Andrew and the kids made one in the shade for her while I did helpful things like eat cake and sip tea.