People often depart cherished neighbourhoods with heavy, buyers’-remorse-filled hearts.
I was no exception when I purchased a home outside Crescentwood. Stepping outside the doorway of my hundred-year-old character condo for the last time, I wondered what had possessed me to leave; it had been several months since I’d seen my new home and I could no longer conjure the potent images that had swayed me to buy outside my beloved Village neighbourhood in the first place.
I confess to sleeping a little fitfully that first night in my Norwood Flats digs, surrounded by stacked boxes. When I finally willed myself to get up and accept my self-inflicted fate, I was greeted at my enormous window by an image of sunrise-pink snow surrounding a peacefully wending river.
There were deer near my deck, nibbling on exposed grasses and looking up at me curiously (impossibly miraculous timing). In that moment, all my fondness for the place was restored, and it’s been a love affair picking up steam ever since.
The river is wide here and rather "lake-like." I now vividly (and often) recall the memory of viewing this new home in late August, on a hazy morning without a breath of wind. The wood of the deck was warm beneath my feet and, despite busy St. Mary’s Road being only a block away, there was no street noise. Rowers glided by on the glassy water. It was enchanting.
While I was researching water levels on this riverbank (research that involved, among other things, poking around and chatting with riverbank dwellers), I had the good fortune to meet people who have lived here through rising waters, breathtaking sunsets, and the experience of lake life only minutes from the bustling city. They told me everything I wanted to know and encouraged me to make the leap. Obviously, I’ve taken their sage advice and what a lucky girl I am because of it.
Where I live now, there is much to enjoy just a short stroll away — an infamous burger joint, charming French bistro, treasured farmers’ market, tree-lined walkways and the Forks River Trail. Where I live now affords me easy access to the river, where I can scramble down the embankment and be on my snowshoes before you can say "voyageur."
Where I live now, there are warm and welcoming neighbours — hosts of intimate riverside jam sessions, a musician on the brink of greatness, generous guys who tirelessly clear a home-made river rink for skating and hockey, just so we can all enjoy an authentic Canadian winter reprieve.
Where I live now is in an unassuming part of the city I’ve driven by without ever noticing a thousand times before but which has now become the most magical place I have ever dwelled.
And it makes me love this whole city more than I already do.
Stacey Nicole is a community correspondent for Norwood.