A Cabbagetown Thanksgiving

A few years ago I featured a doors post from one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods, Cabbagetown. In the 2016 post I talked a bit about the neighbourhood’s history which dates back to the mid-1800s. You can read about it here.

Coincidentally, that trip to Cabbagetown was the same time of year as my most recent excursion this past weekend.

This beauty was so distracting, it was easy to overlook the rundown gate next door to it which led to the address we were seeking.

I wasn’t expecting to be enchanted by a charming little home tucked away hidden behind a nondescript fence and a pair of rundown doors.

Uber drivers have been known to be uneasy letting off patrons at this sketchy-looking address, but the doors open to an enchanting garden and tree-lined walk to the small semi-detached home at the back of lot.

The garden path leading from the front gates. The house is behind me.
Our destination was the 1/2 portion of this address.

Our ‘adopted’ son, Trevor, had chosen to host Thanksgiving dinner this year, and we all descended on his new residence for food, drink, conversation, and frivolity.

Trevor is house-sitting while the home’s owner is out of the country for 2 years and his timing for hosting this year’s food-fest couldn’t have been better. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, it usually kicks the stuffing out of me. I’ve been a coughing, wheezing, snotty mess for the past 3 weeks, and trying to pull off Thanksgiving dinner would have been just short of a miracle.

My regret is that in the fading afternoon light, I didn’t try to capture more of the unusual features of this property … from its beautiful French doors in the master bedroom with etched fleur-de-lis in the glass, to the stunning copper chandeliers, and the beer taps in the kitchen.

I blame diminished mental capacity on my part.

Even the resident cat, Max, had his own little outdoor hideaway tucked away in the garden.

Then all too soon it was time to go home.

I’m glad I had the presence of mind to take this photo when we first arrived. It would have been impossible in the dark when we left.

I’m still not 100% health-wise but I have my normal voice back, most of my energy has returned, and I can string together a number of sentences without coughing up a lung.

I’m grateful.

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Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm 2.0.

108 comments

  1. Joanne I’m sorry to hear you have been so sick. Hopefully by now you will be feeling better. Lovely to have someone else take care of Thanksgiving and especially in such a unique setting.

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  2. I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better and happy that you didn’t have to host dinner while sick! I think I’m hosting our Thanksgiving this year…eek! I prefer to be the piemaker. That beautiful house would be distracting. Those worn down gates sure have quite the character. It sounds like the entire place had tons of character!

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  3. Belated Happy Thanksgiving, Joanne! I’m glad you were able to just sit and enjoy being fed with your cold and I hope the bug is ending its run this week. The fancy iron gate is gorgeous, but I enjoyed the quaintness of the doors and path to Trevor’s temporary home. It seems like a hidden treasure.

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  4. I’m glad you are feeling better Joanne, and had one of your boys cook Thanksgiving dinner for you. And what a gorgeous place to eat it. Hope you’re fully recovered soon.

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  5. Enchanted and charming are great words to describe this little home. Deceiving as to what you find in the back. I cannot even imagine beer taps in a kitchen. I truly hope you feel better fast, Joanne.πŸ™‚

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  6. Every time one of our daughters cook us a wonderful dinner, I’m grateful that I let them in the kitchen as kids lol Sounds like your dinner gave you much needed sustenance towards further recovery. πŸ™‚

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  7. I’m glad you’re feeling better! Three rousing cheers, for your having the strength to raise the camera and click off any shots at all. Isn’t that just the perfect residence? It’s like the Tardis, only with beauty: It’s nicer on the inside. Really, isn’t it like a fairy tale? You approach the forbidding, foreboding exterior … you open the rickety, weathered door … and enter a wonderland of comfort and brightness. What a treat! Hope you can visit again when you feel well. HUGS

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  8. Awww man, sorry to hear you’ve been sick! I hate being sick!! I would love to house sit for a place like this…just gorgeous. Glad ya had a lovely thanksgiving πŸ’•πŸ’•

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  9. Sorry to hear you have been feeling rough and I hope you make a full recovery soon. Seems as we grow older these illnesses take longer to shrug off. You already know how much I loved Cabbagetown and seeing that first house and fence and gate makes me want to return! And how quirky to have a house number with 1/2 in it!

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  10. Your post reminded me of the delightful gardens and patios that are often hidden behind dilapidated old gates in Mexico. An excellent example of not being able to judge a book by its cover. Hopefully (for us) you’ll have an opportunity during the 2 years that Trevor is house sitting to take a few pictures of the home’s inside (hint, hint). I hope you are well on the mend!

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    • It’s not something you see very often here, but yes, it’s also prevalent in Europe. We stayed at one such place in Rouen, France earlier this year. A nondescript wall on the outside and a delightful little garden on the inside. I loved to sit out there sipping a glass (or two) of wine at the end of a day that involved a lot of walking. Ahhh, good times!

      I will definitely be making the effort for a return visit!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. If you have to be sick, turkey time is the best time – as long as someone else is cooking the bird! I’ve been doing Thanksgiving dinner for the crowd for most of my adult life, so it is absolutely wonderful to see the event has moved on to the next generation! Of course, I’m going to have to cook a small bird myself soon so that I can have unlimited quantities of turkey and stuffing to make sandwiches…

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    • A friend and I often commiserate with each other about how it’s not fun being the family matriarch. Especially during the holidays, there is so much responsibility and effort involved. I wish I could go back in time and be more grateful and supportive of my mother when I was younger!

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  12. Oh Joanne, I hope you continue to feel better. Toronto is full of nice residential pockets. I like how the doors are deceptive and then you discovered the house with its nice interior features that you mentioned.

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  13. Oy, I have a friend who has been suffering from a bout of bronchitis for the past 3 weeks….brutal! Hope you continue to feel better as the days go on.

    The decrepit doors kind of remind me of that old game show, Let’s Make a Deal. Remember when you had to choose which door you wanted for a grand prize? Not thinking I would have chosen this one but what a delightful surprise.

    What a great opportunity for both Trevor & the resident he is housesitting for. I honestly think if I could do a long stay like that, I would just sell my house & go live someone else for a wee while!

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    • I have a tendency towards bronchitis so I have to be careful when I catch a cold that it doesn’t get away from me. I feel for your friend because it’s not fun. Luckily, mine turned for the good before I descended into that particular hell.

      I’m not sure what I’d do if given the opportunity to go overseas for a couple of years. I like the idea of having a trusted friend care for my home in my absence. I think I would want to have a place to come back to rather than starting over.

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    • I’m so glad the worst is behind me and I’m feeling more like my usual self.
      I don’t however miss the stress and chaos of pulling together Thanksgiving dinner. After being the hostess for so many years, it was a delight to a guest for a change and Trevor is an amazing cook!

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  14. Glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery Joanne. Take care of yourself so you can head back there and capture some of the nice interior features you mentioned. For now I’ll have to content myself with the through-the-gates shot of that glorious old home next door πŸ™‚

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  15. Glad to read you are on the road back to good health, Joanne! We need to make up that hike we missed out on. And now you’ll have to go back to Trevor’s house-sit and get pictures of those great features you teased us with in this post! πŸ˜‰

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  16. Damn. Full-blown colds are miserable. I’m glad you’re on the back side of it.
    It always amuses me that you Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, rather than November. I wonder how this disparity between our two countries developed. Anyway, a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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  17. This looks like a great place to explore. I like how ramshackle it is, your photos do it justice. Hope you’re feeling better soon. Hot tea, my dear. It cures all that ails a person.

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    • I’ve been drinking gallons of herbal teas for the past couple of weeks. If nothing else, it feels comforting … like a warm hug in a mug πŸ™‚

      I didn’t ask but I suspect that fence has been deliberately left decrepit so as to give the impression there is nothing to see here.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I first fell in love with Cabbagetown many years ago when commuting in to my first job. A fab neighbourhood. Glad to hear you’re feeling better — I don’t get them often but nasty colds always knock me sideways too!

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    • Cabbagetown has transformed significantly in the past number of years. It really is a gorgeous area of the city – although still has some ‘unsavoury’ pockets.

      When I get a cold and it moves into my lungs, I’m usually toast after that. It takes so long to recover! I’m hoping this isn’t a sign of what kind of winter I can expect to have.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. How nice to have the meal prepared for you when you weren’t up to the task. It’s a beautiful location (I love the photos). I hope you get back to 100% soon. Early and late illnesses are the worst, I think. Not that I ever want to be sick, but it doesn’t seem so bad in winter.

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    • This truly was a hidden treasure. Even after we opened the gate and started down the path, I couldn’t see the house.
      Old homes like this one have so much character … although the upgrade costs can be a non-starter for so many people.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a wonderful way (and a beautiful place) to share your Thanksgiving with loved ones. Glad you’re feeling better. I love little hide-aways like this one, where the doors are deceptive, making the inside even more magical.

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