My Hometown

May 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm (Blogging, Meme, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today’s assignment comes to me via Kathy over at Upwoods. The challenge is originally from Scott Thomas over at Views Infinitum and it is Assignment 13:  Hometown History.

I had to think about this one awhile; I read Kathy’s post the day she wrote it and only decided today to do the assignment. The problem was that I’m really not sure what I consider to be my hometown, right now. I could tell you about where I grew up or I could tell you about my city, the city that I’ve only been back living in for the last five years. Five years doesn’t seem to be enough time to be able to call somewhere your hometown. Though, according to the dictionary, I’m perfectly within my rights to do so.

Noun: The town where one was born or grew up, or the town of one’s present fixed residence.

The complication, in my mind, is that I still consider myself unsettled. I’ve moved too much and lived too many places.

I never considered Montreal or Calgary to be my hometown because I was only there to go to school. I wasn’t even allowed to vote in Montreal even after I had lived there for six years because I was only a student.

I did not live in Winnipeg long enough. I was only there for a summer as I mooched off my stepmother’s relatives well I looked for a job. I have to have time to walk around a city to know it; once I know where this alley leads or how long it takes to walk from where I am to the downtown core then I can start to consider that this city might be my hometown.

I’ve been in and out of Saskatoon since I was thirteen and my eldest sister started University here. I lived here before and after I was married. I live here now. But I’m still not sure if it’s my hometown especially when I talk to co-workers who were born and raised in this city.

I wonder at what point in my life, I’ll feel like I’m truly and completely home.

Here in Canada, this weekend is Victoria Day weekend and I’ve actually got four days off to enjoy my city. I’ve gone walking every morning with camera in hand and this assignment in the back of my mind so today’s post will be very photo heavy. I hope you enjoy this tableau of my current hometown.

The district I live in is called Nutana and it is home to one of our older city streets – Broadway. It makes me smile to think that I live just off Broadway because of the New York connotations of that phrase.

Notice the ubiquitous 7-11 sign on the right.

Broadway use to be more low rent. The Salvation Army thrift store use to be here as well as my favourite hobby shop and a book store, where I was able to buy artistic colouring books for a dollar or two. The street is more artsy now, full of night clubs, high end shops and expensive free trade bastions.

I am close to the South Saskatchewan river and in-between two bridges (one unfortunately closed for rebuilding). The only steamboat accident we ever had is within walking distance.

There is history within history here.

This tribute to our pioneers was erected in 1952, a lifetime ago.

Walking in my neighbourhood, I am always aware of the passage of time. If time travel is merely stepping between dimensions, it would be so easy to do here.

My favourite antique shop resides within in the 100+ year old Empyreal Building. What I am coveting now are old oak library card catalogs – even though I have no idea what I would use all those drawers for.

Oskayak passes on traditions that are even older than the city; shouldn’t we all be listening to the wisdom of our elders.

This cafe is older than me. The original owners just sold and a new generation is redesigning the past for future generations to enjoy.

My sister shopped at this bakery when she went to university. She’s a grandmother now. I find that so hard to comprehend some days. If she’s an elder, am I an elder also?

Here is new Broadway where the old theatre competes with the new coffee house for prominence. I patronize both.

I love my neighbourhood with its mature trees and quirky shops. I think it very sad when developers cut down the trees to build houses. I love a neighbourhood where there are old trees for shade and climbing.

Don’t you just want to climb the tree, or build a tree-house, or just sit under one reading. Hug a tree today. You’ll both feel better!

My neighbourhood consists of artists, elders, environmentalists, families, old hippies, students and people like me who are never really sure in which category they belong.

Artist or Elder or Student?

Environmentalist or Hippie or Elder?

Hippie or Elder or Me?

Family or Artist?

Students or Environmentalists?

Family or Artist or Elder?

Environmentalist or Hippie or Family?

Elder or Environmentalist?

Hippie or Artist or Elder?

I walk around my neighbourhood looking at for sale signs. I could live here. I could live there. That Victorian is too big. That condo is too small. I feel like Goldilocks or the 3 little pigs building their houses of straw, wood and brick. This is my hometown. There is a lot of history here.



  1. Dawn said,

    The library drawers ARE beautiful! If you sewed you could probably fill them all. Or if you collect little tiny something or others. Or maybe don’t fill the drawers use it as a piece of art. Which it is.

    I have a secret yearning to climb a tree. I used to love to do that, but now I worry about getting stuck. Should probably take my cell phone if I try it…never thought I’d say that back in the 60’s when I was climbing trees all summer!

    Loved the tour of your town. Yes I think you live there now…just let yourself enjoy!

    • solitaryspinster said,

      I walked by a tree on the way home from work this week that would of been perfect to climb. But I’m old and too afraid of falling – I think I need a spotter to conjole me into climbing these days!

  2. Gerry said,

    I hope you keep making that history yours. Looks like a good place to be whoever you are this week, or all of them at once.

  3. solitaryspinster said,

    You know, the more i write about this city the more it feels like home.


  4. Kathy said,

    Gigi, it was fun to walk the streets of your city with you. The antique library cards do sound intriguing. It is interesting the ways we love our towns and resist them. And how the more we deeply look into them~~we can often start to have that hometown feeling. (Not always. But it happened for me.) I am glad you played along. I would like to have a cup of coffee or tea with you in your hometown.

    • solitaryspinster said,

      I’d love to come have a cup of tea with you and roam both your woods and all the various towns around your little house in the woods.

      • Kathy said,

        That would be so nice, Gigi.

  5. Assignment 13 Recap | Views Infinitum said,

    […] and questioned if she has a hometown as her life has landed her in many places.  Yet, her time walking about her current place of residence is well know to her now and in the […]

  6. Nye said,

    I see the word elder came up a lot in your post, I often think how would I dress when I’m an elder, still bootcut jeans and t-shirt? Would that make me a hippie elder?

    Thanks for taking us around your hometown. 🙂

    • solitaryspinster said,

      I always picture my elders in old-fashioned house dresses because that’s what the old ladies wore when I was little (pre-kindergarten).


  7. Stubblejumpin' Gal said,

    Loved the tour — hope to see many more.

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