Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries newest entry

9:03 a.m. - 2002-05-20
Casa Loma
This morning I woke up and began to reminisce about one of my childhood adventure places. I was rummaging through the Globe and came upon an ad for Casa Loma, hence the trigger.

Casa Loma was one of my main childhood adventures. I visited there a lot with my friend, Cheryl. Cheryl lived two blocks from me, one very long block, at least a mile long, from Shaw Street to Christie and a very short one to her house. The two of us hiked often until I moved away when I turned 14. We met when I was 10 and so was Cheryl. I was the first of four children to come back to live with the mother I didn't know. Meeting and starting a friendship with Cheryl made the transition easier. Easier because my mother was a night worker, often sleeping in until noon the next day. As a child, I 'enjoyed' incredible freedom walking the streets of Toronto, but then, Toronto was a safe place.Day or night, there was never a fear.

Our favorite place to visit was Casa Loma. It took us well over an hour to get there, down the sidewalks and sometimes through private fenced yards and back alleys. We would always be excited to see those formidable palace walls. It was these rough walls we climbed to make entrance then play on the grounds, sometimes entering into the posh buildings themselves, images of grandeur! We knew the all secret passages, dreamed in the panelled library of being princesses and played games in the stables. Yet most of the time, we just ran and played in the outside grass. In the spring, it was exceptionally beautiful and scented with the fruit trees in bloom. Once we wore our bathing suits to swim in the fountain pool. I remember coins on the bottom of that pool. We gathered them up in heaps with our feet, little mountains of gold. Well, it was usually silver or copper. We never took even one coin, that was not who we were...lessons from our Christian upbringing. As the day wore late, Cheryl and I would hike back home, usually but not always before dark. On our way, we were always enjoying the flowers in more affluent people's yards, walking their walls or anything else we could climb on to, jump down from as well as, watching the birds fly to and fro. We never thought it consciously wrong to play at Casa Loma and no one ever told us not to but at some level we must have known, for we never used the front entrance. It was always up over the wall, the back way, the children's route. There's a strange smile on my face as I write this. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is the memories of pure childhood adventure and enjoyment, perhaps it is the knowledge that we crossed authoritarian boundaries to innocently enjoy the world around us as a distraction from home. Perhaps it is the thought of having gotten away with something. Forty-some years later, it still feels good.


previous - next

about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!