Some folks live there entire lives in one place. Work for thirty or forty years for the same company, then retire and stay in their house. Certainly not me. Besides having around forty different and varied jobs I’ve also moved around a lot, in Canada and in other countries. After my fourteen years in the beautiful Okanagan valley where I spent some of the best years of my life, my disaster of a renovation forced me to leave the country. After a lot of research I ventured to Panama, came back originally to Toronto, then London, then Ecuador, then Belleville, then Mexico and, now, Belleville again. 

Looking back I wished that I had taken a lot more photos of the various places I lived, but for some of the places I don’t have a single photo. Such as it here is the record I do have. 

It all started when I was born at St. Joseph’s hospital in Toronto. At the time my parents lived on Centre Island, back when there were houses on the islands. Obviously my memory is lacking as to where and when we moved around, but we lived at Donalda Farms, which would become Don Mills, at an apartment building in Ajax, with my grandmother and grandfather at 7 Hugo Street in Toronto, and on the fifth line north of Streetsville. When I left home I moved into an apartment at 226 Main Street in Brampton in the house my Dad had recently bought. Despite the apartment being so tiny I lived with a buddy, Russ Bird, who would become my best man when I got married. He moved out when my wife moved in and later we moved to the main floor apartment when we bought the building off my Dad.

This was our first real house and it was a total disaster when we first saw it with the Realtor. Stunk to high heaven. Indoor/outdoor carpet nailed to the floors. Sink propped up on two by fours in the bathroom. Every bedroom door busted into from when it was a rooming house. My wife didn’t even want to go in, but I knew I could renovate and we could make some good money, which we did. It was the first of many renovations in my life. 

We lived there for around five years before buying our one and only new house at Elderwood Place, a new development off Williams Parkway in Brampton. It was on a wonderful lot backing onto the greenway behind and with a large pie-shaped lot that I knew would accommodate a pool nicely at some point. Never happened. My venture into Real Estate was at a time when the market went crazy and we had to sell the house. We did make very good money though. 

From there we rented a five-level townhouse in a development that was originally planned as Executive Townhomes, so they were pretty upscale, but didn’t sell so most of them were turned into rentals. After we were there for a short time our next door neighbor said she was selling so I made her an offer. It was the worst move ever because we didn’t pack anything in boxes because we were only going next door, right? Huge mistake. We ended up making hundreds of trips to move everything. 

The renovation bug hit again and I redid the kitchen/dining room the be one big room and lots more kitchen cabinets. I turned the rather boring bathroom into a spa with tongue and groove wood panelling everywhere. When it came time to move again we sold this place for more than any place had ever sold for before.

At the time I can’t remember why we decided to move. I think I saw an ad somewhere that the subdivision foreman was selling his “upscale” place. It listed features like a jacuzzi tub, glass french doors into the living room, multi-level deck out back, large lot and so on. It turned out that they were building their own place in Caledon and wanted an unusually long closing of six months. I was in no hurry at the time because we had multiple offers on the townhouse and I figured one of them would agree to the long closing. They did. 

When I look back on this place and the work I did renovating, although it was a very nice house, it was small by any standard. None-the-less it was to be our last house together. Life got very complicated with my mother being diagnosed with terminal cancer, me working on a contract in Markham and staying at a local hotel and realizing finally that my marriage was over and it was time to leave. This was also a time of a market crash of some twenty-five percent. We took a big hit when we sold but still made money because we had paid much less six months ago. It didn’t matter much to me because I gave every penny to my ex and daughter and only took my last cheque from my contract when I went out west to be with my mother. 





When I first moved out West I lived at my parent’s place at Shady Rest. They came down to Brampton to help me sell things off and pack up the van to take what I had with me out west. They were also going to Yuma for the winter and I could rent their place for six months. It was the first time I had really been totally on my own anywhere and it was wonderful.  





Although I am no doubt confused about the timing of some of my moved, these are some of the many places I lived after moving out of my parent’s place. I had a great apartment on Ethel street for a few months. I moved in with Karen on Mcdougall Road. I had a place of my own again on Lanfranco.  I moved in with Tracy on Molnar then moved to Menu Road after she kicked me out. I then moved in with Ans up on McGinnis Road in what is now West Kelowna. 










My Dad died in my arms in May of 2005 and I moved in to care for my Mum back at Shady Rest and began the renovations to get ready to sell the place. After eight months of trying I finally mamage4d to get my mother into a proper care facility and sold their place. I moved to Horizon Drive for a very short time until the bylaw officer kicked me out. Just as I was about to put the deposit on a basement apartment in Kelowna my Realtor emailed me to look at a place on Boucherie Road that he said I could flip, so I moved to Princess and started the most disastrous renovation of my life. One that would change the course of my entire life. 

From the start it was never going to be a place for me live for long. My Realtor had told me that it was “a little rough” before I went to see it and he wasn’t kidding. It was a disaster. I basically gutted it all back to the studs and redesigned the entire layout from scratch. I renovated one bathroom and built in two more, one main full bathroom and one two-piece off a new bedroom. I built new walls, adding a sound system in the living room and added a whole new kitchen. I completely reorganized the external shed, added new cladding, new windows and totally landscaped the lot. For a year and a half I worked seven days a week, often living in total chaos, like having no kitchen for six weeks and only one bathroom with no walls until the plumber came in to run all the new water lines and drainage. When I was almost finished I called local Realtors and they said it was the nicest manufactured home in the Okanagan. I had about to put offers in on three other places to renovate so I told the Realtor I had chosen to list it ten grand below what he said and sell it quickly. That’s when disaster stuck. A local band chief said that anybody who bought on native land was “stupid” because they could be evicted at any time and lose everything. Overnight I couldn’t give the place away. I owed all kinds of money to places like Home Hardware, Home Depot and Canadian Tire with no way to pay them. Even the mortgage I had arranged through Peace Hills Trust, the native trust company, fell apart on me. I had no choice other than to leave the country. My doctor had said that I was a poster child for a heart attack.








After a lot of research I headed to Boquete, Panama in December of 2007. I had stupidly rented a house based on the pictures on the internet and learned my lesson the hard way. It was not what I expected. After things did not go well here I ended up moving up the mountain to Vista Grande which was not “grande” at all. Yet another failed renovation after I spent almost ten grand which I never got back. With not a cent to my name I ended up limping back to my cousin’s in Toronto who graciously offered me a roof over my head. 










After meeting Denise online and falling head over heels for her I moved to London. My first place was not great. It was an absurdly small house with three roommates and not much room to breathe.

After a big argument with the landlady I moved out with nowhere to go. For a time I lived in my car, in an office owned by a friend and in two shelters, the Centre of Hope and unity Place until finally got a place of my own downtown. An apartment with no windows. 

About six months after applying for housing I got a call to move into an apartment on Hale Street. It was an older building but faced a nice park which I could see from my balcony. I got furniture through Ontario Works and stayed for several years.









Things were not going well and I was coming up to pension age so I started searching for a country with a lower cost of living because i could not survive on my lowly pensions, and I found Ecuador. Although I planned to live in Cotacachi, there was nothing available. Then I discovered a cabin way up in the mountains just before Otavalo so booked it for a week just to have somewhere to live until I found something in Cotacachi. After just too many problems living there, like nearly dying from carbon monoxide poisoning and them giving away the firewood I had bought I left bought I left and went to Cotacachi hoping to find a place. I ended up staying for several weeks at a hotel until I got an apartment.






My planned GIS pension never came for six months so I was forced to go back to Canada again, this time to a place in Foxboro north of Belleville. It was under renovation and owned by the son of an old friend who thought I might help with the renovations. It did not go well and I ended up at the Salvation Army in tears. They got me into my first of many transitional homes in Belleville. I have lived here at Forin before, al well as 10 Murney, 12 Murney, 49 Dunbar, and 51 Victoria. As i write this I am still hoping to get a place of my own, but the virus has made getting help from people like St. Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army for furniture very difficult. I am still trying to get somewhere in Kingston or get back to the Okanagan. My heart is still in Mexico but that has turned into a dream.