Three Years In Toronto

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series The Toronto Files

Wintercity 2009

As of yesterday I’ve managed to survive three years in Toronto. I didn’t know if I’d last this long, but this last year has been the best by far, mainly due to three reasons:

  1. Leaving my government job to work at home again;
  2. Work-related opportunities to spend more than two months in Vancouver to see my family and friends and travel more;
  3. Meeting people in Toronto who make the winters here a lot more enjoyable.

It’s been an interesting ride, the past year. It was really good timing to work in a home environment again, especially since I’d recently acquired Beano and Xena after Arliin passed away and it allowed for plenty of bonding time with my new housemates.

I also made five trips to Vancouver in Year Three, which amounted to more than 60 days! In Year Two I made four (?) trips to BC, but they were short by comparison — mostly long weekends — and I didn’t get to see many people in that compacted period of time, mostly my nieces and nephew. In Year Three I was able to see friends as well as family, and many of them more than once on a trip.

Year Three was also the first full year of using (I joined in Oct ’07), which introduced me to many other travel-minded folk. I started hosting CS brunches in February of last year, and had a summer brunch and one in the fall. I hosted more than 30 people from all over the world (Australia, Colombia, Germany, USA, Mexico, Austria, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Brazil, UK, France, Mexico, and Slovakia), and also surfed couches in Oslo (June), Quebec City (September), and upstate New York (October).

In Year Three I took photography to a whole new level: not just learning how to take better pictures, but also learning software, buying hardware, and figuring out a business model.

Year Three was also the year of website development. More heavy-duty learning and creating opportunities for myself in digital work.

In Year Three I slowly — albeit very slowly — started to give away David’s belongings to people I felt understood what it meant for me to do it.

In Year Three I also went on something that might’ve… sort of… possibly… resembled a date. It was a surprise, but it wasn’t in Toronto so my life continues as before. But at least I crossed into that territory again, which ought to count for something.

Later in Year Three I discovered The Brides’ Project, which gave me a whole new set of opportunities, not just to create another website or have another place to show my photos, but to volunteer for a cause that’s very close to my heart.

I’m sure I’ll think of more things to say about Year Three (my ‘Year in Review – 2008’ is still in draft mode!), but Beano keeps climbing over my shoulders and lap, so I’m going to post this now before he starts jumping on the keyboard!

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Gail at Large
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Gail at Large

Canadian freelance photographer on 4th expat adventure. Previously: USA, Scotland, and Australia. Portugal became home in late 2013.

Blogging daily for nearly 14 years. With 5,600+ posts across 97 categories, there is something here for everyone, especially travel photography.

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Gail at Large
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12 thoughts on “Three Years In Toronto

    • Haha! That’s the first thing I thought of when I wrote it… that one particularly Concerned Citizen for Gail’s Love Life hadn’t even thought of asking me if I’d gone on a date!

  1. Wow, it’s been three years? Time’s relativity is playing tricks on me again! Congrats on your successes (I believe in celebrating lots of milestones), and I’m hoping your adventures continue into the new TO year!

    • Thanks, Zhu! You can, and you will… it’s costly, though, and I cringe when I think of how much travel I could do with the price of my equipment. It’s a short-term sacrifice, but hopefully, in time, I can have both photography AND travel.

  2. Gail you continue to be an inspiration to me. You have had far more difficult struggles than I have and you have dealt with them in such a good way. I envy your spirit and how nothing seems to get you down. You take every challenge and turn it into something positive and you make me want to learn to do the same.

    I’m so happy that you went on a semi-date. I hope you had a good time because we all want nothing but happiness for you, you deserve it!!

    • Aw, Breigh, that’s very kind of you. I do get down sometimes, but try not to stay down… I always find a way to get back up again.

      Gah, that “semi-date” — for lack of a better word! I should try to do that more, but it’s not easy. I feel weird even mentioning it, but I did because it’s part of the struggle of life after the death of a spouse.

    • Thanks for the linkage, Peter. Yep, Colborne Lodge (near me in High Park) sent me a reminder about Toronto’s birthday. They’re opening for free this weekend, am hoping to get over there on Sunday.

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