A Moment in Time   Leave a comment

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

During my second year of college I stayed in a three bedroom home with 3 other roommates in an area called Lansdowne Park, near the Lansdowne Station subway exit in Toronto at 168 Wallace St., pictured below (center). Thank you Google maps for jogging my ailing memory and Google street view for the snapshot.


I’m guessing the house must have been built in the 1960’s. Dates of old things escaped me then, oblivious to the history around me in my youthful exuberance. That particular year was an eventful one for me, but the memory that lingers of this place, was how much I hated having roommates and this kitchen (though the picture is one of my favorites). The kitchen, second only to the communal bathroom, was the source and location of many conflicts and shouting matches among the four of us. We were; a superior minded architecture student, a Napoleonic engineering major, a beefy hockey playing weight lifting business major thug and of course yours truly, a mild-mannered Media Arts major in the school of Photographic Arts. We had two drive by roommates, a crazy neurotic woman whose college major and all other details escape me, save her obsession with controlling the house thermostat, and a fashion major who I knew from my hometown and was the only other sane person to ever step foot on the premises in the year I lived there.

Ironically, the picture of the kitchen is exactly as I remember it, perhaps aided by the image itself no doubt. Everything about this place evoked an era I was born into. Too young in my pre-teen years to appreciate the beauty of the simplicity of a time when freezers needed to be “defrosted” and ovens had knobs and warming sections with antiquated elements that rarely seemed to bring water to a boil. Wall paper was popular in those days and of course what child of the 60’s didn’t have wood paneling in one room or another. This very hip kitchen had both!

I remember my mother getting a new Tupperware sugar container, identical to the one pictured on the table, and was delighted to watch the sugar pour onto the overflowing teaspoon that sat atop my hot tea. Was it possible the sugar was even sweeter coming out of the container? I think it was.

Plastic milk crates were of particular use to college students back then, since replaced with all things Ikea. How sad. I distinctly remember sneaking around the back of the corner store down the street in the wee hours of the morning to collect my plastic milk crate kitchen pantry, cloths (dirty and clean) containers, and of course who could forget record album storage bins.

Despite the trials and tribulations that come with roommates, independence, college induced poverty and less than comfortable living quarters, these were unforgettable years in my life. A time I would not trade for the world. I cannot imagine returning to those days, but envy those living them now.


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