Many of the streets in our neighborhood are named after Whitby's original inhabitants.. Oak, Chestnut, Walnut, Maple, Ash, to name a few immediate to our house. Most of the original green and beautiful squatters (woodlands) still happily reside here in Downtown Whitby for us to enjoy.
We like living here. We love to walk and enjoy the century plus homes with trees double the age of the houses they shade. All homes are different, with no cookie cutter "Subdivision" style in sight.
Just the word "Subdivision" conjures up an industrial image. Similar to the oxymoron "Industrial Park" to denote land designated to be industrious as it sits in a former green acre.
Downtown Whitby, and the Town of Whitby itself has always been a bit of an enigma for me. Yes, we have the "four corners" that I have always deemed a precondition of calling the area "Downtown". Yes, there is the "Village" countenance of our little Downtown that has always appealed and appalled at same times. We have the butcher, the baker, and if we really stretched the gift stores, we have candle stick makers. Thrift shops as well as upscale clothing and decor share the same sidewalks and alleys. Thus the appealing. The local "Hotel" on the main drag gloats about it's impermanent status as the only "Naked Live Girls" in the region. Thus the appalled.
We have from middling to decent to top drawer eateries all within walking distance of our tiny house. We can and do walk to dine when date night dictates a night out.
Change is inevitable, and I know this. Our favorite old school Saturday breakfast place resided on the south side in our downtown. Properly named "Southside Eatery", the owners were fixtures at our Saturday morning eggs with real potato hash browns. A walk in the fresh air for 8 minutes and we were in family luncheonette heaven, enjoying the best java this side of "The Goof" in Toronto's beach district. The potatoes alone were worth the walk, but the true poached eggs with a side of meat made the weekend special. Sadly for us, the owners retired last year. Good for them. Not so good for Mary and I. The new and young owners renovated, added a liquor license, changed the menu, changed name, threw out the friendly familiar service, and called their new club the "Boomerang". Nothing of "boomer" brought me back to a second visit. This boomerang did not return.
But I digress.
Downtown Whitby has quite possibly as many drinking establishments per capita any Maritime town including Moncton and Glace Bay, but nary a Franchise Pub darkens our "Strip" The "Shoeless Joes and the Firkins of the franchised pub world are all found in the new north. They have their place.
"The Tap", The Vault, and Shamrocks have existed in the downtown for many a pint over the years. Most boast a patio (read backyard which is lovely) to entice a couple of us old folks out for a Friday Pint or glass of wine on a warm summers eve. Sitting among usual suspects has been a pastime for many of us locals.
We may or may not spend our dollars at each and every downtown establishment, and we accept that new business comes (disappoints) when the familiar leave. We still need to travel to the hinterlands to shop at Walmart, and in a pinch we buy a "Fourbuck" latte at Starbucks. But the for the most part we enjoy what is at our disposal which now includes a Portuguese bakery serving up a Cappuccino worthy of the $3 charge to go with our Pastéis de Nata on a Sunday walk in our village.
I write this today not as a rant or a review, but to a need to write to record history for me.
I have lived in the "north" of Whitby for almost 10 years. I have had houses in the "Subdivisions" of Pringle creek. Our "Kent Cottage" house in our little downtown has been warm and wonderful.
I have proclaimed more than once that the only way I will leave our house is feet first.
Now I must end and walk Myla to our wonderful downtown park,passing the big and beautiful Chestnut and Walnut trees, and as always, say hello to any and all neighbors that always respond in kind.
Ah. Life is good