Here are some pictures I took recently of some art deco apartment buildings that were erected in the 30s, on a street called St. Clair Avenue West. At the time they were built they were Toronto’s very first luxury highrise apartments. They have stood the test of time and are still gorgeous.
This part of town would be considered up-town, being 4 kilometers north of my usual stomping grounds on Queen Street West, and I get up there since my doctor’s office is in the neighbourhood because I used to work nearby. She is so good that I’ve continued to see her, even though I have to take a streetcar and the subway. I’m fine with that since I love the area and always leave extra time to squeeze in a little walk.
So within a few blocks there are several of these beautiful old apartment buildings, but one of them holds much more significance to me than the others. I shall explain … On the evening of June 10, 1998 (yes, 14+ years ago, and I know the precise date because I’ve just found the entry in my old diary!), I was standing on this exact balcony, while attending a dinner party thrown by a friend, Darren. At the time, he was apartment-sitting/subletting the most famous apartment on this strip, that formerly owned by one of Canada’s most note-worthy (hehe, see what I did there?) pianists, the reclusive Glenn Gould. It was a breath-takingly gorgeous place that was memorable in itself, as were all the lovely people who were also at the party.
And no offense to the others but one particular guest was especially important to me that night, for she was bearing a message that would effect me for the rest of my life. This was my friend Alison, a co-worker I’d met during our first ‘big-girl’ jobs and who I saw every couple of months. Earlier that year I had introduced her to Darren at a little party I had had at my place. Ironically (and you’ll see why later), at that previous party, my date was a guy I’d been seeing on and off for the previous year. Suffice it to say that that had always been a rocky relationship.
Anyway, I introduced Alison to Darren, who later hosted us at his home, which was this fantastic apartment on St. Clair. And as we were sipping cocktails out on the balcony, Alison asked me if I was seeing anyone at the time. Being in the process of getting off that roller-coaster of a previous relationship, I answered that I was sort-of dating someone. She told me that she had recently become reacquainted with a friend from university, who she thought would be the perfect guy for me. But somehow I had misunderstood a significant detail about this potential date (such as that he had a job) so I didn’t pursue the meet-up.
And the reason that I will always love Alison is that she followed up on this. After leaving things for exactly 5 months and 6 days (again, precise dates due to the diary that I am now laughing over as I type), she called me at work one morning and said she really thought I should meet her friend. By then that former relationship was completely over, and I felt ready to say yes. But there was the little matter of my thinking that this fellow was unemployed, so when she clarified that no, he had a good job, I agreed to meet him. Please don’t think me shallow for being reluctant to go out with a man who didn’t have a job … I didn’t need big money, but given that the matter of employment, had been a major issue in my past relationship, I desired someone who could at least pay for himself.
So that same afternoon, I received an e-mail from Alison, copying in her buddy Nick, saying ‘Lou meet Nick. Nick meet Lou. My job here is done.’ The exact entry in my diary for that day, Monday November the 16th was “E-mail introduction to Alison’s friend named Nick. I look forward to meeting him.”
Little did I know that day that in 3 month’s time this Nick and I would be engaged. And a year later we would be married. And almost 13 years later I would be here telling you this story, after just having walked under the balcony where it had all begun.
And the funny thing is that Nick and I had worked on the same block for years but had never met. We had eaten lunch at the same restaurants and in fact both had the same favourite dish at one place and may well have stood in line next to one another waiting for our take-out order. We would inevitably have crossed paths dozens of times, but we never met.
Sometimes it takes divine intervention from a friend. You never know when your life is about to change forever. The love of your life might be just around the corner.
Here are some more buildings along this strip. The boxy one is cool but not as old as the art deco ones.
Thanks for visiting. Wishing you a marvelous Monday! If you would, I’d love to hear your ‘meeting story’ left as a comment or a link if you’ve told it on your blog.