Editor's Pick

Editor’s Note: Long Term Gain

I ran into an old friend recently. it hadn’t been that long, but her circumstances had altered dramatically: in only one year she’s divorced her (philandering) husband, taken a sabbatical from her high-stakes management job to pursue volunteer work, sold her house and leased a little laneway place for herself and her daughter, been through a family death and a health scare herself — all the stressors midlife can offer, really. What amazed — and delighted — me was her optimism. Every challenge has been an opportunity, none so much as a family friend cheating with hubby. “This will sound strange,” she said, “but I almost thank her for blowing everything up. I needed a push, and boy, did she give me one.”

Maybe that sounds a little Pollyanna, but I don’t think so. Too often we settle for diminishing returns. Sometimes it’s inertia; sometimes the decline is so gradual it’s hard to credit. And when we do finally notice and accept reality, what then? How do we find the juice to start over? The quandaries faced in this issue aren’t as dramatic as my friend’s, but our renovation issue tackles the same math (and many of the same stresses). Is the status quo worth holding on to? If our homes aren’t working, can we fix them with money, or is it better to cut and run?

The owners in “Extreme Makeovers” could have sold houses that no longer met their needs, but some emotional tie held them in place. Months later, lawns dug up and replanted, walls stripped away and rebuilt, they agree the turmoil was worth it — though their property assessments might not agree. You can afford to live in this city, argues Frances Bula, but only if you let go of unfounded notions of how much property should cost and what housing should look like.) In the same package, we report on more renewal. You can save your heritage home, it turns out, but drastic (infill) action will be required. Whole neighbourhoods, like the West End, can be revitalized, but only if we accept this truth: nothing lasts forever. How will you deal with that?



We were in talks with the owner of a camera drone about aerial surveillance but ran afoul of Transport Canada

When we shot elite athlete Olga Kotelko, 95, why didn’t we challenge her to a 100m dash?

It was a tossup between regular and Romanesco cauliflower. Jury’s still out

We lost party photographer Mac Parry to a cruise. He returns to the back page next month

Our actions the night of Feb. 19

Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE