This Is The House That William Built

- jim Young 20190504

“Our house, is a very, very very fine house.” - Graham Nash

William was my grandfather. He built this house for my parents in 1960.

This is the House that William Built.


My parents made it the third home for 3 of my sisters and I, and the only home for 2 of my youngest sisters until we each decided to make our own way in life.

At the risk of speaking on behalf of my siblings I think it may have been the location of some of the happiest times of our lives.

George Young
1925-1991
My father once told me he chose this property, that was “in the country” at the time, to “get away from other people”. Many years later he told my son “when the bulldozers get too close, I will move.”

In 1991 the bulldozers began their work in building a subdivision in the farmer’s field across the road from our family home.

My father promptly cashed in his chips and left this world. We had never considered he would take this promise so literally.

But it wasn’t until 2016 when my mother passed away that the house and property were sold.

Margaret (Goga/Gogs) Young
1928-2016
On March 28, 2019, just 3 days after what would have been my mother’s 91st birthday, an application to rezone our family home to permit the construction of a 19 unit Townhouse was filed with the city of Barrie.

When I saw this it reminded me of a relatively brief time when all of my siblings and I lived together at this house.

We were a family of 8 with one bathroom.

Dad always had to leave first and was the first to need the bathroom. It was a very precise schedule and we all had our turns.

If any one of us was late - it messed up everyone's routine, but that rarely happened.

Kathy and Leah had their rooms in the basement and I don't know how they always managed to be waiting in line at the right time.

Since my bedroom was right across the hall from the bathroom, I had a great advantage and could wait for my turn in the comfort of my bed.

We were a well-oiled machine.

It's interesting to think that in the near future there will very likely be 19 families sharing that same property.

At an average of 2.5 people per family that equates to 47.5 people.

Presumably there will be 2 bathrooms per unit or 38 bathrooms, which means that each bathroom will be shared by only 1.25 people compared to the 8 people that shared the single bathroom we had access to.

Witnessing the demolition of our family home will certainly cause my siblings and I to shed some tears. 

At the same time however, at least for my part, I cannot help but rejoice in knowing that NINETEEN families will soon be given the opportunity to share in the joy of growing up on the property that I once called “Home”. 

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