Early in my explorations of Toronto and it’s old-time music scene, I was very lucky to meet Peter and Debbie, a couple who play together in the Square Peg Stringband. After a night of music at a local café, Peter and Debbie invited me and my wife Carrie back to their house to talk more about my interest in old-time music. This was a thrilling moment for me, because I felt like I was both connecting to connected people, and being welcomed into the world of Toronto old-time.
We left the café, and as Peter and Debbie rode their bicycles back, Carrie and I drove west down Bloor Street to an area in north Roncesvalles Village, onto a dead end side street. We were looking for a house which was described as, “one that looks like nothing else on the block.”
From that night on, this particular house on the end of the block has served as the epicenter of my research in Toronto. Peter and Debbie have welcomed me to stay the night when I’m in town. They’ve fed me (quite well). They have introduced me to all kinds of details of Canadian life, and every morning that I wake up there, Peter has made me a cappuccino. This, in and of itself, makes me think I am the luckiest ethnographer on the face of the planet.
The house itself is an accurate extension of Peter and Debbie as people. It is stylish, warm, modern, hospitable, and welcoming. There will be much more written here about both Peter and Debbie, but for now I’ll offer this 2010 article from Dwell Magazine about their house.
In addition, this article was featured by the snarky website unhappyhipsters.com, which both Peter and Debbie were quick to point out.
http://unhappyhipsters.com/page/65 (scroll down to April 14, 2010)
I find it refreshing that Peter and Debbie get such amusement from this send up, perhaps it’s because they are secure in the knowledge that it couldn’t be farther from the truth. They derive great joy from their lives, and their home, and from the many friends they welcome into both.