As a new mother, Howard Park Avenue resident Ginger Sorbara would stroll around her neighbourhood, her son in tow, and find herself always drawn to the nearby century home at 53 Indian Grove.
Then, the two-storey house was owned by neighbourhood legends the Mills brothers, George and Harry, a couple of "eccentric," but "lovely" fellows, recalled Sorbara.
"They'd invite me onto their porch and brought me into the house to show me their stuff," she said.
After the brothers' passing, Sorbara jumped at the chance to purchase the beloved home, one she knew had been full of much loved belongings and trinkets. "I was attracted to the vibe of the place," said Sorbara on Friday afternoon, May 6, during a walkabout of her house currently under a massive renovation.
Sorbara and her friend, photographer Greg Pacek, documented the house's transformation in an exhibition and accompanying book, which is now part of the Contact Photography Festival. Their work can be seen at the Telephone Booth Gallery, 3148 Dundas St. W., just east of Runnymede Road. The book is aptly called '53 Indian Grove' and presents a number of artifacts that had been collected over the 80-plus years the Mills brothers lived there. Nothing was ever thrown away, said Sorbara. Images in the book include discovered family photographs, 16 mm film stills and images of the rooms in varying degrees of emptiness - even photos of George and Harry as babies.
Framed photographs from this collection are featured at the Telephone Booth Gallery.
"Through the magic of Facebook," said Sharlene Rankin, gallery director, "I found Ginger. I had seen the book in a store on Roncesvalles Avenue. This is my very first show with Contact. I wanted to show something I really enjoyed. I had a strong reaction to these photos."
Sorbara said she felt nostalgia towards the house and even though she said she knew she'd have to renovate, she wanted to document the journey.
"I knew before I even got the house that I'd document it," she said.
The exhibit will be on display at the Telephone Booth Gallery until June 4. Visit www.telephoneboothgallery.ca/contact11.html for further details.