So. Sometimes things happen that you just have to take on the chin. This is one of those times.
Last week, there was a two-alarm fire at 451 Parliament Street, directly next door to our store. So much next door, that we actually have a shared hallway to each of our storage spaces. It was at about 10:30am when we heard the news and rushed over to Parliament Street, which was blocked off, only to see hoses snaking through our smashed front door, and the windows to the residential spaces upstairs shattered..
Going into details on the damage here will get us nowhere. Needless to say, the store basically has to be gutted and rebuilt, and almost our entire inventory was destroyed. We don’t know how long it will be before we can reopen, but we can’t wait. We can’t wait to see all of you again as soon as possible. We miss the wonderful regulars, the kind Cabbagetowners, and the neighbourhood dogs. We miss going into our store and switching the lights on and looking around and seeing the things we have worked so hard to build.
We have a lot of thank you’s to send out. The House on Parliament staved off panic attacks and fed us tea and gave us an office from which to wait to enter our space. The ever-lovely firemen from Station 325 and others were kind and caring, informative, and brought smiles to our panic filled faces. The police officers who gave us as much information as they could, and the fellow Cabbagetowners who stood by and offered their support and hugs.
There is a special mention to the group of people who brought the scale of this fire to our attention. It took messages passed through three people to inform us of what was happening. Justin, your bear hugs (even in your own difficulties) and jokes were part of what kept us breathing that day. I only hope you also were able to take comfort in us (sorry we had no blankets to offer you).
I can’t even begin to imagine how our wonderful upstairs residents feel being unable to go back into their spaces. We are so exceedingly grateful no one was hurt and we send our most positive thoughts to them and hope they also get back into their spaces sooner. After stopping by today to collect a few things, and seeing the handwritten notes left on our door, (ok after we cried at the love we felt), we are so grateful to be in Cabbagetown. You are the best
The lesson here is that things are things. And all things can be replaced, rebuilt, and restored. We will come back from this with flying colours. We will be the phoenix that rises from the ashes to start anew, stronger and better than before. And we can’t wait.
Oh and the other lesson here is about this neighbourhood. Of course we always knew Cabbagetown was something special. We moved in here because of that special. Because this community is tight and not like many others. Because here in Cabbagetown, people wish you well and genuinely mean it. They support you, they come back to show you their vacation photos with the straw hat in it. They send you kind emails in difficult times, and they offer you their space to work from when you no longer have one. We love this neighbourhood, and all of the people in it. So lets all have a warm and cuddly moment, where we tip our hats to each other for supporting each other, loving each other in the hard times, and doing the right thing when things get hard. Thanks Cabbagetown.