We only saw it for one reason; the videographer was accidentally driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Looking up Menzies gave us a different perspective on a house that was being devoured by ravenous ivy.
The man sitting on the front porch says he appreciates the prodigious plant because, “it’s the only thing keeping it up. Honestly, this is a faller-downer not a fixer-upper.”
Yet Ryan is fixing it. Although he just started renting the house a month ago, he and his roommates have, “tried to turn this place from a haunted house to a fairy tale.”
That’s why a woman named Dorothy is walking up from Dallas Road with a rock in her hand to place in the once overgrown front yard. She’s responding to a sign that Ryan posted along the sidewalk inviting people to help create a community rock garden. After a week, it featured more than 100 stones, including one with a wolf painted it. Others have words written on them.
Ryan says he’s appreciative that strangers are helping to turn his once neglected front yard into a garden for community engagement.
Dorothy says her contribution is a stone with a circle on it because they grant wishes. And she’s hoping it will do that for somebody who really needs it.
A couple weeks later, we were looking for a story for the end of the six o’clock newscast in the Quadra-Hillside neighbourhood. The videographer decided to approach a street we’d driven down before from a different direction.
We saw a 1973 muscle car we hadn’t noticed before, although it had been parked on Summit Avenue for the past four years. The vehicle was occupied by large stuffed animals. Wile E. Coyotes to be exact. One was sitting in the driver seat, its furry hands clutched to the wheel. Another was in the passenger seat. The Looney Tunes lot also included a bunch of Road Runners and a Marvin the Martian floor mat.
We spoke with people passing by. Some of them said they make an effort to see the car daily because “it’s good for a giggle and we need more giggles in this world.”
Nobody knew whose car it was. So we started knocking on doors in the neighbourhood until we met Mike. He told us he filled his car with furry animals for just one reason, “it seems to put a smile on people’s faces. I just think it’s really important to put more positive energy out in the world.”
And that’s how driving along in a different direction allowed us to meet two people engaging with their streets in a different way.
Adam Sawatsky is co-host of CTV News Vancouver Island at Five. On weekends, he hosts ‘Eye on the Arts’ on CFAX 1070.