Didn’t we just do this?
Is life moving in fast-forward, or is it just me?
This is the sixteenth seasonal sign-off for me on Toronto Realty Blog, and every time I do this, it feels like the last version was just a little bit closer behind.
I’d like to thank all the regular readers and commenters for their continued support, readership, and contributions over the last year, including, but most certainly not limited to:
Appraiser, Condodweller, Ace Goodheart, Derek, Libertarian, Kyle, Marina, Sigruper, Francesca, Ed, London Agent, GinaTo, Mxyzptlk, Jennifer, A Grant, Vancouver Keith, Bryan, Frances, Jenn, Graham, Alexander, Jimbo, Geoff, Bal, East Yorker, Cyber, Patty, RPG, Daniel, Nobody, J G, Ken Davenport, JL, Julia, JF007, R, Adrian, Average Joe, Pragma, Island Home Owner, Buckley B. Buckington, Izzy Bedibida, TokyoTuds, Different David, TO PLanner, JG, Marty, Hoob, J, Anonymous Realtor, TLM, Toad, Peter, Gypsy, Writer, Joel, Anwar, Karolina, ChT, Alex, Nick, Kevin, House Keys, David (Not the David who runs this website), Harvard, Jason, Sunshine, Mike, Phil, Sam, DAF, Chantal, Steve, Mike Stevenson, Katie, M, Dan, Steph, Linda, Andrew, Jordan, Keith, Jonathan C, Edwin, hugh, Pete, TT, and anybody else I may have missed, despite combing through 12 months of comments.
I don’t believe I saw any comments from TRB veterans: Chris, Professional Shanker, Verbal Kint, Kramer, Jeff316, Chroscklh, and others, whose names I have etched in my brain after years of reading their comments.
Trust me when I say that I remember all my blog friends and foes.
This year, we passed 50,000 comments on TRB, and I’m amazed at the names I can remember from as far back as 2007. A lot of blog readers have come and gone over the years, some staying for a short time, others staying much longer. But many of the current readers have been here for as long as I can remember, and I’m truly honoured to see their names pop up in the comments section over and over. Hobbies and interest come and go, especially in the world today where a million different stimulants are vying for our attention on a regular basis. So to see the readers frequent the site on a regular basis warms my heart and confirms a job well done.
I had a great year on TRB and enjoyed every minute of writing. Although my 42-year-old style and voice may have changed from the younger version of myself as I penned blogs in the late-2000’s, the goal remains the same: to bring honesty and transparency to an industry that desperately needs it. While there’s more transparency now than when I started the blog in 2007, I still feel that these behind-the-scenes stories and discussions, and analyses of topics that other people won’t touch are as important as ever.
I was talking to Chris last week about the now-infamous posts I wrote about the condos being built (and fought over…) in Leaside. A few nasty comments were posted on the blog, likely from area residents, and Chris said, “You do realize that no other real estate agent in the city would write what you did, and risk alienating a whole community, right?”
That’s exactly the point.
I grew up in Leaside and I live in Bennington. I’m in that community and I have an opinion. And if my opinion differs from a handful of self-interested NIMBY home-owners, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to share it!
I started this blog in 2007 because I realized that most agents are yes-men who simply smile and tell people how great everything is. But how boring is that?
Where’s the value in a real estate agent if he or she doesn’t have an opinion and speak it regularly?
I may be older, I may be wiser, and I may talk more today about kids and married life than I did fifteen years about nightclubbing and traveling, but I will never compromise my core values.
Some Realtors feel that the way to be successful is to hone in on a community, join the PTA, frequent social clubs, smile, shake hands, kiss babies, hand out pies in the park, agree with everyone and everything, and never express an unpopular opinion.
But it ain’t me, babe. No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe. It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.
I now have two weeks “off” before we start up again in 2023.
What in the world am I going to do with all that time?
I absolutely love this time of year and no, it’s not because I’m not busy and not working. In fact, I don’t do well when I’m out of my element.
It’s just that “warm and fuzzy” feeling you get around the holidays.
As an atheist who celebrates Christmas and Hannukah, it’s tough to explain.
I love the lights. I love the decorations. I love the smell of a Christmas tree (all ya’ll with your fake plastic trees are missing out…), I love baking shortbread cookies (despite the kids fighting), I love making pizza from scratch (despite the flour getting everywhere), I love the warmth of the fire (even if it’s gas and not wood-burning), I love watching my mother ask the kids to light the Hanukkah candles (even if they’re too young and fire scares the hell out of them), and I love the time I spend with my family, which comes without the anxiety that surrounds me for eleven months of the year because of my chosen occupation.
There is so much to look forward to over the next two weeks.
I’m looking forward to seeing my brother and his family when they arrive from London, as I know my daughter is too!
I can’t wait to see my kids’ faces when they come down on Christmas morning and regale upon the bounty of gifts that an intruder left in our house after he broke in, messed up our chimney, ate our cookies, dislodged some shingles with his sled on the roof, and let his reindeer crap on our lawn.
I’m basically already fasting for the mashed-potato-and-gravy feast on December 26th. I might consume some turkey as well, but don’t count on it.
My wife has a ton of events planned for us. She’s good at that. Casa Loma, Glow Gardens, Santa Express Train in Uxbridge, skating at Nathan Phillips Square, the Holiday Lights in Yorkville, the Winter Market in the Distillery, and lord only knows what else.
And I’m really looking forward to watching Elf for the thousandth time. And Home Alone, which I love watching while enjoying an alcoholic beverage…..alone. Is that weird? Is that movie for kids? I just really love the 1990’s. And nostalgia. And my childhood. And anything with Joe Pesci…
I’m also looking forward to starting 2023 with the goal of running 1,000 KM, yet again.
I was off to a great start this year, running 10K’s with regularity in February and March, culminating with that glorious 10KM run in Hampstead Heath when I was in London, England. But I came back to Toronto, mangled my ankle the very next day, and it took me until September to get back to running with regularity, but only 5-6KM at a time. Then just last week, I re-aggravated a lower-back injury that literally kept me in bed for three days. Sigh. Life…
My brother and I made a pact to run a marathon in the fall of 2023. I can’t recall if alcohol was a factor in that pact, but more likely for me than him. Time will tell if that was pie-in-the-sky or something to work toward.
I hope we can all use the upcoming holidays to reflect a little on our hopes and dreams for the year ahead, and maybe acknowledge that despite the trials and tribulations of the last three years, the issues we discuss with regularity that bemoan this city, and a constant stream of wants and needs that go unfulfilled, we actually have it pretty damn well!
Thank you again to the TRB community for reading, watching, commenting, and interacting here on Toronto Realty Blog over the course of 2022.
Wishing you all health and happiness through the holidays and into the new year!