On April 7, 2016, the farmhouse was demolished. It was the last standing structure of the Whitby farm. What a day.
"Buying the Farm, Building a Subdivision", a great article of photos by photographer Scott Strazzante. Interesting juxtaposition between the farm and the subdivision that replaced it. https://twitter.com/JamesEstrin/status/534584518397919232
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Took this photo looking through an old knot hole of one of the barn boards.
Visiting the farm in June 2012, I come across the growing soybean crop that was sown on top of the old barn. Dad says they're in the first trifoliolate and doing well. Having no idea what he's talking about, I ask him to explain and received a good "beginner's guide" to growing soybeans. Dad also expresses frustration that the thistles survived the initial plowing of the field, but says they'll be gone after a spraying. The use of pesticides in farming is controversial, well and in general, but I see what he means.
Took some photos of the old family bike. I'm anticipating a project surrounding this bike. Both grandpa and dad remark that everyone in the family used it to get around the farm, but also to and from town. Using a bike for daily commutes generally isn't the case today in Whitby, although it's been great for me in Toronto. And thus I bought a new Raleigh 5 speed. It's neat seeing the bikes side by side. There seems to be this return to the bike in recent years, but its significance as a legitimate mode of transportation in a city, or anywhere for that matter, is slowly being recognized. Frankly, it just has to be now.
Trying my hand at a tilt-shift of the farm. I love tilt-shift. When I was younger, I had a whole model farm kit--I love it. The little livestock, fences, trucks, silos, hay bales...
I got a call around noon on March 5 from my mom. She said that dad visited the farm that morning and that the demolition had already begun. Unprepared, as we all thought it was happening the next day, I grabbed my camera, and other equipment, racing from work in Toronto to Whitby to capture the demo of my family's farm. The time had finally come, and while thankfully the developers had given us some warning as to the demo, I guess some of the work had started a bit earlier. And luckily, when I got to the farm, the barn was still standing. One shed had disappeared, separated into piles of wood, brick, and sheet metal. An orange vehicle with a claw traveled towards another shed, and I saw it reduce this building to the same piles, so quickly. Dramatic, perhaps. But watching this unfold has really been something else. Putting the "doco" hat on makes it more surreal as it's not until later, when faced with the photos of before, and after, that it really hits me.
The next day, March 6th, the main barn was torn down.
I would like to thank my family who, while I wonder sometimes if they support my filmmaking tendencies, really proved it this week (at least I think so). My mom racing from her own workplace with the Hi-8 video camera so I would't miss anything. To my dad, informing the residential developer of my documentary and asking if it was okay that I film the demo. My sister Laura who was there that day, and Rachel, who wasn't, but helped me take photos days before--a portrait of me standing in front of the then-standing barn. And thank you to John who captured, on the DSLR, the little things I would have missed. His photos are below. And thank you to all my friends who supported me in one way or another.
Watching the event unfold through a lens sometimes made me forget what was happening. Thanks to those around me, I was able to capture this event and will reflect on it for many years to come.
Additional photos: John Rathiganthan (Twitter)