Today I decided to search for my birthplace.....on Google Street View.
Since my origin was rural Ontario, I wasn't sure if this was possible, but it proved easy. Clicking down on some likely sideroads, I soon found the brick farmhouse where friends of my parents, who my Sister and I knew as "Uncle" Jack and "Aunt" Mabel, had farmed. Although we had lived in the area only a few years, we had returned frequently for a visit. I then zoomed down the road a mile or so and found the bridge over the stream where I had fished as a boy. OK, I thought, lets see if I can find the house I was born in, so I clicked down on the road at a good starting point, just east of Leaskdale. I did a quick 360 and there it was, unmistakable in its simplicity!
A rectangular box with a door dead centre and two flanking windows, the symmetry only broken by a chimney on one end, the wood plank construction having neither the elegance or cachet of brick, stone or log. This is the house my parents called Starvecrow, because they joked even a crow would starve there. This is the house where I was born in the middle of a blizzard, with only my Grandfather to assist my Mother. My Father had gone for the doctor, but was unable to make it back in time because of the huge snowdrifts.
A screen crop of the Street View image is above. Below is a detail from a watercolour presented to my parents and dated at what would have been around the time of my conception. It shows that a chimney has been removed and a vertical siding added to the present structure. The inscription reads "with best wishes to a happy couple, Edgar Pauliof, July 3 / 46".
Thank you Google.