Portrait of the New College mascot Goliath Gnu (a wildebeest dressed in a green New College jersey) sitting and reading a letter, with a large bag of letters by his feet and a wall of mail slots behind him.

Postcards from Afar

The world comes together at New College, so we asked you, our alumni, to say a few words about what home means to you. Here are a few selections. Home is…

“…places that have shaped your identity.”
Melissa Hazen, Calgary, AB, New ’16

“…the place where family members develop and share common interests, and collaborate with friends and relatives to create an environment that is conducive to personal growth and fulfilment. Working together on household tasks and other pursuits builds healthy and lasting relationships, while fostering intergenerational and cross-cultural ties and contributions to the community.”
Kim Graybiel, Regina, SK, New ’70

“…the taste of familiarity in a far away place. Home is the smell of mom’s bun rieu when you enter the room. Home is the feeling of warmth when you need it.”
Vicky La, Toronto, ON, New’ 16

“…my family! Having just welcomed our newest addition I expect life to be filled with many blurry images of our time together. But no matter where we go as long as I have my husband and my three kids with me, I will always be home.”
Kasia (Katarzyna) Wodzynski, Toronto, ON, New ’06

“…“A house is no home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as for the body.”
Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, 1845
Julia Fear, Peterborough, ON, New ’89

“…where the people who love me and the people I love are. A safe, soft refuge from the world. My roots, my husband’s roots, and place to launch our children into the world.”
Amy Ma, Montreal, QC, New ’95

“…where we grew up as small children. It is the path that leads to our building; the children with whom we played hide and seek in the back garden; it is the grocery store where we bought milk and half a loaf of bread; it’s the street where we played hop-scotch and the kindergarten which we all attended. “Home” is the neighbourhood where everyone was “family” and those friends who still remember not only us, as small children, but also our parents, long gone.”
Ruth Geva, Jerusalem, Israel, New ’69

“…the place where your memories are; where your loved ones are or were; that fills your heart with joy when remembering the past and adds joy to your everyday life.”
Jeannette Panizza, Lake Como, Italy, New ’80

“…where the sky blends into the sea. Home is wherever I happen to be. Where a smile lights the day, where a friend shows the way—home is how we share hard work and great play. My home has no bounds defining whom is who; borders matter naught to hopes that spring new. Home is humanity, struggling for the stars. Home is new neighbours, come from afar. Our dreams, our triumphs, our struggle to no end—home is any hearth filled with family and friends. We are our home, let us never forget—every drop in the puddle will get us there yet!!!”
Joey Tavares, Toronto, ON, New ’13

“…where you learn to love, hope, dream and discover.”
Bharathy Lingamoorthy, Toronto, ON, New ’08

“…food, comfort, joy and contentment. The food we eat at home, where Mother added love, affection and care to each receipe; something my taste buds won’t ever forget. Bed—the cosy feeling and comfort I enjoyed back home. Watching comedy shows with family, enjoying the moment. Such a heavenly feeling. My own cup to sip from, sharing the events and things with mother and siblings; cycling with friends to places and parks—as if we owned them. Great sweet memories.”
R. A., no place given, New ’16

“….coming back. Having lived and worked abroad for 23 years I appreciate the tranquility & civility of Canadian society. I enjoy the easy access to public libraries, art cinemas, peaceful walks through the neighbourhood and can observe the rising and setting sun from our apartment. In short: I have come home.”
Stephan Hesse, Ottawa, ON, New ’74

“…your story. It is the stories you tell about yourself and those you love, and the ones you tell yourself, too.”
Christine El-kholy, my memory/my memories, New ’15

“…my bed.”
Roxanne, Canada, New ’17

“…comfort. It’s a place, physical and/or mental, that allows you to be at ease.”
Ruppi Rana, my mind and with my family, New ’10

“…Hong Kong, Vancouver, Toronto and Oxford.”
Celine, Hong Kong/Toronto, New ’10

“…different than house. House is physical and home is the experience. The place of feelings, conversations, harmony, optimism, memories and hope.”
Walter Rojenko, Maple, ON, New ’87

“…where my family is. Where I feel safe. Where I can be me.”
Sangita, Ottawa—where I have been living since 1995, New ’88

“…where your fears are put to rest. To me, home is in the arms of my mother.”
Lakshmi Sadhu, Toronto, ON, New ’17

“…my treasure box filled with memories. It holds every experience, lessons that have helped shape who I am today. Home might be far away but it is the place I think about every day.”
Crystal, the place I grew up in, New ’16

“…home is a place where you belong.”
Jack McGrath, Toronto, ON, New ’14

“…coming back. In June of 2017 I returned to the Kenyan Lewa Wilderness Conservancy, having been there the previous year, to run the fundraising Safaricom Lewa Marathon. Upon arrival by Cessna, my wife and I were greeted with, “Karibu, welcome home!” The emotional impact was profound and resonates intensely more than a year later.”
Murray Flock, Coldstream, BC, New ’75

“…where our stories begin. It is a place of hope and dreams.”
Aisha Lone, Brampton, ON, New ’17

“….living under the careful watch of my parents as an innocent little child without a worry in the world. Enjoying long summers playing with my older brother in the open fields near our childhood home.”
Bernard Singh, Ajax, ON, New ’00

“…that comfortable zone where you kick your feet up, relax and be with those who you care about, and care about you.”
Brian, Toronto, ON, New ’03

“… a feeling. I’ve moved around so much throughout my life that I’m not sure I really have a home in the true sense of the word. It is more of a feeling connected to specific memories, foods and landscapes, such as my mom’s flower arrangements, a view on lush green forests, or driving on winding country roads in sunset light—no matter what place I’m at.”
H. O., no place given, New ’09

“…duality. To me, the concept of home has two meanings. First, home is my house where me and my family spend time together and we collectively add to the spirit of home through our interactions, emotions; how we live and physically present our space. Secondly, as a traveler, returning home to Toronto always makes me feel like I am at home. I’ve lived in Toronto for decades and the feeling of pride, belonging, and the combination of excitement and adventure coupled with familiarity, growth and always something to discover grounds me.”
Cathy Demeda, Toronto, ON, New ’84

“…where my roots are firmly planted in the ground. I am fortunate in that work has taken me to about 40 countries, but it doesn’t matter if the trip is 2 weeks or 2 months, I always look forward to returning home. Strangely, its not landing at the airport or passing through customs, but the taxi ride into town that I start feeling like I’m back home.”
Burton Lim, Toronto, ON, New ’84

“…the place where you can rest, enjoy and feel comfort.”
W. C., Hart House, New ’17

“…comfortable, warm, happy, fun and inviting.”
R. D., Kelowna, BC, New ’83

“…somewhere where you can be yourself without any judgement or reservation. Ultimately, home is where you feel most at peace and contentment with yourself and with life.”
Tanya Hoshi, where my family and friends are is home, New ’13

“…a fundamental alignment. Wherever you feel like you belong. Where everything is so strikingly comfortable that you can’t imagine feeling like that anywhere else.”
Chris Woodford, Toronto and San Francisco, New ’06

“…where I have been, where I am and where I am going. It is where I feel safe, loved, am at peace and full of joy. I bring home with me, for it is within me.”
S.T. M., where ever I am, New ’89

“…where you feel safe. The world bombards us with ads, invites, gridlock, pings, insincerity, fear, noise,and judgement. Home is where you can let your guard down. ‘Any fool knows a dog needs a home. A shelter from pigs on the wing'”
Jason Ducharme, where I feel loved, New ’83

“…the place you miss most when you’re not home.”
Anthony, Toronto, ON, New ’87,’91

“…the scent of meals made from scratch and the sounds of your loved ones going about their day around you. It’s the sense of warmth, comfort, belonging and refuge… And the older you get, the more you realize that home isn’t a place per se, but a space created by you and those that you share it with.”
M. N., Toronto (geographically) or wherever I feel at ease (generally), New ’08

“…the shelter of my heart.”
Wan-Hsin, where my family are, New ’15

“…safety, comfort, and if you’re lucky, love. Also freedom.”
Leonard Willschick, where I live, New ’67

“…wherever you want to live at that point in time. Could be your boarding school, university, where you grew up, or where your family or loved one is.”
E.T., London, UK, New ’16

“… our annual Labour Day Dinner with friends (that we met at New and UC), our kids and grandkids. Home is also being in a canoe in Algonquin Park and feeling so Canadian, so immersed in my home and native land.”
Allan Price, Toronto, ON, New ’67

“…is where the heart is. When I think of “home”, I don’t even think of my hometown anymore, because my family no longer lives there either. Also, my spouse is a military member and we have moved several times during the past decade. So to me, the clichéd phrase “home is where the heart is” is very apt—as long as I have my family members (including pets!) with me, I feel like I am at home wherever we may be.”
E. K., currently Ottawa, New ’06

“…the place where I can connect with the ground, the people and the sky. This is when I worked in war torn areas, like Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Sudan: and the only thing that mattered was survival, peace, morality and inspiration for all of us.”
Jasteena Dhillon, the world, New ’90

“…feeling safe and supported. A place I can cry loudly.”
Susanna, anywhere, New ’96

“…my log house in the country where I have the freedom to enjoy life with my husband and two dogs. After living in Toronto for over 30 years, we moved to Eastern Ontario where things like playing music in a friend’s kitchen, having conversations about hunting & fishing at the local hardware/liquor store and walking on lakes in the winter are a normal part of life. Or when you let your dog play with your power-washer and no one bats an eye!”
Debbie Fitzerman, Perth Road, ON, New ’78

“…where I can be myself; the place I know best”
K. V., where my husband and kids are, New ’95

“…four seasons: fresh cut grass smell, cooler nights and autumn colours, clear blue cold winter nights with snow crunching under foot, spring hope!”
Ron Ginsberg, Toronto, ON, New ’75

“…a place of values, love, passion and purpose. The home of my values is my place of worship, love is at home with my New College spouse and children, passion is back on campus helping students turn knowledge into a career, purpose is on the road helping Canadians create their own vision of home through charitable legacies.”
Paul Nazareth, Toronto—specifically for me King’s College Circle, NDEG ‘99

“…where your friends and families are. Their presence provides you with a sense of security and familiarity.”
Hyunwoo Kwon, Toronto, ON, New ’14

“…a place that feels right in the moment. I have moved several times in my adult life, most recently to advance my education. A year ago, I never would have thought I would be living in Northwestern Ontario, but I am in a program that I love, pursuing a career that feels right and here I am calling Thunder Bay home.”
Kayla Healey, Thunder Bay, ON, New ’15

“…a place that brings who you are together and you are at peace with yourself. Home is a place where you can fully share with those who you care for you the most. Above all, home does not need to be a physical place in any city but rather a state of mind that makes you feel closest to yourself, loved ones and society as a whole.”
Rajeev Chib, Hong Kong, New ’94

“…a concept. A friend of mine once said: “home” is not bounded by a country, city or street. The whole universe is your home. This way you will never get homesick and will always feel at home.”
Anonymous, no place given, New ’17

“…coziness & familiarity, Mom’s cooking, my sons’ cuddles.”
Shilpa Pathare Skariah, Milton, ON, New ’95

“…where the heart is. Home is when our family is all together. Home is snuggling with my wife on the couch or when we put our children to bed at night.”
Jeffrey Spiegelman, our home, New ’82

“…a dynamic thing that can happen when you gather together people you love and respect to celebrate your collective connection. It can therefore happen anytime because you have the power to create it. Most recently I re- invented our New College home with five of my college mates when we did a New College overnight and breakfast after an evening of fun to celebrate the pending (first!) marriage of one of the gang.”
Daniel Palumbo, Rochester, NY, New ’80

“…where the people you love are. Home is also a dynamic idea; we accumulate homes in our lives, and each place is a repository of memories and experiences. Older homes are still our homes, just not the ones we live in anymore.”
Michael Marsiske, Melrose, FL and all the places that came before, New ’87

“…consistent. I left Toronto 17 years ago and I still call Toronto my home. Because Toronto is where I grew up and where my friends and family are. And where lots of my memories were built upon.”
Annie Wu, Toronto, ON, New ’84

“…where you have people who care about you. It is where you find happiness and contentment, passion and excitement, caring and commitment. It is a place where you do not need a formal invitation to call it your own.”
Emily Brown, Burlington, ON, New ’04

“…the darkness I created in my Robinson House dorm room by curtaining off my bed in my double room in 1st year with thick, old, electric blankets and by taping up tractor-feed computer paper on my windows of my single in 2nd year and painting them black!”
Jeff, Coatsworth, Toronto, ON, New ’88

“…a place where you feel known and knowledgeable; a place you care about and take responsibility for.”
Alexander Nathan, Toronto, ON, New ’10

“…comfort, warmth, solace; the place to be with your loved ones. It’s the refuge from daily stress, the refuge from life’s cares. It truly is “where the heart is”.”
Iain Mackie, Vancouver, BC, New ’76

“…a feeling of seeing the familiar faces, friends, family, food and language that brings back memories of days bygone.”
Ashhab Ahmad, Bangladesh and Canada, New ’17

“…a familiar space shared with loved ones, pets, food, laughter and tears.”
Clifford, Aurora, ON, New ’76

Photo: Michael Barker

Re:New Magazine Cover Image (Close-up of beehive with a number of bees, one of them hatching.)
What Is Home?
In the sixth issue of Re:New, you will find the concept of home discussed in terms of place (and its history), but also in terms of the body, contemporary technology, citizenship, belonging, the environment, personal objects and more.
Read the current issue online

In this issue:

Indigenous Grounds
A conversation with Métis advocate and teacher Doug Anderson about Indigenous placemaking, cultural resurgence and hope.
Read Indigenous Grounds

Portrait of a seated, smiling woman with box braids and folded hands [Lydia Gill in U of T’s Convocation Hall]; rows of seats visible behind her.
Direct Entry
Lydia Gill, the University of Toronto’s first student recruitment officer for equity outreach and support, helps demystify undergraduate life for under-represented groups.
Read Direct Entry

Instagram-style close-up of a set of petri dishes held by a gloved scientist wearing jeans and open toed shoes, from above.
Scroll, Swipe, Tap: Science Goes Social
Alumna, stem cell researcher and science communicator Samantha Yammine talks brains, equity and social media.
Read Scroll, Swipe, Tap

Close-up of a hand holding the corner of a sliding frame covered in bees.
Plan Bee
A glimpse into the intricate lives of the tiny but mighty pollinators with New College beekeeper Tom Nolan.
Read Plan Bee

Portrait of a woman with long, dark hair and glasses, smiling at the camera [Anne McGuire].
Dwelling in Disability
Anne McGuire from the Disability Studies stream proffers an expansive view of ability and access.
Read Dwelling in Disability

Portrait of the New College mascot Goliath Gnu (a wildebeest dressed in a green New College jersey) sitting and reading a letter, with a large bag of letters by his feet and a wall of mail slots behind him.
Postcards from Afar
The world comes together at New College, so we asked you, our alumni, to say a few words about what home means to you. Here are a few selections. Home is…
Read Postcards from Afar