Going To Ireland!


3 minute read

October 24, 2018

I always knew I was addicted to work.

But when I had a full-blown anxiety attack last night because I was leaving the city, that put things in a whole new light.

I actually convinced myself that I wasn’t going to bring my laptop with me.


For the past month, and every time the subject has come up, I told myself, and others, that I wasn’t bringing my laptop on this trip.  And then low-and-behold, two days before I’m set to leave, I simply said, “Screw it.”

What’s worse: not bringing my laptop and having to work off my phone, or at a computer someplace, or bringing my laptop and stressing about it?

First world problems, I know.

But my laptop is my life, sadly.  I actually have dreams, several times per week, that I lose it.  Also sad…

In any event, as you read this on Wednesday, know that I am in London, England, having a jolly ‘ole time, and trying to deal with the 5-hour time difference while refusing to give up control of my business to my more-than-capable team back home, who begged me to “leave Toronto in Toronto,” but who weren’t surprised when I didn’t.

My family on my father’s side are of Irish descent, and it was determined earlier this year, with my cousins set to run the Dublin Marathon, that the whole extended family would meet in Ireland in October, and we would travel to Fethard, which is the origin of the Fleming name.

My great-grandfather James Joseph Fleming was the youngest of 13 children, born to a potato farming family in Fethard, Ireland, in February of 1893.

It sounds like a cliché, right?  “The youngest of 13 children.”  But it’s not.

Francis, Michael, William, Steve, John, Richard, Edward, Maria, Margaret, Catherine, and two deceased early on, whose names went unrecorded.

“The great potato famine” took place from 1845 to 1849, but as I’m told, there was yet another famine, or drought, in the early 1900’s, and that’s when my great-grandfather, at age-11, was put on a boat by his family and sent to Boston, Massachusetts.

He ended up in Canada shortly thereafter.

My great-grandfather married my great-grandmother in Fort Erie, Ontario, in 1923.

My grandfather, Richard Clarke Fleming, was born in 1926 or 1927; I never find out exactly which one.  I hold him in high regard because when he was 16-years-old, he forged his birth certificate to show he was 18-years-old so he could fight in World War II.  The world, society, and youth have all changed significantly in the time that has passed, wouldn’t you say?

My grandfather made it back safely in 1945, and my father, James Clarke Fleming, was born in 1947.

My grandfather never talked about the war, even when I asked.  He had two massive tattoos on his forearms – one of a navy ship, and I can’t recall the other.  My father tells me that my grampa “wore long-sleeved shirts in the summer” because he was ashamed of the tattoos he got during WWII, but they were a memory of all his friends who perished.

Here is the only photo I have of my grandfather from before I was born.  This is an original, and I keep it in a frame on my desk at work:

That’s my grandfather in the middle.

He looks exactly like my brother, it’s just eerie.

This was taken in New York, right before they went overseas.

I never knew much about my family history until recently.

Anybody that has said, “What the heck, I’ll sign up for Ancestry.ca” knows how easy it is to get carried away.  But most of what I know about my father’s side, I didn’t find online.  I pieced it together from anecdotes, photos, the odd document sat in a box for 60 years, etc.

I have never been to Ireland.

Both my brother and my father have, and both have been to Fethard.

My Uncle Rick, who died tragically in 1986, is buried in Fethard, Ireland.

And so too is my grandmother.

And while the timing of this journey – right in the middle of the fall real estate market, is far from ideal, I know I’m being selfish and disrespectful for even having those thoughts.

I’m not good with change, lack of routine, or giving up control, and thus this trip is exactly what I need right now.

I might drop you all a line from my journey along the way, otherwise, I’ll be back on TRB next Wednesday!


Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. A.Pedant

    at 9:38 am

    I think you mean WWII.

    1. David Fleming

      at 4:27 pm

      @ A.Pedant

      Duly noted, and updated. Thx!

  2. Kyle

    at 10:01 am

    Enjoy your trip, David! I will miss the doses of real estate i get from your blog and will have to make due with surfing that really crappy “new” Realtor.ca while you’re away. Holy is the new version ever bad. It’s like comically bad.

    Only TREB would spend money to roll out something that removes many of the features it had before. Their sad attempt to add opacity to the data, is so see-through. This is totally going to accelerate their own demise as other players enter the industry and there will be no sympathy when that happens.

    Can i filter freeholds from condos anymore? NOPE. Can i filter for waterfront anymore? NOPE. Can i refer to the old mls areas (e.g. W01, W02, etc)? NOPE. Why do they have a filter for Price, Bedrooms, Baths in the banner, and then repeat those same filters in the Filters menu?

    1. Appraiser

      at 11:47 am

      @ Kyle, While I can sympathize with your plight, TREB doesn’t doesn’t manage Realtor.ca – that would be CREA.

      1. Kyle

        at 7:50 pm

        My bad, you guys are right. It is CREA who is responsible for this laughable “update”.

        Thanks for the correction.

    2. David Fleming

      at 4:48 pm

      @ Kyle

      Ireland trip = Over!


      But this is the first I have heard of the new Realtor.ca, although to be fair, I don’t use it, nor do any of my clients, on account of just how pathetic the website is.

      These are the people in charge of making (bad) decisions at CREA:


      Personally, I think every single one of them is out to lunch about the past, present, and future of organized real estate. Same goes for the directors at TREB, the CEO of TREB, and everybody right down to the janitor.

      Barb Sukkau is the current president of CREA. I encourage you to email your feedback to her directly:


  3. Derek

    at 11:41 am


  4. Geoff

    at 11:58 am

    After fethard, you should think about going to Galway and the Inishmore islands. the island (especially Inishmore itself ) is Just one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. My family was descended from one of the 13 tribes of galway. The history there is just amazing. Have fun.

  5. Appraiser

    at 12:11 pm


    May the Irish hills caress you.
    May her lakes and rivers bless you.
    May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
    May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

  6. Parkhurst.Bessborough

    at 2:19 pm

    This is a really touching blog, David. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Jayne

    at 11:26 am

    First of Bon Voyage!
    Second: what do you mean see you next week?! This is your first trip to your ancestors’ home! It should be longer than a week! Then again everyone is different. I wish you a safe and joyful journey all the same.

  8. Paully

    at 11:25 pm

    Not really relevant here, but I miss Croschokl…however that was spelled.

  9. IanC

    at 4:47 pm

    Ireland? Watch for storms, and tell Teresa Mannion to NOT break the internet anymore. We needs it. “Don’t make unnecessary journeys, don’t take risks on treacherous roads and don’t swim in the sea.”

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