The kind of vacation where strangers take over your home
Long before Airbnb, there was house swapping
Hand the keys of your home over to a stranger?
Sure. Why not?
It was the kind of attitude you needed if you wanted to take part in a house swap in 1985.
Thirty-four years ago, Midday introduced its viewers to the intriguing style of vacation that was then more familiar to Europeans than Canadians.
On Midday, viewers met the Hyslops, a couple from Ontario, as well as the Sharkeys, a visiting couple from Scotland.
A European tradition?
The two couples had gotten in contact with one another through a house swap exchange organization, which listed their respective homes in a printed book of listings.
"People around the world have the same book and they arrange swaps by writing letters," the CBC's Rae Hull explained to viewers back in September of 1985.
"The Europeans have been doing house swaps for the last 35 years."
From Scotland to Southampton, Ont.
As Hull explained, the Sharkeys' Canadian adventure was their fourth such exchange.
Hull said previous trips had taken the Scottish couple to both a Manhattan apartment and a Massachusetts beach house while their owners occupied the Sharkeys' Scotland residence.
Their destination in Canada was Southampton, Ont., a small beach town on the shores of Lake Huron.
They met the Hyslops at Toronto's Pearson airport to exchange house keys and pick up their car.
That unexpected landing place for a vacation was part of the charm of the house swap.
"The people who take these exchanges can end up in literally any corner of another country," said Hull.