This is an update to a story we brought to you on June 8, 2017: Mysterious family photos found near Queen and Ossington
Laura Rojas, who found 700 family photos on a memory card on a west end Toronto street, has found their rightful owner.
Rojas took to social media to track down the owner last week, thinking they likely lived near Argyle and Ossington streets, where the card was found. The day after the story aired on CityNews, a viewer wrote in to CityNews saying they knew the family Rojas was looking for.
A few days later, Rojas met Kate Kourtsidis to return the archive, and CityNews was there. Kourtsidis says the day after the story aired, her mother texted her telling her to Google “CityNews mysterious family photos.”
As she watched, she realized the people in the photos looked weirdly familiar.
“Then my parents’ photo pops up, and it’s definitely my parents, then my Papu [grandpa] comes up, my aunt when was little, and I recognize my dad as a little boy,” Kourtsidis says.
“I called my mom crying with laughter. I was like, what is this? She said ‘Kate, how did a photo of me from 28 years ago end up all over the news!’ and I said, I’m just as shocked as you are!”
Kourtsidis told Rojas her father had been digitizing hundreds of negatives to give to his mother, also pictured in many of the photos.
“A lot of them are my family in Greece and of my dad when he used to work in Sioux Lookout as a forest fire fighter,” she says.
“There are photos of my great-grandmother, my Papu’s mom. She had to go back to Greece during the time that the photos were taken and she’s passed away now.”
She says her grandparents will be thrilled to have them. Rojas says she knew they were important to someone.
“I’m an immigrant to Canada, and when I came from Columbia I didn’t have all my family photos,” Rojas says.
“I also got a CD of family photos from my uncle a few years ago, so I was thinking of that, that is was important to someone.”
Kourtsidis’ father dropped the card at the corner of Argyle and Ossington in April when they were out for dinner. She says her father is very happy to have them back.
“It’s incredible! My dad couldn’t believe the amount of effort that she went to, to identify the house and find my family,” she says.
“They’re such old photos that I imagine the task would be very difficult. My grandparents look nothing like that now and my parents don’t look like that anymore. My dad thought it was really impressive and a really nice act of kindness. It’s really pleasant surprise.”