I’ll mix in some lovely photos of the waterfront, just by my NEW place, to bring up the tone of the post a bit ;o)
I moved out in July of last year. My goal was to save up a downpayment, in less than a year, and then move back downtown. My rent downtown was extortionate, and I couldn’t afford to save properly while living there. I got an apartment in an old art deco building at Yonge and St. Claire – a beautiful neighbourhood that I had enjoyed living in before. I had high hopes for it, and the weekend that the G20 was tearing up downtown we spent a peaceful few days painting the apartment in light turquoise, fresh green and chocolate.
The place had been occupied by a tenant for 14 years, and had not been cleaned or reno’d in a long time. The super had one month between when they moved out and when we moved in, and assured us that the renos would be done. One month later, almost nothing was done. There was broken glass in our window panes, and the bath tub was still nasty. On the day of our move I discovered that the ‘locker room’ was a communal dumping ground filled with garbage, and no way of knowing what belonged to who. Nothing was secure. You’d have to paint your boxes neon orange to ever find them again.
The ‘bike room’ turned out the be the car garage, where I was told to lock my bike to the piping. The ‘laundry room’ had 2 machines – 2! And this to service an entire building. There was also *shudder* a dead roach on the floor. Roaches are a non-negotiable terror to me, thank goodness I’ve never found one in the actual apartment. I did find other horrors though – read on.
The day we moved in, the bedroom door fell off. Tito tried to fix it in the weeks that followed and was told by our super to rustle around in the ‘locker room’ for a spare door and steal the knob from it. Despite his best efforts the door has needed constant repairing. Tito is also allergic to our cats, so we try to keep them off the bed. That’s a bit hard when there is no real door.
A few days after the move I got sick, and stayed home. A few minutes after 9am I discovered something that would form a psychological barrier against me ever getting sick again so long as I lived there – the apartment is across from a daycare. About 40 2-4 year olds play outside, all day, every day. The kids are cute, it’s true, but the sound goes right to my skull and it’s prevented me ever being able to be home during the day.
The next day I scrubbed the toilet because, I had discovered, it was full of mold. I used a hardcore, and dangerously strong disinfectant – which worked, but still, it was gross. The tub was un-fixable, and Toronto was going through a heatwave.
A few days later we managed to lock ourselves out, due to the fact that there is a double lock on the front door, one of which is like a bathroom lock. We called the super who informed us that he didn’t keep keys to any unit (what does he do in case of an emergency, I wonder?) When pressed he finally came outside not with keys… but with a ladder. I’m not kidding. He had Tito break in to our home through the bedroom window to open the door. He tore through the bug screen in doing so, which meant that for the rest of the heatwave that window could not be opened.
Needless to say, I cut keys for the super. That week I came home to discover that he had entered our unit without permission or notice, with a work team to replace the windows (but mysteriously, not the bedroom one, so we still couldn’t open it). At least the most of the windows were fixed, but I was pissed about the entry. It wasn’t the last time either – during another heat wave a few weeks later he entered without notice or permission and had our tub resurfaced. The fumes were incredible, the heat was incredible, my poor cats had been stuck with it all day and worst of all, it turns out you can’t use the tub for 48 hours. Did I mention the heatwave? Tito and I packed up towels and trudged to my best friends place for showers =o(
The horror wasn’t over yet. We had extra creatures that lived with us. One of them was the only bug in the world that will get me running for my life and not my macro lens. That bug is a huge, hairy, whiplash-fast centipede. It lived in the bedroom. I slept with the lights on after that terrifying encounter. The next one I discovered was in the bath. I was also in the bath, at the time. You can imagine how that went.
We also had, oddly enough, a poltergeist for a while. I’m not kidding. It was benign so far as I could tell, but did give us a startle from time to time. Then it left. I’m a very logical person and I don’t believe in ghosts, but that was definitely an odd few weeks.
The black building peeking out on the left is the new digs. I can’t wait. For anyone who thought I just hated this apartment because I missed ensuite laundry and a dishwasher, I hope this clears that up. It’s been a total nightmare. I never unpacked, or decorated. It’s been demoralizing and uncomfortable. However, it motivated me to work, and work hard. Now, with 75 days to go you can imagine how badly I want to leave, I can’t wait!
Thank you for motivating me to be organized and dedicated enough to save up a downpayment in less than 8 months. May they tear your ugly ass down after I’m gone and put up a parking lot.
Yours no more,