I feel like I’ve been moving nonstop since I landed in Toronto on Sunday. Monday evening I went apartment hunting with my realtor Katherine – I’d met her before so she knew what I liked and she did not disappoint! I was initially worried that the list of 35 apartments she’d sent me 2 weeks before I arrived was down to 5, but luckily I had good options. After touring a few units, it was decision time – not easy!
Door #1: Great location, beautiful new building, affordable-ish apartment 5 minutes from work (I love the neighborhood around my office, so this is great on many levels), but TINY – I’d have had to get a twin bed.
Door #2: Same building, larger and obviously pricier apartment
Door #3: Luxury condo building with awesome amenities (indoor/outdoor pool with several bbq decks and a great albeit crowded gym), with the. best. view. The building is right on the water and it was honestly the best view of the lake imaginable – all sailboats and Porter planes landing at the island airport. (There’s definitely a Porter post in the future!) I was apprehensive about this one because it sounded too good to be true – the rent was wayyy to cheap for this building and location and VIEW. Well, turns out the rent was low because the was just no living space, unless you count a hallway that wraps around the kitchen. While I was seriously tempted by the idea of staring into that gorgeous blue lake while cooking at my kitchen island, the windowless bedroom and lack of a place to put a couch just didn’t work for me.
So, I went with Door #2! I figure with the money I’m saving by walking to work every day (literally 5 minutes) and the gorgeous new gym in the building means I don’t need to join a separate one, which makes me feel better about paying a little more for a more comfortable space. My realtor and I prepped the offer, and then it was a flurry of getting a bank account and cashiers checks/cheques (gotta get used to Canadian spelling!) and insurance together. Last night I met my landlord and we dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s and I have keys! The place will be all finished and move-in ready tomorrow, and I can’t wait!
And now for the pictures – I was honestly so excited about the apartment that I completely forgot to take any the first time I saw it. Good sign I guess? I stopped by this morning to measure for furniture and snapped a few. We’ll call these the before pics – hopefully the construction guys cleaned up today as promised! Sorry for the shoddy blackberry pics, I’ll dig up my real camera for future blog posts.
Since I sold all of my furniture in New Orleans, I hit up Ikea after work. My work permit is only for 2 years, so I didn’t want to invest in anything too pricey. I managed to order a couch, get most of my living room furniture and some bedroom furniture today. I also crashed into an innocent bystander while climbing off a shelf after snagging the last dresser I wanted, got to the front of the line to pay without realizing I was supposed to get a claim sheet for my sofa so caused a big traffic jam, then had all of my cards declined twice – holy embarrassing!, and everyone behind me in line was less than pleased. Luckily I called my bank and got it all straightened out right away – being a brand new account holder with no Canadian credit history + using my US cards in Canada is making this shopping spree a bit difficult. On my way to the delivery desk I crashed into the SAME GUY with my cart, and then made a running leap onto my train home as the doors were closing…to realize I was going in the wrong direction. Classic. Luckily I made it back for my last night living in a hotel generally unscathed and Ikea will deliver my furniture tomorrow afternoon.
I can’t believe how much I’ve done this week, in addition to being super busy at work: got a work permit, registered as a resident (sadly I did not see our embattled crack smoking mayor at City Hall), got an apartment, set up all new banking and insurance, and bought most of my furniture. And I’m not even CLOSE to done.