I’m resigned that in the future, I have to live in the “‘burbs” and drive or (shudder) take transit to get to work. One day, I will have a live-in partner and we decide together where to live. Until then, I continue to be loathed to have more than a 10-minute walk to work, hah!
At first, I thought I’d get a Concord CityPlace apartment, perhaps even in LV’s building. But Lil Sis and I noticed the Pinnacle development and particularly their amenities. During a whirlwind tour of apartments available for rent, we saw older (2-5yo) units and new units (a few months old), the latter with an address the same street as my workplace.
Living so close to work in Vancouver was something of a coincidence. I did chose my apartment on the west side because I thought I might (and did) end up at the cancer research facility 490 meters away. But it was not for forever and I spent a year commuting to North Vancouver and did not know that I would really luck out and get an offsite UBC job located just 253 meters away from my doorstep. This time around in Toronto, I got the job first, then looked for a place to stay. Work is a whole 651 meters away and it works out I can say that I work and live on Bay Street.
Others: “Who wants to see their office from their apartment?! What if you have a bad day at work?”
Me: “If I have a bad day at work, or if I’m quite loathed to go in (because I’m tired or cranky), I’d rather just get home or get into work after an 8-minute walk instead of dragging it out!”
My little apartment hit all that I wanted (and I pay dearly for it): new one-bedroom, first tenant in, high-30s floor (of 52 floors in total), good view (mostly north and east facing), undermounted sinks, ensuite laundry, laminate floors, 24-hour concierge, the “Club” amenities that include a state-of-the-art gym, pool, hot tubs, saunas, tennis court, squash courts, outdoor running track , and basketball court.
But… aside from being right next to the Air Canada Centre (ACC) with an event or game very second night on average, it’s super-quiet and dead after business hours thanks to the nearby Financial District and all the businesses existing to serve it shutting down at 6 p.m. My daily commute takes me through the grubbiest of grubby Toronto, under some overpasses that is the Gardiner and Union Station train platforms, and through the god-awful messy headache that is Front Street so-called revitalization. A view of the CN Tower would be the cherry on top but I don’t have it and only see corroded train station roof, a maze of train tracks and industrial Port Lands. My building is so fancy and new there’s no visitor parking, event rates apply nearly every evening at the public lots, and it took two weeks at gouging rates to get to know some parking attendants and get down to $10/day parking at a public lot.
My favourite Canadian/Toronto series from 1999 was the short-lived show The City and I remember one line in particular said about city Councillor Katharine Strachan by her lover, played by chiseled James Gallanders, “She gets a nosebleed if she goes north of Rosedale.” Heh. Rosedale is darned close compared Richmond Hill and Scarborough where I have to go every now and then!
When I do have to leave the core and foot power will not take me there, being just 400 meters from Union Station is a boon. The Union stations house the subway to get elsewhere in the city, GO trains to get around GTA, and VIA rail should I really need to bust this joint. The Gardiner Expressway is at my doorstep which means arriving and leaving by car is efficient, more so than living deeper in the core. All this access and I’m happy as a clam just spending time at home. I haven’t even visited LV yet who is a mere 20-minute walk towards the Entertainment District but we’ll blame it on the weather and not my laziness. ;)
Right now, I’m totally satisfied tripping down to the condo gym that with Life Fitness treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes equipped with television screens, I’ve been timing my workout with the televisions shows I want to catch since I’ve cut the cord and don’t have a television. At some point, I will need to train outdoors (booo…) and the Running Room is 800 meters away and we will probably often connect with the Waterfront Trail and head out to Humber Park and The Beaches ad nauseum.
Finally, supermarkets are more important to me right now than restaurants in the vicinity and I thought I couldn’t have it better than before with four to chose from within a 10-minute walk. It’s close. Going to to Longo’s (300 meters away) involves stepping into the shiny and bright ACC/Maple Leaf Square area and Longo’s has a great high-end market feel like Whole Foods. It’s a bit like an Urban Fare, actually, in that it also carries the the Western Family house brand. The 24-hour Loblaws where Top Chef candidates are taken to to shop is 800 meters away but a bit of a sketchy trek past the Redpath refinery. I would never have to visit the Sobey’s 600 meters away–they are so expensive–except it houses a Wine Rack and Wine Racks carry the Inniskillin East West series wine that I’ve adopted as “my” wine (more on that later).
There, that’s my world outside of my apartment. It’s pretty complete with the large and glaring exception of NPY’s absence. :( Next up, an apartment tour!
******** This is a blog series complementing my regular blog posts with the original idea was to share our parallel lives, NPY’s and mine, while I’m in Toronto and he’s in Vancouver, 3,400 km away. For me, it’s been pretty fun because I’m this long-time blogger and enjoy repackaging parts of my life in “blog bites”. It’s been more difficult for NPY who hasn’t experienced a change in scenery (although I do not think it is necessary) so I’ll be continuing this with just my photos. I might have something every day. I might not.