On y va

Two weeks ago I mentioned that I was staging this condo for sale.

It listed last Wednesday. There were 34 viewings by Sunday.

Monday there were half a dozen offers. Now someone else owns it. Or will, in a few months.

Most sane humans would sell first, then buy. Or buy first, then rent. I, naturally, chose to parallel-track these things, and bought a new place on Wednesday. So in April, I’ll live somewhere else for the first time in ten years.


After 4+ years in this condo, I’m selling it. It’s too much for one person to live in, especially one who owns as little stuff (wine notwithstanding) as I do. So it’ll hit the market next week; in the meantime my agent’s stager has been in to dress it up.

They left with strict instructions to touch nothing unless completely necessary, and to repair any damage I leave in my wake for the next few days. By, you know, sleeping and bathing myself. I feel like Michael Bluth living in a model home. Or like I’ve been trapped in a cover story for Canadian Living magazine. It’s nice and all, but so not my style. I mean:


Anyway, I can’t get wait to get on with this bit and find a new place to live. The Toronto real estate market is calm and highly predictable, right? *sobs*

Photo by -eko-, used under Creative Commons license

Home #2

About seven weeks ago we put in an offer on a new condo. Same building, different floor, more space. We’d been looking for a while, then gave up, right before this one fell in our lap.

Today we took possession. We picked up the keys, popped a bottle of sparkling (13th Street 2008 Premier Cuvée; we opted to save our bottle of Moët for when the sale of our current place closes), and started planning.

Speaking of selling our current place, I’ll have a whole long blog post when that one’s officially in the books. Stay tuned.


Photo by -eko-, used under Creative Commons license

The fiberglass pink mile

If you live in Toronto and have recently been near the corner of Yonge & Bloor — arguably the core intersection of the city — you would have seen the empty lot, razed many months ago in preparation for the 80-story condo that generated lineups hundreds-deep for early sales. Looking across that nice flat lot, it would have also been very easy to remind yourself how sad the corner is. A squat, dull little men’s (old men’s) clothing store and two nondescript office towers, one which is fronted by an ugly-ass concrete bunker. The city is trying to help things by expanding and greening up the sidewalks along Bloor, but even such help can’t mask the missed opportunity of Yonge & Bloor.

There were hopes that the right condo design would help the corner, but construction ground to a halt last year as the economy hiccuped and banks grew nervous about their borrowers. Last month the Kazakh-backed developer, who had defaulted on loan payments, sold the property. Onward and upward, right?

Probably. But Toronto’s army of public space advocates has been wondering aloud why we shouldn’t make that corner into a square. Politicians have weighed in, including the mayor who thinks “[i]t would be a remarkable place for a square.” Spacing Magazine, Toronto’s unofficial public space and urban affairs manual, has looked on the newly-pedestrianized Times Square in New York, and seen in it similarities to the last major downtown public square built in Toronto: Yonge & Dundas Square. YDS has completely transformed the corner of Yonge & Dundas which, when I moved to this city, was nothing more than a spigot draining the Eaton Centre. The corner is now a vital part of the city — for example, the film festival is staging a number of free movies and events at YDS this year.

Spacing doesn’t explicitly come out for a Yonge & Bloor square in that article, but do mention other possibilities like Front Street near St. Lawrence Market or Queen West. Personally, I love the Front Street idea. It already feels like a pedestrian mall, and on Saturdays it’s practically impossible to drive down Front anyway, for all the pedestrians zipping back and forth to the north market. But none of those would have the impact of a square at Yonge & Bloor.

Yesterday The Star’s Christopher Hume wrote another article about the site, saying the Toronto Public Space Committee is now on board. Hume does point out that it’s unlikely condo development would stop on the site, but perhaps there’s room for a building and a square. I think that’s the best possible/probable outcome. Dense residential, retail space and a public square wrapped in something architecturally compelling would serve as a proper gateway to Bloor between Yonge & Avenue, the so-called Mink Mile.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of faith that this is what will happen. Yonge/Bloor Home Depot, anyone?

Look at it.

What a brootiful day in the neighbourhood. First I slept in (a little, anyway), then my brother sent me one of the funniest pictures I’ve ever seen and I laughed myself stupid. Then Nellie and I went out (I wore my new shirt) to procure meat, veggies and cheese from St. Lawrence Market for tonight.

Then off to Andrew Richard Designs where we bought a small bench for the balcony before discovering an awesome new place in which to get full & silly: Betty’s. I’m not sure how we’ve missed it in the two years we’ve been living down here: it has a pretty good beer list (e.g., Hacker-Pschorr, Blanche de Chambly, Mill Street Tank House), decent food and a nice big back patio. We’ll be going back. We might actually go back tomorrow.

OK, guests have arrived, I’m off.

Today is April 23rd

One year ago today we moved into our condo. Nellie has dubbed today condoversary. This does not surprise me. She has dubbed Feb 13 engageversary and Feb 16 cativersary. A little part of me is tempted to start sleeping around to see if I can invoke divorceversary.

Two months from today we will be hiking and sleeping at Lake O’Hara in the Rockies.

Four months from today I will be enjoying my first day of post-MBA freedom.

Today is April 23rd.

Big day.

[tags]april 23, condo, lake o’hara, mba[/tags]

Maybe I should invite a personal trainer over next

Nothing like hosting a few social gatherings to put our asses in gear. After painting last weekend we spent this weekend acquiring new lighting and hanging pictures. It’s actually starting to look like someone lives here.


Yesterday, when I called No Country For Old Men one of the best movies I’ve seen all year, it got me thinking…what other 2007 films did I see that were good? It’s hard to think back to January…fortunately I keep my feathers numbered a database for just such an emergency.

The five best I’ve seen this year would probably be The Bourne Ultimatum, Gone Baby Gone, Superbad, Zodiac and, of course, No Country For Old Men. I saw others that were pretty good, but those are the ones I’d consider really good films. I was about to say that it seems like a pretty light year, but I guess I haven’t seen any of The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, Control, The Darjeeling Limited, Eastern Promises, Inland Empire, Into The Wild, Iraq In Fragments, The Kingdom, Lars And The Real Girl, The Lookout, Michael Clayton, Once, Sicko, This Is England or We Own The Night yet. So I’ll get back to you.

[tags]condo decorating, no country for old men, best films of 2007, bourne ultimatum, gone baby gone, superbad, zodiac[/tags]