Finding a New Apartment

It’s finally happened. I guess it was only a matter of time. Allison and I are going to prison.

Specifically, the grounds of the former Oakalla Prison Farm, about a kilometre east of where we’re living now. We’re moving to a new apartment.

This all started some time ago, when we came to the conclusion that our current apartment wasn’t quite living up to our needs — specifically, we desperately need a dishwasher, and would certainly find in-suite laundry useful.

Our building has some quirks, namely all the services shut down at 10pm. This is a minor problem when you realise you’re out of clothes at 9:00 at night (yes, this has happened before).

No, our kitchen does not shut down at 10pm, nor does the hot water shut off. However, we spend untold hours washing dishes. It’s become a nuisance in the grand scheme of wanting to go out and do things, not to mention the toll on my poor hands.

It also doesn’t help that our dish rack began to fall apart last night.

On Saturday morning, as we lazed about the apartment, Allison started perusing the classifieds (she will read most of the newspaper), and started reading off available apartments. I’ve been relatively content with the apartment, but Allison’s wanted something better for a while now. (Actually, that’s a really long story, which will eventually finish with us living on English Bay, but I’m not getting into that now.) I, of course, am always open to suggestions. (Hey, no snickering out there!)

Allison’s pass through the paper led to a couple of possibilities, none of which were available for viewing. Giving it my best shot, I came across the entry: “Oaklands area. 6 appls, f/p, prkng”. Not a lot to go on, but I figured I’d give it a shot. We went over to take a look about an hour later.

The Oakalla Prison Farm closed in 1990, after the site was deemed inappropriate for use (it was falling apart). The buildings were torn down in 1991, and the rest of the area left as a park. (Rather nice, isn’t it?) Polygon Homes bought the property and erected a rather large condominium complex.

It’s a one-bedroom apartment that appears to have been bought by parents for their daughter. (That’s a guess, of course. We don’t actually know.) At any rate, the daughter was moving out, having bought her own place, and the parents wanted to rent.

Allison’s eyes were immediately drawn to the moldings. She loves moldings. Sometimes, I think she just likes to say “moldings” … at least until we were in this apartment. Now I’m convinced she just wants moldings. I figure a few feet of nice moldings for her birthday will keep her happy.

My mind was made up within a couple of minutes after entering the apartment. Allison’s mind was made up after she saw the laundry machine. We didn’t tell each other until we’d left the building and were preparing to leave.

The layout was very well-designed: The kitchen was to the left of the door (no long, useless hallway in this unit), with a nice window into the living room. The living/dining room is a large space (the entire unit is 775 sq ft.) with a gas fireplace (the unit has radiant heat — a rather nice touch, if you ask me). To the right of the door is a short hallway, at the end of which is the laundry (to the right) and the bathroom (to the left). The bedroom is in the corner of the unit, next to the living room and bathroom. A walk-in closet should accomodate our clothes easily.

And that’s just the apartment. Down the hall is a recreation room, including a universal gym. By comparison, our building has an exercise bike, treadmill, and stairmaster. We get two parking spots, full recycling (our building only has paper), storage and bike locker.

The only thing our soon-to-be-apartment doesn’t have is a view. However, we can walk for one minute and get a view that’s much better than the one we currently have. Certainly no complains on my part…

Well, maybe one small complaint. We had to make a trade-off in obtaining our new digs — convenience. Unlike our current apartment, the new pad isn’t really within walking distance of anything. It’s a very short drive, however, to all our favourite haunts. So it’s not really that big a deal. If we’re not pressed for time (which, realistically speaking, we won’t be now that we’ve got a dishwasher and laundry machine), we can still walk — it just takes longer.

At any rate, we move on the 31st (hopefully the 30th, which is a Sunday) into our new place. The address is changing (I’ll send it along as soon as I remember what it is), but we’ll try to keep the phone number. No point in causing too much confusion.

How long are we going to stay at our new place? Until we go to Europe, move downtown, or get bored of it and go somewhere else.

Whichever comes first.

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