Moving from a three story 3000 SF house in Nova Scotia to a downtown Toronto condo with just 850 SF, involves a major lifestyle change, but so far we are adapting quite well.
A nighttime view from the condo
The first thing is the size; we have a small kitchen in an open plan living area. The kitchen was renovated when Ryan & Ben lived here so it has all modern appliances and works quite well for the most part. It is not our lovely large Italian stove kitchen back in Dartmouth that our daughter is now enjoying, but so far we are adapting to the smaller size. It has problems but we are working them out. For example I installed a nice pegboard wall to make frying pans and pots easily accessible. We left a lot of our kitchen gadgets at home, but so far we have only missed a few. The other rooms are smaller than we were used to, but are all we need so far. And a big plus is no stairs, which my bad knees and hip thank me for every day. Regis sums the size up this way, “I plug the vacuum in once and Art can reach every corner of the condo without moving the cord.”
Our living space
I have had to temporally give up some of my hobbies; I no longer have any woodworking tools other than a drill, and I do not have a garage full of mechanic tools, so instead I am planning to concentrate on two hobbies I did not have enough time for my writing and my painting. The writing you are seeing the results of in my more frequent blog posts and I have a couple of stories I plan to work on. The painting is in the process of being set up, and I expect to start decorating one wall of the living room with some new paintings.
A handy shopping cart
We did not bring our main transport (our hybrid Toyota) with us to Toronto. Past experience showed us that having a car in Downtown Toronto is actually a nuisance. We have driven here in the past and did not use the car until we left to drive home. Parking is hard to find and traffic is crazy, so we are learning to find anything we need within walking distance. We can walk to at least five decent grocery stores, and just one block away is a huge Loblaws that has anything we might need, including an LCBO upstairs. We discovered that carrying groceries can be heavy, but a handy “old-folk” shopping cart has solved that problem. As well there are two hardware stores a few blocks away, and even a small IKEA we can walk to. If we need something we need to drive to, we can borrow Ryan’s car or we have started using UBER services. We did bring the little classic sports car and it rests, tidily covered up in a nice underground parking spot for use on outing to explore the outskirts of the city on “Top Down” days.
There are simple benefits as well. Compost, garbage and recycling, just get put down a shoot in a room right outside our door, and I never have to lug big bins to the street. If I order something from Amazon or Wayfair, the concierge downstairs hold my packages when they arrive and e-mails me that it is here.
The condo is right downtown so I will admit that there is more noise, and not a day goes by without at east a few sirens going by, but to be honest, I really do not mind (and I suppose both of our hearing is not what it used to be). I like the hustle and bustle of the downtown, and enjoy sitting out on the balcony with a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the afternoon and listen to the sounds of the city nine stories below me.
So most days I get up and make myself a pour-over coffee (No espresso machine - it got left back for Alisha), have breakfast on our new apartment sized table, go to the building’s gym for exercise, walk to a grocery store for tonight’s dinner groceries, and just generally enjoy this new lifestyle. I’m sure there are downsides to the condo lifestyle, but so far they are not bothering me.
A few random pictures from around Toronto.