I promised you a series about apartment hunting, and a series you shall have. Spoiler alert: we found a place, and we get keys in 12 (holy shit!) days. I’m not moving until mid-month, and he has his place until the end of May, but still:
Although our search was relatively short, it was still plenty frustrating. One of my biggest pet peeves— in dating and in the ungodly search for a home in Toronto— is how free and easy people are with their descriptions. There are a few words that I’ve come to learn mean entirely different things than originally intended:
- Cozy: While this is meant to have you envisioning a warm place to curl up with your partner and a book on a blustery winter night, what it really means is ‘not enough fucking room to walk,’ or ‘you’ll be sleeping in a closet.’
- Bedroom: Far from a standard size, any so-called room with three(ish) walls can be marketed as a bedroom. Standout “bedrooms” included a room in a basement without any heat/ventilation, a walk-in closet you could jam a twin bed into, and a supposed two bedroom apartment without a living room. Fucking no.
- Close to transit: One place advertised itself as at a subway station, when in reality it was 17 minute walk away (and a mere three minutes from another well-known, subway-less road). Be honest about your major intersection! This is same as people on dating sites saying they live in Toronto when in reality you need to take a Go train or 400-series highway to get to them. If I want a long distance relationship (or apartment), I’ll watch British Netflix.
- Bright basement: This is not a thing, fuck off.
- Downtown: This word is thrown around so willy-nilly that it has lost all meaning in the Toronto rental market. North York? Sure, close to downtown. Brampton? Why not. The outer reaches of Scarberia? You can be part of the downtown club too!
- Grocery store nearby: I do not do my grocery shopping at a convenience store, nor do you. Or if you do, dinner parties must be fun at your place.
People are also as creative with apartment photos as they are with profile pics. If you use just the right filter, crop, and angle, you can totally make that shithole look like it’s worth $1800/month (plus utilities, of course).
Extra credit rant: Perhaps the most frustrating thing during this whole search was weeding through the dickwads who said ‘no pets,’ whom I think are worse than the assholes who write ‘no fatties’ on their dating profiles. It’s an illegal and unenforceable rule in Toronto (unless you’re renting a newish condo, which I had absolutely zero interest in). After the 15th seemingly-awesome apartment ended up being not so pet friendly, I decided to send polite messages informing these landlords of their illegal stipulations (from a burner email; I’m snarky, not stupid). Not all heroes wear capes, people.