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How to Find a Place to Live in Toronto (part 2)


Well, the search has so far been uninspiring. I went to look at a basement apartment last week, out at College and Dufferin, and I'm still depressed.

Aside from the overall unpleasantness of the space (no windows, communal laundry in the room ergo no privacy, generally dirty), I had the misfortune of being told that the person who had last occupied the space (whose stuff was all there, still) had been killed in an accident. Horrifying, and bad juju.

My sweet kitty Lola is also presenting some issues - a few of my requests to look at shared apartments/houses have been denied due to either cats who already occupy the space or a no-pets rule.

I knew this wouldn't be easy, but I had no idea it would be so disheartening.

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I've been doing some math - aside from writing for blogTO, I juggle two part time jobs (bartending and bookselling) - and my scheduled hours for October are pretty slim, meaning I'll just squeak by on my bills. I also know that my hours will drop after the Christmas rush, and I don't know how much I can squeak in January.

So my focus has changed from bachelors and cheap jr. 1 bedrooms to shared houses and apartments - I have a list of numbers I'm steeling myself to call. The prospect of asking a bunch of strangers if I can share their space is a little daunting. What if they hate cats? Smoke? Like listening to death metal at 4 in the morning?

My parents are trying to sweep in and save the day, as they did three years ago to allow me to move here in the first place. They bought a condo here which I rent from them (at a discount - it's an investment for them, so they say).

Well, this condo's too much, but rather than letting me get on with my search and get used to the idea of living with six people or something, they're starting to talk about simply downsizing to a smaller condo (loft, whatever) so our 'halfsies' deal is feasible for them financially.

I'm really torn on this - I know my parents should take the money from the condo and take care of my sister's tuition (she's just started at York) and try to pay off some debt.

I know that if I don't make myself take some responsibility, I'll always doubt my own independence (not to mention they'll always have an ace to play in any future arguments).

At the same time, I'm uncomfortably aware of how much I like living alone, having laundry and a full kitchen, and a flexible payment date.

What do you think? Do I force myself to accept the conditions of true twenty-first century independence and retain my self-respect, or do I continue to take unfair advantage of my parents and keep total anxiety at bay in a kind of pseudo-Victorian man-of-letters living arrangement?


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