MacLean’s calls it “hell” and Toronto Life calls it being “stuck.” What is this “it” I speak of? The nature of living in the actual sky in a 400 square foot unit in a 70 floor building. Or, as the common-folk would call it, condo living.
I’m 23-years-old, I’m working full-time, managing and editing this blog when I’m not working, building contacts at online publications across the continent with hopes of future opportunities and networking with other communications professionals when I’m not doing any of that and I still live at home (like 40 per cent of 20-somethings in Canada). My reason for still bunkin’ with my parents is to save money as opposed to be served only the finest of chocolates (though sometimes, people get this fact confused). I commute to work every day and each morning, I see mamas and papas pushing the fanciest of strollers. Inside these super-comfy-looking moving chairs with cup holders are the sweetest of children, off to daycare (most likely one of the non-profit centres that are set to close in Toronto, which is another sad story all in itself).
Since I spend about one eighth of every day commuting to and from work, I have a lot of time to think. I want to live in the city (or a major city that is not Toronto) when I’m able to actually afford something to call my own, something that will take away my unofficial label of “PROPERTY VIRGIN.” Don’t worry, it’s not slapped on my forehead in red ink. My worries are: The average price of a home in Toronto hit close to the one million dollar mark in April 2014, meaning I am going to have to invest in some serious mutual funds if I ever want to own a home in the six. There also aren’t very many new homes being built in the downtown core because there’s not really any land-space. There is however room to move up. If I choose to live in a condo, I’m not going to have very much space to do anything, never mind have a family (should that day come). I will become like the clusters of Torontians who own a condo (who are essentially paying for air space) and use the common-floor hallway as a play area for my prospective children. My children may not know what it’s like to run through sprinklers in the backyard, to build snowmen on the front lawn or do anything in the comfort of their own detached home if I choose to live in a condo. There will be none of the iconic, “KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR DINNER,” screams out the front door when 6:00pm rolls around. Is it weird that I’m concerned about this?
I’m nowhere near the stage in my life where I’m ready to have a family (I’m currently too concerned with the fact that on August 1 I already have to buy another Metropass), but I need to start thinking and planning ahead so I can save money for my future (whether or not that future includes children). I met a man in late May who was maybe in his late 50s. In his thick Hebrew accent he said to me, “I retired when I was 55. Yup! The only way I got to do that though is because I started saving early.” Naturally, my insides formed a knot and I called my financial advisor.
Aside from picking and choosing where to invest my dollars earned and what to spend them on, I’m also trying to accept this new idea of condo life should I find myself living in one someday. I’m not totally comfortable with the sandwich-boxed-sized units, but when the weather is nice, views from up top can be quite beautiful.
Throughout the week of Monday, July 21, I stopped to look up while thinking: What could my view be from up there? As a result, here are 10 photos of Toronto’s summery blue skies, with which I may become more familiar later in life. Thankfully, any signs of floor-level construction aren’t bothersome from 1,800 feet in the air.