[self-indulgent] Afer being away from Toronto for nearly ten years, I feel the call to return to the first city I lived in Canada. While I’ve lived in a number of cities and towns in three countries, including the U.S., besides Atlanta, Georgia, Toronto is the city I love most, followed by Montreal. Besides personal desire, I also have blogging and business reasons to return to Toronto, hopefully this Fall. So, on the off-chance that someone there knows of an ideal place for me, here’s my call for a Toronto sanctum sanctorum.

What I’m looking for

  1. Clean.
    Rule #1: No roaches. I can tolerate all kinds of pests but not roaches. I’ll be very unhappy if I move in and find they’d been hiding.

  2. Amount.
    I can pay Cdn$800-1000/m, hopefully with hydro inclusive. I can pay with cash, cheque or PayPal, and possibly credit card. [Please see the “What i can offer” section.]

  3. Non-smoking.
    If there is any shared space, it has to be smoke-free as I’m seriously allergic to cigarette smoke.

  4. Entrance.
    Separate entrance preferred, or at least my portion of the dwelling would be accessible only with my own key.

  5. Bedrooms.
    I need at least one bedroom. If there’s also a den or 2nd bedroom, that’s great.

  6. Location.
    Must be “near” downtown. Anything further than, say, north of St. Clair is too far. Generally speaking, I’d like to be able to walk comfortably within 20-30 minutes to the Carleton repertory cinema on weekends (if it’s still around). Areas of primary interest:

    • Leslieville,
    • Annex,
    • High Park (though a bit far),
    • Parkdale (Queen + Dufferin),
    • Liberty (King + Dufferin),
    • Broadview/ Danforth,
    • the Beaches.

    Anything beyond these areas starts to be further from downtown than I want to be. I’ve already lived in most of these areas, so I’m very comfortable with them.

  7. Quiet.
    Needs to be quiet for at least 3 consecutive hours during the day because I do voice recordings for screencast tutorials.

  8. Type of dwelling.
    I love old houses, especially in the Annex, but I really, really need 3-prong outlets, preferably grounded. Basement apartments are not my friend, but one that’s bright, with a relatively soundproof ceiling is fine.

  9. Laundry.
    Laundry facilities onsite are a great bonus, but if not then a laundry within walking distance helps. I don’t have a car anymore (gone green) and don’t plan to have one again. And I don’t enjoy airing my dirty laundry in public – literally speaking, not figuratively – so I don’t want to have to take the streetcar or subway to a laundromat.

  10. Furniture.
    I’m not taking any furniture with me to Toronto, so a bit of furniture doesn’t hurt, but isn’t necessary. The first order of business for me will be to get a futon bed or two, and a work desk for my desktop computer and laptop.

  11. Cable/ Wi-Fi.
    While included cable TV and Wi-Fi is nice, I will be bringing “Bell personal wi-fi to go”, and will need to be able to install Rogers digital cable and Internet. So the ability to install a cable line is a necessity.

  12. Date and duration.
    While I’d like to move for Sept 1st, it would depend on how much the rent is, whether it includes hydro, etc., and whether there are any costs beyond that (first, last, extra deposit?). The sooner the better, but I need to move, so I’ll keep looking until I get a place. I’m looking for a place for at least six months, but a year would be preferable, possibly longer. I plan to eventually buy a place – hopefully before 2010, and do not want to move around a lot before then, to minimize credit problems.

  13. Pets.
    My cat will be staying with my mother’s cat and dogs. I plan to volunteer at the Riverside Humane Society, and if it’s possible for me to “foster” a few pets for short durations, that’d be nice – but it’s not necessary.

I know that these look like a lot of conditions, but if you were looking for an apartment, too, and wrote down all your preferences, you might be surprised. Anyway, in return, here’s what I can offer.

What I can offer

  1. I’m a very quiet, non-smoking, work-at-home writer/ web consultant. The loudest I’ll be is no louder than a piano or acoustic guitar, or when I’m recording my voice for video tutorials. I just spent the last 10 years thinking I’d become a Buddhist monk. While that plan is gone, I’ve still learned to be quiet. I do work from home, but purely for exercise, I might volunteer at the Toronto Opera or do some part-time acting.
  2. I can cook well or passably in 7 cuisines, and you’re welcome to join me for dinner once a week with one friend. The cuisines are Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, some Mexican, some Greek, some French and a few others. I also bake once in a while, and make mean barbequed meats (in case there’s a backyard/ garden).
  3. I’m setting up a Toronto business + entertainment directory on online. If you have a business or service, you’ll get a free permanent listing and a free profile page with photo and links for 2 years.
  4. First and last month’s rent. Here’s my problem, as embarrassing as it may be. I have no references because I’ve been living with my mother for several years. Because of 4 really bad career years from 2002-2005, I’m rebuilding my credit. I do have a small amount of savings now, set aside for rent. So I can offer, if necessary, an extra month’s deposit and additional post-dated cheques. Alternately, I can offer you US$1000 worth of web consulting services including blog articles, linkbait articles, site analytics, blogging help and more. Keep in mind that I’m building my brand online on this very website, so it behooves me to pay you rent on time.

    If these options are not acceptable to you, I may be able to get a relative to sign the lease in their name – and I’d pay them in advance. Or tell me what makes you comfortable, without me having to spend any outrageous amount of extra cash.

So, if you have a place to rent that matches my preferences above and think I’d be a good tenant, drop me an email through my Services page.

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