The house is sold and the quest for new digs is underway. It’s clearly unlikely I’ll find anything in Toronto that will suit all my needs. I’m not surprised by this, as staying in Toronto has always been pretty low on my “next home” selection criteria, which are somewhat interdependent and include:
Space – the final frontier. My intention in selling was mostly financial, not to downsize or compromise on the work/live environment. I’m not necessarily looking for a larger space, just one that’s better organized and able to completely separate work and living spaces. As much as I like 109 Trinity, this was always a challenge. Every room had something work-related crowding me out. A two-bedroom house with a finished basement/workspace for my giant printer, framing and storage will do the trick. Another alternative would be a two-bedroom apartment with decent storage space. As an off-the-scale introvert, I’m not even thinking about shared space.
Cost. I’ve come out of the house sale well – better than anticipated, actually. I will be particularly happy to be clear of all debt. “Well, ” though, doesn’t include being able to buy something in Toronto, though, other than a tiny condo. Not on my list of things to do. I have to consider that the sale proceeds are going to be a primary source of income from here on in, along with (hopefully) some part-time work and continuation of workshops I currently run. This pretty well completely rules out buying anything that’s accessible by transit in the GTA. From what I can see the least I can expect to spend on rent in the city would be about $1700/month for an apartment just outside the core in Toronto. I see this as an acceptable short-term move, but not a long-term solution. I prefer to be close to or in an urban location. I would also prefer to own something rather than renting, though everything I read recommends that at my age, rental is a better choice.
Location. This will ideally be somewhere where I have relatively easy access to Toronto. Relatively easy means no more than a 3-hour drive from the city, preferably less. I have 9 days of work a year for a gig that is well worth the journey, but beyond that, any web-related work I do can be handled remotely. On the photography side, I enjoy what I’m doing, but I’m not earning enough at it to stay in the city. Owen Sound is in the running, as is Collingwood. When I’m really fantasizing, so is a 25+ foot Airstream trailer and long-term trip across Canada.
I’m giving myself until the end of the month to make a decision, as this will give me 60 days to handle the logistics of a move. The fun never stops!