In case you missed it, What I Rent is our weekly series all about the joys (and not-so-joyful bits) of the world of renting.
Each week we take a nose around a different person’s rented home, peeking inside their bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen cupboards to see how they’ve made their rented abode feel entirely their own.
Then we chat with them all about their experiences of renting property.
Last week we were in Bristol, in the UK, beholding a two-bedroom flat rented for £1,000 a month.
This time we’re on the other side of the Atlantic, in Toronto, Canada.
We’re taking a look around the house rented by Robin, 28, who was born and raised in the area where she now lives.
Robin works in the film and TV industry as a props person, but also has some side hustles, including a team that’s all about ‘nature-based, regenerative hospitality’, and working as a certified tarot reader, through her service called Roses on Adelaide (which has been totally virtual during the pandemic).
She rents a one-bedroom house solo.
Hey, Robin! How much do you pay to live here?
Rent is $1,945 a month, plus utilities.
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And what do you get for what you pay?
Six rooms and one bathroom. My main floor has my office space, living room and kitchen. My kitchen leads to the backyard of my home.
The basement is where my bedroom, walk-in closet, laundry room and bathroom are.
Do you feel like you have a good deal?
I’m not going to lie, it can feel like quite a lot to pay alone, but with the amount of space, the outdoor element and the location, I definitely feel like I have lucked out.
Whereabouts is your home based? What do you think of the area?
My home is in the Trinity Bellwoods/Queen West area of Toronto.
I feel like I got so lucky with my location because I love this area of the city so much. There are so many incredible restaurants, cafes, and shops that surround me and another huge bonus is that one of the most popular parks in the city (Trinity Bellwoods) is just seconds from my door.
It’s awesome having access to do all of my shopping locally because there are so many small, locally-run places where I can find basically anything I need.
How did you find this property?
A Kijiji AD (it’s like the Canadian GumTree).
How have you made the place feel like home?
In so so many ways. The reality is that for millennials, especially in a city like Toronto, the likelihood of being able to actually buy a place downtown is so outside the realm of possibility.
Not wanting to sacrifice living in the heartbeat of the city, I knew very very early on that I would be a long-term renter.
Because of that, it has been so important for me to make sure my home feels like it is an actual home and for my space to be filled with things that bring me joy.
I have done a lot of rental friendly DIYs, have painted (and repainted and repainted) the space and have made sure that every corner has something a little special in it.
Have you found it difficult to decorate when renting? Is your landlord happy with you doing bits?
Decorating while renting certainly has its challenges, but I also think it has forced me to be both creative and thoughtful with my choices because I cannot make any big permanent changes.
On the other hand, it has allowed me to take more risks because I know that I can easily change things back if I wanted/needed to.
Of course, I would love to be able to paint my kitchen cupboards or make dramatic changes, but I do think that working within the confines of renting has actually made me more innovative, hands-on, and resourceful.
I think my landlord is ok with my changes as long as I change things back.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Yes, definitely! I honestly hit the jackpot with my home. I would love to have a garage, but I don’t want to get greedy (haha!).
I am so lucky to have the amount of space I have right in the downtown core.
Are there any problems with the home you have to deal with?
It’s an old house and I have had a mice or two sneak in, which was extremely unnerving and terrifying, but I have since dealt with it and am extremely cautious about not leaving any food out. Ever.
Do you have plans to move again any time soon?
I am super happy where I am right now and would like to stay here for a long time!
Do you want to own a place some day or are you happy to rent?
As mentioned, I love my home and don’t plan on leaving any time soon, but I love design and it has always been my dream to one day design and be able to execute my dream home.
Fingers crossed one day I can turn that dream into reality.
Shall we take a look around?
What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am.
Check back next week to have another nose around a rented property.
How to get involved in What I Rent
What I Rent is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that takes you inside the places people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what’s normal and how much we should be paying.
If you fancy taking part, please email [email protected] You’ll need to take pictures of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your bedroom or living area.
Make sure you get permission from your housemates! You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’re paying for rent, as that’s pretty important.
We’re not just after the prettiest places out there, by the way. We want the reality of renting, so if you’re currently renting a place you hate, we’d love to see that too (and sympathise greatly!).
This article contains placements with affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links on these placements.
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