The Chase: A meditation instructor uses Facebook to find a short-term lease for the right price
The renter: Cecilia Moorcroft, a 44-year-old clutter coach and meditation instructor.
The story: In February, Cecilia left her partner of 10 years, her dog and her Junction Triangle apartment to move to California for six months. She returned to Toronto in August with a new partner in tow. The pair didn’t know whether they wanted to live permanently in Toronto, so they drifted from one couch-surfing arrangement to the next as they searched online for a short-term lease. Cecilia wanted a furnished apartment near her office in the Annex, ideally with plenty of sunlight and enough quiet for morning meditations. She hoped to spend no more than $1,500 per month.
A one-bedroom apartment in a house on Laughton Avenue (near St. Clair and Davenport), advertised for $1,500 per month
Cecilia wasn’t having much luck finding short-term leases, so she decided to make the leases come to her. She posted on several Annex-centric Facebook groups and explained her timeline and budget. She got an email from a young couple living in the Junction who offered to rent out the main floor of their house. Cecilia loved the wood floors, but she was concerned that the din from the two kids living upstairs might interrupt her zen. The deal-breaker: she and her partner didn’t want to want spend their lives waiting for the St. Clair streetcar.
A one-bedroom condo on Dundas Street West (near Ossington), advertised for $1,500 per month
This place popped up on Bunz Home Zone, a Facebook group where users post leads on rentable apartments. Although the location was ideal, Cecilia was turned off by the current tenants, a young couple who gave her the impression that they were heavy drug users. Cecilia, who is trained in feng shui, says she’s sensitive to spaces, and that she could sense a distinct heaviness in the apartment. Normally, she’d eliminate the bad vibes with “space clearing,” a ritual involving bells and flowers—but, since the unit was a sublet, she figured it would be tougher than usual to clear.
A one-bedroom apartment on Sheridan Avenue (near Dundas West and Dufferin) for $1,500
One of Cecilia’s Facebook friends posted about her predicament in the Bunz Helping Zone, yet another Facebook group. As a result of that post, Cecilia connected with an art curator who owns a house in Little Portugal. To Cecilia, the space felt neutral, which was a good thing. The apartment has plenty of windows, light hardwood floors, and, while the furniture isn’t exactly to her taste, the flexible lease will allow her and her partner to stay until they figure out their next step.
Here’s the exterior of the house:
The apartment’s living room:
And the kitchen: