How a 50-something couple rented a house instead of buying one

How a 50-something couple rented a house instead of buying one

The renters: Cindy Brown, the 55-year-old vice president of human resources for Boat Rocker Media, a media production company, and her boyfriend, Tim Patriquin, a 54-year-old wealth management advisor.

The story: When Cindy and Tim decided to move in together in early 2017, they were worried about Toronto’s unstable real estate market. Rather than buy a place, they decided to look for a detached home to rent, preferably somewhere near Danforth. They tried searching online themselves, but finding whole-house rentals that fit their budget proved difficult. Eventually, they enlisted real estate agent Evan Malach to help them look.

Option 1

Danforth and Coxwell, advertised for $3,250 per month

This two-storey, three-bedroom semi on a dead-end street had parking and a tranquil atmosphere—not to mention a brand-new kitchen. There were some flaws, though: the entrance was shared with a basement tenant, the backyard was overgrown, and the living room layout was a little odd. “There was no obvious place to put a TV,” Cindy says. They moved on.

Option 2

Jones and Danforth, advertised for $3,200 per month

When they toured this row house, they were excited about the kitchen, which seemed large enough to accommodate their big families (Cindy and Tim are each the eldest of five siblings). They also loved the abundance of natural light. The house was furnished by an interior designer, and it was only an eight-minute walk to Pape station—a plus for Tim, who works downtown. But there was very little storage space inside, and they were worried about the potential for clutter. They passed.

The choice

St. Clair and Dufferin, $3,500 per month

With few good options in the east end, they took their search west. Although this two-storey detached house wasn’t in their favourite part of town, they liked everything else about it. There are three large bedrooms, one of which they’ve converted into a walk-in closet and study. A sunroom serves as their family room. The kitchen is newly renovated, there’s a double-car garage for extra storage and a big backyard for entertaining. The original woodwork throughout the house especially appeals to Cindy, who used to own an older home. To their surprise, they love the neighbourhood, too. “It’s a family street,” Cindy says. “There are always dogs and baby carriages.”

Here’s the sunroom:

The dining room, with old-style wainscotting:

The newly renovated kitchen:

The master bedroom:


December 5, 2017

This post originally misspelled Evan Malach's name. Also, a photo of Cindy and Tim's sunroom was mistakenly identified as a photo of their living room.