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Real Estate

How a 51-year-old real estate agent lives in just over 200 square feet

By Vibhu Gairola| Photography by Brittany Carmichael
How a 51-year-old real estate agent lives in just over 200 square feet
Dom Gemmell, 51

Real estate sales representative

Where: Parkdale How much: $900 per month How big: 225 square feet

Six months ago, when Dom Gemmell agreed to take on the lease for his tiny bachelor apartment in Parkdale, he knew two things: first, that he would fix it up so he could sublease it during his summer travels, and second, that he wanted the place to be as quirky as its neighbourhood. “Parkdale is where people line up for Grand Electric, one of the hottest restaurants in town, while the soup kitchen literally next door has a line for a free lunch. And both lines look alike: well-to-do professionals dress like the homeless. Parkdale is ridiculous, so I thought, ‘Let’s try to make this apartment ridiculous, too.’"

It only took Gemmell about a week to execute his designs. Ideas born of necessity turned into quirks popular with Airbnb customers, who can rent the place for $69 per night.

Gemmell stores kitchen appliances in cabinets under the main kitchen surface, a repurposed steel door:

How a 51-year-old real estate agent lives in just over 200 square feet

Cutlery and dishes are stored in drawers next to the appliance cabinets. The open grid design of the drawers ensures that air from the apartment’s heater, which is located behind them, can flow throughout the space:

How a 51-year-old real estate agent lives in just over 200 square feet

A king-sized bed sprawls over three chests of drawers and a tiny refrigerator. “A king size bed in a bachelor apartment is ridiculous, but that’s the point,” Gemmell says.

How a 51-year-old real estate agent lives in just over 200 square feet

Here’s another view of the bed:

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How a 51-year-old real estate agent lives in just over 200 square feet

Apart from the drawers, most of the furniture came from thrift stores. The dining table for two is actually a coffee table surface affixed to a separate base. Gemmell found most of his art pieces at Ransack The Universe, an antique store on Bloor West:

How a 51-year-old real estate agent lives in just over 200 square feet

Do you live in a tiny condo? We want to talk to you.


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