The Chase: Fed up with his housemate’s chinchilla, he went looking for a bachelor pad

The Chase: Fed up with his housemate’s chinchilla, he went looking for a bachelor pad

The renter: Mike Landry, a 28-year-old software developer.

The story: Mike moved to Toronto in the summer of 2016 and, after a couple short-term leases, ended up at a two-bedroom apartment in the Coffin Factory lofts. (Built in the late 1800s, the former factory at the corner of Niagara and Tecumseth was once owned by the National Casket Company, which churned out coffins until the early 1970s.) The apartment had 18-foot ceilings and a friendly housemate, plus it was a piece of Toronto heritage. Best of all, Mike’s half of the rent was just $760. Unfortunately, the place also came with his housemate’s chinchilla, Popsie. The rodent was cute, but it had an annoying habit of kicking the foul-smelling contents of its cage onto the concrete floor, which was difficult to clean. As a result, the apartment had a general veneer of grunginess about it. By early 2017, Mike was fed up with shared living. He was ready to forfeit his sweet pad for a bachelor apartment, so he set a budget of $1,300 and began shopping online for places south of Bloor, from Lansdowne to Spadina. Thanks to his month-to-month lease, he was in no rush to find a new home.

Option 1

A bachelor apartment at Augusta and Dundas, advertised for $900 per month

This place was in an alleyway off of Augusta Avenue, in Kensington Market. Mike liked the idea of living in such an exciting and walkable neighbourhood, but the ground-level apartment only had one tiny window, and it was hidden behind the fridge. He decided the location was worth it and expressed interest, which is when the landlord informed him that the rent was actually $1,000, which was $100 more than she’d advertised online. Still, Mike got a letter of employment from his boss and submitted an application. He never heard back.

Option 2

A one-bedroom condo at King and Portland, listed for $525,000

During his rental search, Mike toyed with the idea of investing in a property with his brother and dad. On a whim, they visited an open house at this King West building. The complex had a beautiful courtyard, with a long stone table perfect for summer entertaining. The unit itself was a bit small for the price, though, and it only came with one bedroom—not ideal for sharing with a sibling. While the idea of jumping into the housing market was tempting, Mike decided it was out of his price range for the moment.

The choice

A bachelor at Jameson and Leopold, advertised for $900

Mike stumbled across this Parkdale bachelor apartment on Bunz Home Zone, a Facebook group for renters. The apartment was initially advertised as an April lease, but was later switched to May. The other 40 or so people who’d commented on the Facebook post were thrown off, but Mike, with his flexible lease, was still interested. He visited the place a week later. It was small, but he liked the slanted ceilings and the big window overlooking Leopold Street. He got his paperwork together the next day and moved in on May 1.

Here’s the kitchen:

The living area:

And the sleeping area:

The Hunt