How the Gladstone Hotel’s marketing director lives in under 500 square feet

How the Gladstone Hotel’s marketing director lives in under 500 square feet

Tara McCallum, 29

Director of marketing and communications at the Gladstone Hotel

Where: Leslieville
How much: $375,000
How big: 450 square feet

Tara never wanted to live in a high rise, and she couldn’t afford a house in the city. She had resigned herself to being a renter for the foreseeable future—until last year, when her mother, a real estate agent, emailed her a listing for a condo in a three-storey, six-unit Leslieville building. The place was minuscule, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. At the very least, Tara figured it was unlikely that there would be a bidding war.

The idea of downsizing from her spacious rental near Logan and Queen, which she shared with a housemate, didn’t bother Tara. Even before she bought the condo, she had been fascinated with the ways people adapt to small living spaces. She loves to book Airbnb stays in tiny urban cabins when she travels.

There was only one problem: Tara has an auction addiction. Because of this, she has acquired a showroom’s worth of antique furniture. Luckily, her parents have a spacious basement, where she was able to store everything she loved too much to sell.

The condo’s exposed piping and French doors give it a rustic feel:


Tara’s building is the tallest on her block, so her rooftop deck is incredibly private:


A hand-woven hammock she picked up in Mexico acts as a room divider, visually separating the bedroom from the rest of studio. She has been thinking of draping off the bed area, but she’s reluctant to close off any space in her wee condo. When guests come over, they often pile onto her bed, which acts a second couch:


Every few months, she swaps her furniture out for pieces from her mom’s basement, to keep the interior decor from feeling stale, but this chaise longue from Cornerstone is a permanent fixture. It can double as a guest bed:


There’s only one closet in the unit, but it’s big enough for the stacked washer-dryer and all of her clothes and linens. She’s a big fan of stacking things to increase her storage space:


Tara’s grandfather gave her this trunk when she was 12 years old. She keeps all her maps, coins and trinkets from her various trips in here:


She loves this moody portrait by artist Byron Hodgins. She met him at work: he mans the Gladstone’s front desk.


The only thing Tara wishes she could change about her home is the height of the ceilings, which are barely nine feet tall. If she had more vertical space, she could have invested in a loft bed to free up some floor area.

She doesn’t plan to trade up to a larger space. “That is, unless I move out of the city,” she says. For now, she’s happy living here—though she’ll be happier when summer arrives, because her deck effectively doubles her living area.

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