Lucky Number 3: Downtown Living
Today’s blog post is slightly momentous (aren’t they all?) as I’m writing it from the living room of apartment number three. Last week we packed up our worldly goods for the fourth time in 10 months and moved across the bridge to Downtown Vancouver. It turns out I’m building quite the collection of ‘stuff’ as our belongings have gone from filling three suitcases to filling a Ford Escape SUV. With the seats down. This, however, is of little importance to me because we have a walk in closet and a storage locker in the basement, which means I’m allowed to collect all the rubbish I like. So there.
Anyway, on with the apartment itself. So we’re living in the heart of Downtown, just around the corner from the main intersection of Robson and Burrard. We’re on the top floor of a seven storey building, and we have a balcony that looks out at a number of apartment buildings and offices. We’re less than a minute’s walk from a supermarket, a Starbucks, a pub and a Cineplex, and we can see into our gym from the living room (now that’s motivation). Most importantly, we’re less than three blocks from the SkyTrain station, which means our office move at the end of the month will slash my morning commute to approximately fifteen minutes. Oh yes.
The apartment itself is really, really lovely. Although I’m going to miss living in our beloved beachside community of Kits, I won’t miss old buildings with water issues and broken elevators. Our new building isn’t super new, but the apartment is very recently refurbished with a brand new kitchen and bathroom. The last lick of paint went on the ceiling the day we moved in, and it’s so exciting to be living in a new and modern environment. It’s a one bedroom, but the open plan living/kitchen area means that it still feels spacious, and it’s great to finally have a dining table with actual chairs!
The apartment was available for the same price furnished or unfurnished, so we obviously went for the furnished option. We made the best choice as our landlord went out of his way to make sure we have everything we need to be comfortable here, from a coffee machine to candles. We’re paying slightly more rent than we have been before, but it’s still an absolute bargain for the area and is worth every penny.
We’ve also had to set up utilities ourselves for the first time, which luckily wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. Electricity (including heating) is controlled by the province in Canada, so BC Hydro is the only supplier in BC. Cable and internet on the other hand are a little trickier to navigate, as there a number of both cable and satellite television, and no-one has the monopoly that Sky do in the UK. Nevertheless, we shopped around and as of today we have working internet and finally, FINALLY have cable for the first time in Canada. Complete with PVR.
We still have some work to do and a few bits and bobs to buy (matches, a cheese grater…), but we’re settling in well and our loving our first taste of Downtown living. We’re in the centre of everything just in time for the winter weather to kick in, and the beach is only a 20 minute walk if the sun does decide to shine. I mentioned that this blog post was momentous, and indeed it is. We took a deep breath, signed a one year lease and handed 12 post dated cheques to our landlord before we moved in. This means that we’re officially tied to Vancouver until September 30th 2012, which is absolutely fine by me.