I haven’t been on social media for a few months now. No I didn’t fall off the face of the earth, close to it though – I moved. For those of you who don’t know, I sold my house in Niagara and moved to Toronto. Big move – yea, in more ways than anyone could imagine!
It took 5 years of planning. The first year I purged all I could from the second floor of the house. I remember walking along the hardwood floors and it echoed – I did a good job. Next year I reorganized and purged the main floor of the house. It was a daunting task but liberating at the same time. Why do we collect so much stuff that we don’t need?
The third year I moved my focus into the basement and this is where I hit a brick wall. My basement is fully finished. I have 3 storage rooms filled with stuff, my son’s man cave, a bathroom, a few large closets and laundry room. The laundry room was upstairs but I moved it down when I needed more room for my stuff upstairs – aughhh. What’s more, I realized I took all the stuff I didn’t know what to do with from the top two floors and put them into the basement. I’m so clever about organizing and storing stuff. The basement absorbed this stuff like a sponge and it looked very neat and tidy, everything in its place.
Instead of working on the basement, I set my sights on the garage. It took an entire summer and I tackled it 6-feet at a time. I’d make trips to the dump, to the second hand store, friends came down and loaded their cars, I’d give things away and 6-feet by 6-feet I’d paint until the entire garage was cleaned up and reorganized. It looked fantastic – but I forgot about the attic!
So with a basement not addressed and a garage attic I was ignoring, I put my house up for sale. I’m happy to say a lovely couple from Toronto fell in love with it and bought it – I got someone who would look after the home I raised my family in. But the move was monumental! I’m so happy for my good neighbours who were arranging a garage sale for charity. What must they have thought as moving day got closer and I was arriving at their home with truckload after truckload of stuff? Goodwill had already turned me away because I was giving them too much – yea.
It broke my heart to give away part of my cookbook collection, I accumulated hundreds of classic white dish ware that had to go and when it came to kitchen stuff – omg, and to think I actually used it all! There was an entire culinary studio to liquidate, the sewing closet full of fabrics to give-away, the three wine cellars to deal with, a house full of artwork, dozens of vases, a collection of memorabilia from the kids childhood, five sets of lawn furniture and a garage attic full of stuff!
I could take none of this with me, I was moving to a beautiful, penthouse condo in downtown Toronto. While my new condo is 1,200 square feet in size, bigger than many bungalows in Niagara, it has no basement – no place to store stuff. So I rented a large storage locker in Niagara.
The move was as one wishes all moves to be – uneventful. We followed a small moving truck to Toronto and it was pretty quick and easy. We didn’t bring a lot, didn’t know what would fit and what wouldn’t but it didn’t really matter – all of our stuff was in the storage locker.
That was the beginning of July and as I write this it’s the middle of September. I just sold a few more things on Kijiji and my beautiful condo is filled with mismatched furniture. The outdoor cats are now indoors and the adjustment hasn’t been any easier on them than it has on us but for the first time I’m noticing, they have claws! Claws that are now being sharpened on my furniture instead of the trees outside!
Moving to Toronto was a big change for us and you’re probably asking why I would go to Toronto when everyone in Toronto is moving to Niagara. Well, one of the greatest dreams my husband and I have had was our lifelong dream to retire in Paris, France. So here we are, kids are grown and gone and while I don’t think either of us will ever retire, we are of retirement age so we thought we’d start to live our dreams before life got the better of us.
So, Paris this isn’t but Paris was a bit too drastic and unreasonable once we started to make a to-do list around the project. What was doable was Toronto. But Toronto had to have the romance as well as the big-city experience. So we bought in Old Town.
As I write this, I’m looking out at the Flat Iron Building, the St. Lawrence Market is to the left, the farmers’ market is to the right, all the buildings around me are two story, brown stone historic buildings surrounded with lots of mature trees, yet a few blocks away the skyscrapers begin and the site of them lighting up at night is stunning.
The Esplanade with its stretch of parks and fountains are a street behind and in between me and the waterfront. The Distillery District is a 5-block walk to the east. To the west is Younge Street and the Younge Dundas Square and the next block north is George Brown culinary school and King Street – the designer furniture district. Besides the St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market, I have 5 grocery stores either within sight or a few blocks away and everything I could ever want from fitness studios to hairdressers, cat groomers, gas stations, dry cleaners and more, are all within a few block radius – it’s remarkable! I now walk everywhere and yes, I have a little carriage I take for the heavy items like fresh watermelon or cases of water.
I’m absolutely LOVING Toronto! It’s a Toronto I never knew before. It’s filled with historical buildings I never noticed before I moved here and beautiful parks every few blocks. I’m still discovering the little alleyways filled with flowers and benches and the quaint restaurants where the locals eat. I’ve found a few new friends who have made it their mission to teach me how to live like a local. I think I’m in good hands.
For my condo, I’ve made a few decisions. I’ve decided to get rid of all my furniture! Yes, everything and I’ve hired an interior decorator to design a French Parisian condo. I now have the plans and I love it. My fall is going to be full of shopping and creating my little Parisian life in Toronto. Life doesn’t get any better.
I’m told it will take me a year to get settled after such a great move and I believe it. There is just too much to do to establish oneself and it goes so slowly. For Niagara, I drive by every so often and the house looks well loved. I’m so very happy for that. Niagara is absolutely beautiful and I enjoy my visits a lot, but interestingly enough I don’t miss it – at least not yet.
For now, life goes on. I’m off to Europe for 5 weeks so you’ll probably hear from me as I travel around discovering all the great food on the other side of the world – or maybe not. But don’t think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth because I’m really just trying to get myself grounded again.