Chez Moi

A June dawn in 2007: Is this one of the best views in town? Yes, yes it is.

July dawn

A cold, blistery New Years Day

Behind those trees lies the posh nabe of Rosedale

Building on the left is Manulife & to the right (in black) is Unilever

Gorgeous June sunset, 9pm'ish

Street level lobby

Sconce in the street level lobby

Lobby #2

Lobby #2: opposite end of the hall

The facade shot at a cool angle

Loving the way the light filters through the curtains

My humble abode :)

"The three most important things about real estate is location, location, location."

I live chez moi, located close to Bloor & Yonge, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. I feel fortunate to be here & I always say that when I move, I'll miss the fantastic views the most.

The condos sit above Bally's Fitness Club & beneath that is The Bay (store) & the Hudson's Bay Centre (a retail concourse). Through the concourse, you can walk straight into the Bloor-Yonge Subway or continue underground to The Holt Renfrew Centre (25 stores at 50 Bloor W.,including the high-end Holt Renfrew) & the Manulife Centre (more stores - not the office building in my pics) at 55 Bloor W.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that it's hard as hell to hang on to my money in this neighbourhood. I pretty much do all of my shopping within a 1 block radius of where I live. Outside, there's Guess, H&M & Le Chateau for (most of) my clothing needs, restos & eateries galore, the infamous Brass Rail (strip) Club, the seedier side of Yonge Street as you head south towards Wellesley & its uppercrust version as you head north to Rosedale & Summerhill.

If you take a stroll west of Yonge along Bloor St., don't forget your Platinum Card or you'll have to content yourself with window shopping at Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Escada, Swarovski Crystal, Holt Renfrew (with their eye-catching window displays) etc. Hey, it's what I do when I walk by, so rest assured you'll be in good company.

(On a side note, there was objection by the jewel-encrusted "label whores" when Winners moved into this part of town. If you're in the States, think Target but with discounted Nine West goods & the like. Winners is popular, just not with the hoity-toity crowd.)

About a 15-minute walk from Bloor & Yonge is Whole Foods, my salvation amongst a sea of deep-fried goodies & burning garlic (I've sworn off the junk food, I swear). It's located in the once hip, then posh, now totally under construction & soon-to-be-even-more-gastronomically-expensive neighbourhood of Yorkville (more on this in a future post).

Do I love living here? Yes. Is it noisy & chaotic? Oh hell yeah, & I wouldn't have it any other way. What can I say? I love the vibe of city life. It hustles & bustles during the day & bares its fangs at night if you're not self-aware & on-the-ball.

I've heard complaints that Toronto's too quiet, especially compared to Montreal & New York. Well, so be it. I like a level of chaos I can handle - I don't want to feel buried under it or overwhelmed by it. And besides, every town has its plusses & minuses.
Personally speaking, I think T.O. (as we sometimes call it) is a bit too reserved & conservative. But if the trade-off is a cleaner subway system, a level of politeness you take for granted as a native dweller, less gun violence (although that's changing) & fewer vermin (I'm looking at you, New York, with your cat-sized rats & roaches as household pets), then I'll take it hands down over any other alternative.

This may be why I've been reluctant to renew my passport. I've been to other countries which were nice, but none of them felt like home. Of course, if I live abroad for at least a year, I might change my tune. But why would I want to when everything I need is right here?