Party for one
After four years of living with housemates, I felt it was the right time to leave the comfort of effortless socialization and start living on my own in Montreal.
While my main concerns heading into this were the lack of interaction and not being able to make friends, I spent the first four months here subletting and living with some McGill folks who have become my BOYS, and committed to finding a place near the McGill ghetto where they lived to stay close by. I addressed those concerns the best I could leading up to the move. Two weeks of apartment hunting in August led to me finding my current studio - a comfy 1 1/2 with rent less than $950/month, all-inclusive. The place is <5 mins walk away from McGill station, and move-in day was September 1st.
I was super excited about the following perks of riding solo:
walking around in my underwear
full control of the washroom
full control of the fridge and kitchen
full control of the noise level and music
full control of the temperature
full control of the furniture and decor
Honestly, it’s as good as it sounds. (The list above is either really inspiring… or underwhelming LOL)
I’ve spent the past three years living in the most noise-prone bedroom and I’m grateful for the fact that I can finally choose ‘peace and quiet’ as an option for ambience. I’m a big fan.
I also got exposed to some interesting experiences along the way.
The long ride home
On August 30th I picked up my mattress from the Purolator shipping centre (I unfortunately wasn’t home when they tried delivering at my place a few days earlier). I got off work early and thought it’d be a great idea to grab a BIXI and bike there and then take an Uber back with the mattress. It was a long and scenic commute heading west of the island:
And so I did it. The only problem? There wasn’t any BIXI station nearby to dock my bike, and I wasn’t going to ask an Uber to carry BOTH my bike and a mattress…
I honestly just wanted to save money for an Uber for the trip to get to Purolator, though I ended up having to get one for the whole fiasco anyways. I eventually brought the mattress back though!
My new housemates (…)
I’ve been facing an ant problem at my new home. While the ants I’m dealing with are apparently not dangerous, they’re annoying and not paying the rent. I’ve seen them everywhere - the bed, my desk, the washroom, and especially the kitchen. It’s gotten to the point where I put my Clif bars and cookies in the fridge. Some of them even followed me to work by hiding in my laptop one time…
However, it’s been a lot better now. I bought ant bait at Rona and my superintendant gave me an extinguishing spray to defeat the cheeky buggers, and it looks like they’re starting to leave me alone.
Take my money
There’s something to buy. All. The. Time. On the first day, I realized my whole life was on display to my neighbours because there was no curtain (nor a rod). Cue a trip to Canadian Tire. I was also very spoiled when I was living with housemates - they had a stellar selection of seasoning that I was leeching off of. Three cooking oils, seven marinades and 20 cooking utensils later, and now I’m lost in the sauce. And after one whole month, I have all my living essentials, but now I need to spice things up and make my studio ‘me’ (AKA I need a poker table).
It doesn’t end and it’s been harder to save, but I’m not complaining too much at the moment. Overall I’m purchasing with a sense of purpose and ownership, and I’m taking full control of the way I want to live.
The verdict so far? Living alone is great, and I’ve set my situation up so that I’m still close to my housemates. While I’m paying more for rent, Montreal’s lower rent (and cost of living overall) has made it easier for me to adjust and adhere to my budget and financial goals. You really be on your own when it comes to the problems you face though.
I’m feeling a decent 9 on living alone.