Thursday, May 22, 2014

My life in places: my first apartment

Yesterday, I introduced you to the first house I ever owned. A friend then reminded me of my first apartment ever. I thought it would be a nice addition to the list -- especially on Throwback Thursday!

My first apartment
My apartment building 


When I was 19, I moved out of my parent's home. I knew the only way to do that was to go to school in another city, so I transferred all my credits and went to Saskatoon.

I rented a tiny bachelor suite in a building that smelled like cat pee.

I have no idea how I rented the suite because I didn't see it until I got there with all my things, but there I was. My mom and I brought the family van packed to the gills with all the things I'd been collecting since I was 14 so I could move out.

You would think they starved and beat me, I was so desperate to move, but that wasn't the case.

My new apartment building was within walking distance from the University. I could walk through the park, across the longest bridge ever, and be at my class within 25 minutes. I made that walk no matter the temperature or time of day.

I was too scared to learn how to use the bus system.

I also washed my clothes in the bathtub because the basement laundry was too scary.

I don't like new things.


The building was 2 blocks from my cousin and his room mate as well as a half-way house. I didn't learn about the half-way house until I was already moved in for a month and I smartly did not tell my mother about it.

It would not have gone well.  The first night we moved in, my mother saw there was only a chain and a handle lock, so she slept between me and the door until the landlord could put a dead bolt in. I can imagine what she would have done if there were criminals next door.


The apartment was $210 a month (out of my $500/mo living allowance). At the time, I thought that was unreal. Now? I think it would go for at least $600, even with it's flaws (of which there were many.)

The front window was broken. It was one of the coldest winters that year, so I stuffed a sleeping bag in the window and duct taped it in place. It stayed like that until I moved that summer.  The heat was an old radiator in front of the window and I'm not sure who controlled it.

I can safely say it wasn't me. For the entire 10 months I lived there, the heat was full blast. I turned off all the knobs, but I'm pretty sure they didn't work any way. However, with the wind blasting through the window and the heat blasting from the rad, I think the temp evened out eventually.

My first layout

It was small, but I loved it. The kitchen was tiny, but I think I cooked twice that year anyway. You had to close the door to watch TV and it fit about 6 people in the room comfortably, but it was the first place I was solely responsible for.

Friends and neighbours

While it wasn't the place to be all the time, my small home did become a regular hangout for a few friends -- like the one who came to stay for a week and never moved out (Hi Carla!) It was just a place to be comfortable, hang out watching my 2 TV channels, and listen to my downstairs neighbours speak loudly in Chinese.

The day I moved out was the day I met my hall neighbour. I was carrying my last box into the hall when a tiny little woman peeked her head out of her doorway, squeaked, and slammed the door again.

She seemed nice.

Somewhere in the recesses of packed boxes, there is a photo album with pictures of this place. If I ever find it, I will have to scan them. Stupid technology.


  1. That's one way to stay on good footing with the neighbours: leave.

    1. Agreed! At least this way I never knew if I bothered them!

  2. I still feel guilty about you moving to Saskatoon. I encouraged it to the point of pushing; not to get rid of you but to start you on your own life. Moving to Saskatoon when I was 18 meant freedom to be me who ever that was because I didn't know.

    1. Don't feel bad, Dad!! You encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone. I get why you did it. When you were that age, you needed to escape. I needed to grow up! I don't regret it at all!

  3. Love the layout plan. That's awesome. I may have to go back and collect all my layouts somehow. Of which there are TOO many. ;)

    1. Janet, I created it from memory using Urban Barn's site. My brother says it was much smaller than this!


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