Life at The Carlaw

carlaw outside

Finally, after 3.5 years I’m “home”

I moved into my new condo in Leslieville’s The Carlaw on July 24, 2015. Buying a condo, especially a pre build is scary, you hope the builder will deliver and your investment will grow in the three plus years it takes to rise from the ground. This was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken.

For the most part I’m happy with Streetcar Developments.

They put a big white bow on my door and welcomed me home with a nice little cutting board with their logo on it.


The contacts in the customer care office are helpful, even though they look like their heads are to about explode as they juggle the scores of people moving in.

It’s a whole other experience when you come from a larger space in a retro building with a killer view of the skyline, especially when you are forced to move in before the structure is complete.

When you see another person it’s like a scene from The Walking Dead

walking dead

It’s usually when the elevator door opens. There they are, laden with supplies and personal items, assuring you you are not alone.

It’s also a bit like Armageddon, there are building materials everywhere, bare walls, and multiple concrete stair ways and corridors that will take awhile to navigate and figure out.

We are growing floor by floor.

I’m on the second floor so me and my neighbors moved in first.


On my first foray out of the parking lot I got locked in a stairwell

I exited from a door I thought would bring me into the building, instead it was a stairwell to the outside. The heavy door slammed and locked behind me.

I only had my fob which was not activated, and of course as Murphy would have it, I was desperate to get to the bathroom. I found a door that stated in big red letters ” Do Not Enter, Construction Zone!” I tried the door and it opened.


Yeah, not quite, the stairs had just been painted and were tacky enough to almost pull my shoes off. I left tell tale toe prints as I sprinted up the stairs and through the courtyard.

I paid an extra $25,000 for the “convenience” of indoor parking

For now I park on the main level which is designated for visitors and future retail patrons because the spot they assigned me is in the farthest corner by the very stairs that trapped me. These stairs, I discovered, lead to the town homes.

Why give me that spot?

I don’t have an answer. I contacted my lawyer about switching. Since parking spots are considered real estate that would involve selling, lawyers, and mucho dollars. The condo hasn’t registered yet so I’m hoping that my clone, or someone equally as reasonable will be in charge and say,” no problem, we’ll just change the number on a piece of paper and give your spot to someone who lives in the town homes.”

I highly doubt it will be that easy. I can be, it’s a simple thing, but where’s the fun in that?

These sorts of things make my head explode.

Update: After posting this I got a call from Customer Care and my parking situation was rectified to my satisfaction.

The bathroom didn’t even come with a toilet paper holder or towel rack

There is a mirror on the wall, it’s about two inches thick, it looks like a medicine cabinet but it’s not. Why? Who the eff knows, that would make too much sense. I guess it’s because of the ambient lights that illuminate from the top and bottom. Pretty, but I’d rather have a space for my toiletries.

medicine cabinet
Fake medicine cabinet

I opted for the shower instead of the tub based on the designer’s suggestion related to resale value. The shower is the size of a tub area, it has a lovely glass wall that covers about 2/3 of the space, but no door. Call me crazy but I kinda assumed a door would be included.

If I want to add a door it’s considered an upgrade and of course costs close to $1,000 when you add taxes. I was not told about this when I picked my finishes, I would have gone with the tub had I known.

I’m not a little girl, I have big boobs and curvy curves. Water tends to bounce off me so now I have a super absorbent bath mat outside the shower opening.


Update: One of the Carlaw residents organized a bulk shower door installation for a fraction of the price. Now several of us have shower doors.


The biggest mind boggle is the turning on of the shower

You know how with a normal shower/tub combo you can adjust the water to your liking and then pull up the plunger thing and activate the shower? Well, in this case I have to get in the shower, turn the shower head to the wall, crank the dial to where I think it’s good, jump out and then stick my hand in and test the water. If it’s wrong I have to climb back in and quickly adjust it.

Gymnastics has never been my strong suit.

I emailed my customer care rep about that, she got back to me with, “that’s how they all are now”.

When indoor plumbing arrived in the 30’s they figured that part out, it should stay that way, you know, like round wheels. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

The balcony comes with a gas hook up for a BBQ


Super excited about that. First thing I bought before moving in was a gas BBQ. Since gas can blow up entire blocks I was not comfortable about hooking it up myself. I was shocked to find out that Streetcar didn’t have a lead on a tradesmen allocated to do this.

We are cautioned to only have white or off white window coverings, but anyone can have a few beers, slap the hose on the gas outlet and….

I got one of the construction guys to help me out. So far so good.

I can usually unpack a place in two days max

I’m still surrounded by boxes because apparently people who live in “modern” condos don’t have much more than a tin cup, tooth brush, and change of underwear. I have no space to put anything. My kitchen has four useful overhead cupboards and three drawers, one of which is the deep pots and pans type. I open a box, make a quick determination of the importance of it’s contents, re pack it and put in the Value Village corner.

Fortunately I have a friend who is a designer/builder and we are trading dog walking for her creative ideas and ability to use a drill. She is up and coming and awesome. If you need stuff done and don’t want to pay established prices, Jennie is your girl. I affectionately refer to her as Jennie on the Job. Comment below if you want her info.

Aside from the discrepancies I kinda love my little section of The Carlaw

This is  the first place I’ve owned all by myself without a husband.

Besides, if I’m going to fulfill my plans of living in a camper while I drive across North America, I need to get used to surviving with a tin cup, toothbrush, and change of underwear.


If you or someone you know are moving in, check out The Carlaw Community Facebook page


3 thoughts on “Life at The Carlaw”

  1. Great narrative on an all too familiar theme Kelly. I’m sure most everyone in your shoes (moving to a newly built condo) can relate. The humorous spice that’s laced throughout your piece speaks to your tolerance; you’ll need to maintain that. The deficiencies and inconveniences you are enduring are sure to continue. As with any builder, this is no “Streetcar” named desire…nyuk, nyuk.

    In any event, I wish you the best of luck in your new digs. With your humorous disposition, I’m sure it’ll all work out.

    James in London

  2. So cute!
    Lovely post, just enough funny to make us wish we were all so tolerant of the little “quirks” of the world. lol
    Did you make it to the washroom? 😉
    Also, yes, I would like this Jenny’s contact info. Moving soon and will need some help.

Thanks for reading. I'd love to know your thoughts.