In the midst of the horror that is Haiti and the mounting disgust that Canadians are demonstrating towards Stevie the Spiteful, a diversion/update of a personal sort.
Remember back in March I got evicted?
Then in July, it looked like I was going to get evicted from my temporary sanctuary. Mercifully, that was 'all a big mistake' -- on the bloody landlord's part -- so, never mind.
It was always my intention to return to my apartment when the renovations 'so extensive as to require vacant possession' (terms the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act uses) were complete. Two of the other three tenants who fought the eviction intended to return as well.
We pay the same rent as before -- the big incentive -- but are subject to an Above Guideline Increase sometime in the future.
The 'extensive' work that needed to be done was in two areas: new heating system and new wiring. Because the legal fight was dragging into the fall of 2008, the heating was completed with us in residence.
In the vacant units, the renovations really were extensive -- totally gutting the places exposing groovy brick walls. Old hardwood flooring was torn up and replaced with some petroleum-based shite.
The floorplans were redesigned. Units like mine -- one bedroom -- had the largish living room turned into living-kitchen, kitchen turned into 'den'. All new windows, appliances, and fixtures -- replacing sash windows with mingy modern jobbies, gas stoves with electric, and claw-foot tubs with plastic.
In other words, YUCK!
Throughout our banishment, we kept trying to find out when we could return.
Then, in September, we got the word. The other two could return on December 1. For me, ringleader and senior shit-disturber, return date was January 1. (That'll show me!)
The smarter of the other two called to tell me that her place had NOT be gutted, NOT been rearranged, and the gas stove and old tub were still there.
'So what's changed?' I asked.
'I've got several more electrical outlets', she said. 'And it's been painted. You'll never guess what colour.'
The fucking landlord had taken eight months to fish new wiring through the walls -- exactly as we had argued was possible with us in residence at the Landlord-Tenant Board hearings -- and paint.
But what of my place?
I found out on January 1. Just like my neighbour's, all the same but for outlets and paint -- but my place (smaller, mind) took an additional month.
So, I'm back. And very happy about it.
I'm looking forward to running into landlord and grinning at him. 'You didn't fuck my place up!'
I was going to host a virtual housewarming party, but then all the excitement over the anti-prorogue demonstrations and all the misery in Haiti scotched that notion.
(UNPAID ADVERTISEMENT: I used professional movers. They were absolutely fabulous -- reasonably priced and fast. A wine glass was broken and the world's ugliest ashtray got chipped, but that might be down to me and the unprofessional move out of here. The guy actually called me the night before the move to reassure me that all was well. If anybody in Toronto needs a mover, email me and I'll give you his number.)