The Perfect Place, if and when we find it, will be in Port Credit.
We found Port Credit completely by accident on our first trip to Toronto. We were driving in from Buffalo, got hungry, saw an exit sign and pulled off the highway, had lunch at a pub. The town looked so nice, and from that we got the mistaken impression that the Toronto suburbs were all cute little towns.
Only after further exploring did we find out that Port Credit is fairly unique in Mississauga, having been an actual town before it was subsumed into the larger sprawl. The other areas of Mississauga we saw, though they seemed very nice, lacked that. The "town center" is a big mall.
After a series of coincidences kept taking us back there, I said, that's it, we have to live here.
We're definitely not moving to downtown Toronto, but what I would miss most in the urban/suburban trade-off is the "urban village" - the main drag with shops and restaurants, where you don't have to drive to every single thing you need, where there's some little street life. Port Credit has that.
The other major selling point for us is the public transportation. Upon examining GO train schedules more closely, we were shocked to see that most lines only have weekday rush hour service, and only in the standard rush-hour direction (to the city in a.m., to the suburbs in the p.m.). We are very much hoping to work nontraditional hours, as we do now. If we lived in Meadowvale, for example, it would be very inconvenient.
The Lakeshore line seems to be full-service. Though it doesn't run often, at least it runs all day and on weekends. It's also much closer: Port Credit is only 20 minutes out of downtown.
So, first choice Port Credit. Second choice, other stops on the Lakeshore line: Long Branch, Clarkson or Oakville.
The Perfect Place has three bedrooms, so we can each have our own office, and a little yard, no matter how tiny.
If we're going to be super-perfect, it has a fireplace, but that's pushing it. Location is more important.
So. We already know that very few houses become available for rent in this location in our price range. We're on a realtor's list, and although he does get things with our specs - before we heard from Immigration, so we couldn't actually take any of them - they are very infrequent. I think the last one was in March. And I never see houses in Port Credit advertised in the Star.
Until this weekend.
There it was: PORT Credit - 3 bedroom house, large lot, near lake, near GO, July 1.
I spoke to the landlord this morning. He sent some photos and we looked up the address in our trusty map book.
It's a detached house (not a townhouse) on a large lot, steps from the lake and a five-minute walk from the GO station. The current tenant's lease is up July 1, but she'd like to stay til August 1. Our lease is up September 1, and our security deposit covers our last month rent. Too, too perfect.
Can't work. Too easy!
The landlord is going to run a credit check, and we'll go up to see it when he's done, probably next week.
Allan feels we're moving too quickly, but based on a year and a half of looking through Star classifieds, plus the realtor's emails, I know this is a rare opportunity.