the perfect place

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.

25 elmwood
the perfect place?


Anonymous said...

Nice find. I know the area - one of the rare great places in the near-but-not-directly-in-TO area.

You're right about Mississauga - square one and nothing else but residential sprawl. A circle of suburbia with a mall at its centre. Ugh.

Long Branch and Clarkson are OK - stay away from Oakville unless you have no other choice. People head there when they retire from years of apartment life and look for a house to settle in so the grandkids can visit something outside the city. I sarcastically exagerrate there a bit, of course (what else would you expect?), but it is a bit of a dead place ... really nothing to do there but exist in Middle Suburbia, as I call it.

Hope Port Credit works out for you. I give you credit on the find.

(bet you were wondering how long it would be before someone grabbed that cheesey pun) :-)

Crabbi said...

Wow, what a great house! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Sass said...

House-hunting is such a huge pain in the ass, may everything be easy and painless for you.

laura k said...

Thanks guys!!

I keep thinking, what's wrong with this place, will the bathroom be a pit or the walls be crawling with mold?

Then again, I'd forgive a lot for this amazing location. We are talking steps from the lake and a a 5-minute walk from the train station.

G, one of my longtime readers (who comments occasionally) lives in Oakville. We'll see if she responds. :-)

"bet you were wondering how long it would be before someone grabbed that cheesey pun) :-) "

Ack! :-) I hadn't even thought of it. And cheesey pun is my middle name. Yes, it's true: my full name is L Cheesey Pun Girl.

Anonymous said...

You're referring to another "G", right? (hope so because I am a 'he' last I checked ... just a sec ... yep, definitely a 'he')


PS I would die a painful death of boredom if I ever lived in Oakville ... I shouldn't knock it so hard but it's just not the place for an action-seeker such as me-self.

laura k said...

Ah-ha. That sentence was just addressed to you. Translation: To G, I am informing you that another long-time reader, whose identity I am not revealing, lives in Oakville, and we'll see if she responds...

But your gender is somewhat ambiguous online, and you've just outed yourself. :)

Anonymous said...

No problem with that.

Wording is tricky, isn't it? Moment of brain-lapse when reading the comment.

Oh well ... time for another java methinks. :-)

zydeco fish said...

Port Credit, I know very little about. I was there once, but I think I had my eyes closed, or something. I have to live downtown Toronto, having fled small town Ontario. If I ever move again, it will be to Manhattan or LA. Seriously.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Wow it does look perfect.

As for the credit check, I think I mentioned that you might actually not have a credit record in Canada. Things are different now though, in the 80's all credit checks were done through a non profit credit union. But now we use TransUnion and Equifax which are also two of the 3 big American credit rators.

Anyway, I'd recommend calling either TransUnion or Equifax and ask about that as soon as possible. If the answer is that you have no history in Canada, then I'd suggest opening up a low-limit credit card from a Canadian bank even before you move up.

laura k said...

"I have to live downtown Toronto, having fled small town Ontario. If I ever move again, it will be to Manhattan or LA. Seriously."

I understand completely - I was like that for more than 20 years. Allan fled northern Vermont and I fled the suburbs, and I absolutely had to live in NYC, it was the only place I could live.

It's only after 22 years here that I can tear myself away, and only with heartache and reluctance.

However, with two dogs, a lot of stuff, and having grown into homebodies over the years, we want space - a house. We couldn't afford that in downtown Toronto.

Port Credit seems like a fantastic compromise.

Kyle, thanks for that. The landlord knows we're American, I think he's going to do a credit check on our current status here.

barefoot hiker said...

Nice work, Laura. Congrats! Port Credit's one of those little gems. I wouldn't mind living there myself. But I'm a longtime 905er stuck in 416, after all. :)

Stephen said...

hmm, lived in Oakville, too.