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Is this where we are going?

By Robert Hof

I found an article in an old National Post dated December of last year. It really made me think. Yes, it’s about Vancouver and they’re all a bit crazy there (sorry!) – but then, maybe they are just a bit ahead of us here in Ontario. Maybe it will happen here too! Certainly it’s true that condo apartments are getting smaller and smaller but there has to be a limit – hasn’t there? Already we are looking at apartments under 500 square feet and of course we can understand the reasons that people are buying them. Smaller price tags, less condo fees and utilities. It offers a way to break into the market for young professionals, especially those living alone, working downtown. Just a place to rest their heads and grab a quick shower. But I wonder how many would be willing to shoe-horn themselves into a space like the one described below. The apartment described is actually a rental but if they can build it to rent, they can build it to sell! I’d welcome a comment from you, my readers!

Micro-living: Canada’s smallest apartment the size of a walk-in closet

Extracted from an article in The National Post by   Dec 21, 2011

Richard Lam

Andrea Wong, relaxes on her pull-down Murphy bed in her 291-square-foot apartment.

Need to declutter your home and silence that inner voice egging you on to buy more stuff? Don’t risk the producers of Hoarders showing up on your doorstep. Down-size to a 226-square-foot apartment in Vancouver.

This clean-lined apartment is just 247 square feet. The city known for expensive real estate has unveiled the smallest self-contained rental suites in the country — just 226 to 291 square feet — renting for about $850 per month, including cable and Internet. Location comes with a price tag, of course. When the bed is up and away, the table comes out. Handy! All in 237 square feet.

The tenants, most 25- to 35-year-old working professionals, say they appreciate the chance to live in the historical downtown core, even if it means sacrificing on space. “It doesn’t feel that small,” Lia Cosco says of her top-floor corner suite with three large windows, “a ton of exposed brick, and a beautiful view of the North Shore Mountains.”

Unit bathrooms are compact. There’s a drain in the floor in case water from the shower sprays beyond the stall.

All suites in the five-floor building have space-efficient design, including flat screen TVs, compact appliances — a dishwasher, but no oven — and built-in pull-down wall beds with integrated folding tables. Put up the bed in the morning and fold out the table. unit comes furnished with a sofa, chairs and coffee table.

Cosco calls it a “cosy nook.” She walks five minutes to work, and says she would have paid the same price or more for 400 square feet in a neighbourhood much further from work. This is the first time she’s been able to afford her own apartment. “It’s the price for space allocation in the neighbourhood. When people say Vancouver is too bloody expensive, well it is.”

The downside? There’s a microwave and stove-top elements but no oven, no bathtub and the windows are not double-paned, so noise can be a problem with buses going by and people getting loud during the night, Cosco says. “It’s not forever, but it’s great for right now.”

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