Another year has gone by and an eventful one for me. I have kept the weight off but need to lose more, am (mostly) staying on a Paleo diet but need to exercise more. I am still getting around OK with my arthritis but it is getting harder to look after my condo. So, after 18 years here, I have made the decision to sell and move in March or April to a brand new seniors’ rental building, the Sumach, currently under construction.
I still have 7 years to go on my mortgage, have been unable to pay it off earlier. At my age it makes sense to sell while the condo prices are so high, invest some sale proceeds, have a nest egg for my future health needs instead of living month to month with no emergency funds for future appliance or plumbing repairs. Instead, I can rent worry free where my monthly expenses will be somewhat less than at this condo, in a new building with more services.
Only a few minutes from where I live now, the Sumach is a new concept in Ontario, for younger active seniors. Instead of the usual avg. age of 85 years old at the extremely expensive full service senior residences, the avg. age of people moving into the Sumach is 65-70. Since I am 70, I will fit right in. This is independent living with amenities and some a la carte extras. We can age in place with more services added as time goes on. I am going from a dark 642 sq ft one bedroom+den condo with no balcony and a view of the next door condo’s wall, to a sunny 463 sq ft studio apt. with a balcony and open view of Toronto skyline and sunsets. With a separate bedroom area, large bathroom with walk-in shower, and an open plan 13.5’ x17’ kitchen-dining-living room space. Once-a-month housekeeping is included. I can only do limited cleaning with my arthritis these days so that will be a big help plus incentive to keep my little apt. tidy. There is a resident’s dining room with lunch and/or dinner meal plans, but for now I will eat there occas. and make most meals at home.
Another reason to move is that this summer I tripped in here, hitting the corner of the wall hard on my way down and fracturing my collarbone. I could not get up with that hurt arm and my arthritis in knees and back. Luckily I was able to grab my purse, shimmy on my backside out into the condo corridor, and call 911 on my cell. Better to live at the Sumach with a medical alert system and staff who would arrange home-care help if I needed it.
The Regent Park area is being modeled after where I live now, the successful St. Lawrence Market community, a collection of mixed income housing with a variety of condos, townhouses, co-ops and affordable rental housing. The new Regent Park planned community has park areas and open space between the buildings, many free activities and youth programs for its residents. AND free painting classes for seniors like me in their art centre! Other free senior craft and exercise classes are offered at the new community centre. There’s a drugstore, grocery store, and coffee shop nearby. Just north are more shops and cafes, streets of pretty renovated Victorian homes, and an extensive Victorian glass greenhouse with rooms of seasonal and exotic plants.
Unlike my condo, where there are few opportunities or a gathering place to socialize, the Sumach will have a library, gym, small theatre, pub, and large rooftop patio. There will be various planned activities, for sure a book club and gardening club to start. I’ll continue my painting and photography, look forward to growing flowers and herbs on my balcony! I am basically a solitary person but also like opportunities to socialize. I have made friends here but my three best friends have moved elsewhere, while a younger demographic is moving in. Time for a change, and I have one friend here who is also moving to the Sumach. I enjoyed living here when I walked to work but now that I am here all the time it feels dark and claustrophobic with no open view and only a bit of morning sun. In recent years there is more and more traffic congestion and gridlock and tour buses on the busy street outside the door in this historic downtown tourist area. The Sumach is on a quiet side street. I won’t need to go outside on hot humid summers and in the icy winter, to find things to do or to socialize.
Meanwhile I am slowly sorting out my junk and thinking about my move. That’s a good reason to finally declutter! I have a real estate agent who specializes in senior moves so I am in good hands, and will have extra help if needed. Still, this all seems like a dream moving to such a nice place, a new beginning!
Wishing all my Spark friends an enjoyable and healthy fall and winter season!!