[tpm] country hacker, city hacker

J Z Tam jztam at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 4 07:26:46 PDT 2013

You'll get over your anxiety, the bright lights, hustle and bustle.  Give it 6 months. ;-)

Agreed, SSM to Toronto is a huge adjustment,  but just think of your adjustment if you had gotten a similar gig in Sudbury or Ottawa  ;-)  IOW,  you would still incur the moving expenses and an elevated cost of living until you find the sweet deals and freebies, and grow your social circles.  As a Plus, you are already warmly invited to a gig or two a month at the TPM meetings (last Thursday of the month, except October, on the 24th).

Apartment. The living accomodations will be your biggest expense, so decide if you are going to rent a Nice place to entertain guests, or a modest bachelor ... to eat, cook and sleep in.  Your pad should be safe, warm and comfy,  and reasonably priced for your budget, much the same as Ottawa selections ;-)  Hunt around, it's not easy but not impossible. Get a place within 30mins walk of your workplace, just in case you need to walk/bicycle/TTC.

Motor Vehicles.  Insurance and operating costs  more than  "free" in Toronto/Ottawa.  Leave all your insurance "registered" at your SSM addresses for  the rest of the year, until you are darn sure you are going to stay in Toronto.  Bring your car/bike back to Dad twice a year for preventative stuff;  and buy a CAA membership that covers motorbike towing.
Perhaps just mothball the car and keep the motorbike in Toronto, for the first year. 
Ask your Dad if you can store the car at his place, and quiesce the insurance on the car down to "Non-driving, Theft and Vandalism only" until you want to drive it again, BUT keep the insurance alive, just don't drive it without reinstating FULL insurance liability on it.  Depending on what motorbike/tires you are running, you could milk the riding season for up to 8 or 9 months of the year since it's a LOT warmer on the roads than up north. Then just bicycle or TTC (Take The Comet) everywhere. Taxis are for people with expense accounts.

Mechanics.  I do my own wrenching, for the easy Car stuff.  When I need air tools, I bring it to my mechanic at 111 Strachan Ave, about 25mins South of Wingold.  Hit me offlist for prolonged motorbike discussions.

Food and Drink.   Shop and cook once a week and freeze your meals,,, eat healthy for under $10/day.  However, It'll cost you about $15-$40/day to eat lunch and dinner OUT at reasonable restaurants (just like SSM), but I'm pretty sure the Wingold area is slim pickings for extreme meal deals... walk/bicycle  the neighbourhood to find out.. Booze is the same LCBO price all over Ontario. For nights out, Toronto's cheapest Pint is priced almost the same as SSM's ... think Casey's   or Gigi's, so find out the Cheapie Nights or BYOB.

As a young, employed man in Toronto, it should not be too hard to find the fun on a budget AND further your career.

 From: Adam Prime <adam.prime at utoronto.ca>
To: toronto-pm at pm.org 
Sent: Thursday, October 3, 2013 11:16:08 PM
Subject: Re: [tpm] country hacker, city hacker


(i haven't read any of the other replies, but i'm sending this as is anyway)

Moving from the Sault to Toronto is going to be a huge adjustment
without a doubt.  Rest assured though, that there are lots of people
that came from communities even smaller than where you grew up that have
moved to the city and thrived.  Theres a lot in your novel, so i'm just
going to address some highlights, at random

Getting around:
Transit in the city is safe.  The subway is pretty reliable. Surface
routes are generally reasonably reliable as well (meaning buses and
streetcars)  It's 3 bucks cash fare to go anywhere you can get to on
transit.  You can get a monthly pass for 125 or so, and there is a
federal tax break associated with those passes so you get some of that
money back.  There are *many* people that live in the city without any
vehicle at all, and are reliant on their feet, bicycles, and transit.
You are probably going to walk a lot.  Maybe more than you do now.
People in the city tend to do that, especially if they are on a budget.
I personally *hate* spending money on cabs.  Up where the office is
it's all buses, but they are buses that run pretty frequently

checkout viewit.ca to get an idea of what you're up against. I'm not at
all familiar with what it's like in that part of the city, but i think
you've got a blend of single family homes, possibly split up into
apartments, and big apartment buildings.  I've never lived in the
latter, and don't really ever want to.  That far north you're probably
not looking at $2000 a month.  You can probably find something nice not
that far from the office for around not too far over 1000/month

ie: http://viewit.ca/vwExpandView.aspx?Vit=141773

I wouldn't advise taking an apartment you haven't seen in person, no
matter how nice the pictures look. Also, parking for two vehicles may be
tough, unless your car is small and you can put the bike and the car in
a single spot.

You're probably going to end up eating a lot of money with the whole
resignation / moving thing.  Moving is expensive and there isn't really
any way to avoid it.  When i left my last job i left them with a list of
my contract work rates.  I billed them for a couple grand of work over
the next three or four months.  You might want to consider offering them
something like that.

You're exaggerating about the difference in prices of things i think.
The only place where that might be true is on restaurant food.  In my
experience small town restaurants charge nothing for massive meals.  My
advice would be to cook at home as much as possible ;)

About bike maintenance, you should start checking out forums about
whatever kind of bike it is you have.  It's pretty much guaranteed that
there are a huge number of bike nerds on the internet that live in
toronto and love nothing more than helping people wrench their bikes
when they need wrenching.  If you drove a rally car instead of a bike i
could introduce you to a bunch of exactly those kinds of people.

Hope that helps,


toronto-pm mailing list
toronto-pm at pm.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.pm.org/pipermail/toronto-pm/attachments/20131004/2da25be4/attachment.html>

More information about the toronto-pm mailing list