Places I’ve Lived: Sketchy Landlords, an Attic and a Hundred-Year-Old House

Tuxedo Park, Calgary, AB – $485/month (1999-2001) A month after graduating high school, I moved out of my parents’ home and bounced around for half a year before I found this apartment on Calgary’s Centre Street. I sublet a room in a house with five other girls, which was awful and lasted a month. I rented a room in a kitchen-less basement with my cousin, which was even more awful and lasted only two months. I had my own basement suite in a house with a snoopy landlady that snuck in and rifled through my closet. But this, my first real apartment, was perfect! It was a simple one-bedroom (bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bath) in a small 12-suite apartment complex I found in the newspaper’s classifieds. It was on a main street that was close to everything I loved: my family, my boyfriend, my job, my friends, everything.

I loved living alone and this was the perfect starter apartment for a 19-year-old. The building manager was awesome and even once drove over to let me back into my suite after I locked myself out when I’d gone downstairs to grab my laundry, leaving me sitting sadly in the hallway wearing my pajamas until he showed up. And the other tenants were either helpful (giving my car jumpstarts when I’d forget to plug it in overnight in winter) or invisible. I still miss this place.