I would die a happy death if I never had to enter an IKEA again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that you can buy a bed frame for a little over 100 bucks, and they have great storage ideas, but wandering the IKEA wonderland has exhausted me of all things Swedish. And our first week in Toronto included TWO trips to the big box store, of which there are two in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). All this to say, moving was exhausting, overwhelming and I’m glad it’s over.
The application process for our Canadian permits was daunting. I spent hours getting paperwork in order, requesting information from our banks, etc. We walked into the immigration office at the Sarnia/Port Huron border with an organized file folder packed with every piece of valuable information about ourselves one could have. We were fortunate to be helped by a really kind officer but when he simply thumbed through our paperwork and easily gave us access to enter Canada, we were irrationally irate. How dare you give us permits without reading every single last page of that application! It felt like spending months on a thesis for your hardest class and upon handing it in, your professor simply flips through a couple pages and gives you an A+. We wanted to earn our permits! We should have been thankful because we had friends who had a lot of trouble at the border and our frustration fizzled pretty quickly upon entering Ontario.
Walking into our new, tiny, one bedroom apartment, that took me all summer to find, after so much hard work and difficulty trying to find a place to live, was so relieving. Sure the floors were covered in rabbit excrement and needed to be scrubbed for 12 hours but they were our fecal covered floors and we couldn’t be more grateful. We live less than a block from two parks, the street car, two grocery stores and the amazing Queen Street, layered with amazing shops, bars and restaurants. According to a local blog, our neighborhood, Leslieville, is the hippest place to be. Although, there are plenty of Torontonians who would disagree with that.
Willow did not take the first week well. On top of getting in all FOUR of her bicuspids, she caught a virus and generally didn’t sleep that first week. Leaving her grandparents and uncle and moving into a tiny new space in a crazy city is hard for a toddler to adjust to. She found pleasure in helping us trying to build furniture, mopping the floors and dancing in the shower stalls at the Home Depot.
Toronto is so great you guys! We are falling more in love with it daily. On top of all the diverse and amazing things Toronto has to offer, we don’t get strange looks for bringing our daughter into a pub. In other words, parents in Toronto are really cool.
Our apartment is slowly but surely starting to feel like a home. I am feeling less awkward on my morning commute on the subway. Jazz is still trying to find a really great coffee shop. Willow really loves all the pigeons and street cars. So many people told me that everything would come together, the job, the permits, the apartment, and somehow, within a couple days, they did. And it’s strange, when you spend time praying and fretting about these things and you are for some reason surprised that your prayers are answered. Gratitude and trust in the Universe are heavy feelings in this house.