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Both Me and my fiancé, Claire came here to Toronto, Canada as international students in August of 2019 and it took us almost three (3) years before we got to move to a place that we can call our own. Looking for a place to rent that is comfortable and safe for both of us is quite hard as we don’t have enough credibility built yet, like credit checks, references, etc… With all these requirements needed, we don’t have the luxury to choose but we were so lucky to find a very kindhearted woman that accepted us and allowed us to rent her basement apartment unit located at a very convenient location near Yonge and Finch. The basement is already fully furnished so all we have to do is move in.


Even though we haven’t explored much of the location yet, we immediately loved it as it is very accessible to daily necessities like the grocery store, and bus stops, especially the subway station at Finch station which is just a walk away from our place. We were also lucky to have a nearby public park that motivated us both to learn how to play tennis and for times that we just wanted to relax, we just went to the park and have a picnic date with home-cooked food.

Yonge & Finch is also filled with lots of restaurant options and with our frequent Korean food cravings, it just couldn’t get any better than having two (2) Daldongnae Korean BBQ branches near our place and so many other Korean restaurants that we’ve tried. As much as we love cooking and preparing our food at home, there are times that we just couldn’t resist all these food temptations nearby; and for a Filipino couple away from home just like us, who wouldn’t love walking to the famous Jollibee restaurant for a box of fries at Centerpoint Mall?

Claire, was studying at Seneca College at King campus and I was at Humber College Lakeshore campus, both located in opposite directions, North and South. For more than two years, we endured almost four (4) hours of the daily commute to and from our schools/work; and Claire is not a fan of the cold weather either so you can only imagine her stress of waiting at the bus stop for 10-15 minutes in a -20°C winter. Even with all these difficulties, we both enjoyed everything as these are all part of our independent living here in Canada.

We stayed in our basement apartment for more than two (2) years and we honestly enjoyed our stay regardless of the lack of natural light, limited space to host gatherings with our friends, and shoveling the thick layers of snow during winters. We loved our stay because we had the kindest landlord we could have ever asked for but sometimes, anything good has to end at some point.

When Claire got her Canadian Nursing License and was accepted at the Humber River Hospital, we decided that we have to move somewhere close to her workplace as I can no longer imagine her taking an hour-long bus ride to the hospital and then working for a 12-hour shift. After weeks of looking for a place, scheduling viewings, and agent appointments, we finally found a place that ticks all the boxes we have listed. This time, we get to choose and pick what is best for us.

We applied for it, got approved, and finally, with the help of our closest friends we moved on May 1st this year. For more than two years, we rented a fully furnished basement apartment so all we brought when we moved in was basically just our clothes and some other things we’ve bought over those past two years to which the biggest is my desktop setup. The good thing is that we got approved a week before the move-in date so Claire and I already planned what we wanted our place to look like. We took all the measurements from our new place and I sketched how I thought would look nice for the interior which Claire liked and approved after a long discussion and a few arguments (lol).


For the entire week before the move-in date, Claire and I shopped for the three (3) basic pieces of furniture we needed, the couch, dining set, and the bed; along with the few other things we planned on having. By the time we moved in, the couch which we bought from our friend, the dining table, and the bed from The Brick were already delivered to our place as well as those that we ordered from IKEA. Everything we bought was carefully planned and researched since we wanted to avoid any regrets and disappointments. For a month, we both worked on making our new place feel like our home, and at the time of writing this, we are already loving our new home (though we always look for things to buy to improve it).

Claire and I are so proud of ourselves because of this accomplishment we just had and we literally can say that we started from the bottom (basement apartment), and here we are now on the 15th floor of a building with a very nice sunset and city lights view (lol). Kidding aside, this is the first of the many other goals we have on our list and we are so happy about it.