The Scramble for Housing Is Over

Published at 16:25 on 13 November 2021

Just signed a lease on a place in Kensington this afternoon, so the biggest hurdle to getting settled is now over. Location is neither great nor terrible, neither my first choice nor my last one. Landlord seems like a nice enough guy; he plays in the Vancouver Symphony and keeps his rental in good condition. That’s more than can be said for the landlord for the place I looked at in Strathcona (which would have been a dream neighbourhood to move to).

Best thing about it is that it’s what is called a laneway house, which means no common walls with anyone, windows in all four directions, and a location in a quiet residential neighbourhood. There is frequent bus service a few blocks away, and a good natural foods market about ½ mile (or since this is Canada I should say just under a kilometre) away. It’s also a fairly easy bike ride to the Commecial Drive area, where some of my friends are.

Laneway houses are one of the advantages of Vancouver. Unlike Seattle, one doesn’t have to choose between a (very expensive) detached single-family dwelling on a quiet street, an apartment on a busy street, or scrambling like mad for one of the very few apartments on a quiet street. (Mind you, a lot about the housing situation here is definitely an effed-up mess, it’s just that the tyranny of extensive single-family zoning is mostly a thing of the past here, and that has really beneficial effects.)

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