"In the wintertime, for instance, King says they need to go to the marina building to shower." That's the line we usually loose people at. Then by 2 lines later — "And, they have to manually pump out their own sewage into a mobile cart called the Honey Wagon." — they're gone, never to be seen again.
That was a snippet from when BlogTO came by to see what it's like to live on a houseboat in Toronto. Which was March 2016, just 4 short months after we put our boat in the water.
I'm sharing this because, frankly, it's awesome. And I want more people to come and join the party. My true calling is to organize 'kayaks and cocktails' where each boat/floating home provides a signature cocktail which you fetch via kayak. Guys, this is what dreams are made of.
Our downtown 600sq ft condo just wasn't cutting it anymore. Rent was too much. There was zero sunlight. And for what? A courtyard and a dishwasher? So we said 'fuck it'. And went after something more fun. Less obvious. And guys, it's great. Even if I have to live in Scarborough (sshhhh. I call it the upper-east-east beaches). You give up a little. You get a lot.
I want to remind you — but more importantly myself — that when you get tired of something there are more options out there than you think.
Oh, and here's the standard answers to the first few questions we get when someone hears that we live on a houseboat in the winter:
No, it's not a float home or a v-haul boat. It's a houseboat. With pontoons.
Yep, lots of people live here in the winter; probably a good 75+ people. Then way more in the summer.
No really, we're warm. We have a propane furnace and just got a beautiful wood stove. Plus electric heaters as needed. Ok, sometimes light indoor jackets are a thing while it warms up.
We have a bubbler around the boat so we don't freeze in. We should get another.
Plus we have log booms (ie a chain of logs) floating around the boat to stop ice from smashing into it with terror-inducing force.
Nope, we don't take our boat out. Can't. The guy before us took the engine out. Plus it's a big stupid rectangle that catches all kinds of wind and is built to go crazy slow. We're hoping to get a small going-out boat.
No seasickness, luckily. I worried about that too but our boat is really wide and heavy so it moves, especially in the winter, but it's relatively stable. The rocking is nice to fall asleep to.
We say, 'It's like a cottage. Everyone says hi when you pass and knows all your business'. Which is a real novelty when you're used to living downtown. Then we casually throw in ducks, glorious sunlight from windows on all 4 sides, coywolves, and majestic walks. Ho hum.
Looking at the BlogTO article now, 10 months later, it feels like forever ago. In their pics, the boat is less finished, there are way less plants, and we were really just giving them the highlight reel of our new lives that we could hardly believe ourselves. I can't stress to you enough how much of a downtown/west end person I am. I had no need to escape the city. I love downtown and wanted nothing to do with the entire east end, much less Scarborough. Yet here I am. And it's full on wonderful.
As for those last 2 lines — guys, someone cleans the bathroom every day and it's not me. And we can totally pay to have our holding tank pumped for us. We're just cheap.
Come join us. The water is fine (No, that's a lie. Don't ever swim in Marina water. Ever.).
2nd image by BlogTO
OK, YOUR TURN
What's your version of a more awesome life? What does 10% more awesome look like? 50%? And most importantly, where do you stand on kayaking up to your neighbour's house for a cocktail?