Owning even a small piece of real estate can be empowering, and the convenience of Montreal condo living can’t be beat. I’m comforted by the fact that the exterior maintenance, including snow removal and landscaping, is taken care of by the condo association and if the roof is damaged during a hailstorm, I don’t have the responsibility to repair it. But, what nobody mentioned in my move from a house in suburban Laval to a condo in Montreal is that the luxury of not having to mow lawns or shovel snow comes at a cost. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city-condo life, but there are other concerns that come into play in a way never contemplated in the suburbs.

1. Compost Chute Challenges

If you live in a house, you know the convenience of having your garbage bins in your garage, then once a week rolling them out to the curb for pick up. I guess the positive point about living in a condo is that I don’t have the responsibility of remembering to roll my garbage cans out to the street once a week. The negative point is that when I do want to throw out a bag of trash, I have to get dressed, put on shoes and drag it all the way to the end of my corridor, keeping my fingers crossed that the bag will fit down the chute.


2. Mailbox Mishaps

I want my mailbox close…with no key required. It’s basically the same issue as with the dumpster.  Like the trash, to get my mail, I have to walk down that long corridor, but this time, I have to go down two flights of stairs. The struggle is real!


Photo Cred - kirbzy

3. Reduced Room

I desperately want a garage, or a storage building, or an extra closet, or all of the above. Right now, if I need my rollerblades, or wrapping paper, or anything else that I can't shove into a corner of my house, I have to take the elevator to my basement storage unit to retrieve it - and needless to say that every trip to my storage locker feels like a scene from a horror movie.


4. Parking Problems

Ah, Montreal parking. It’s notoriously bad. Now, I’m not saying finding parking is impossible (though it is, nearly), I’m just saying you may question your will to live and sooner leave your car in a ditch and walk home, disgruntled and discouraged than having to circle your block one more time.


5. Sustenance Struggles

This is what I have dubbed the attempt to carry all of your groceries to your third floor condo all at the same time, in one single trip, just so that you don’t have to make another journey to the car. And that is assuming you found parking close to your building. I live on the third floor of a condo building, so making one trip is a high priority because honestly, who wants to climb those stairs once more, or face Montreal’s cold winters more times than you have to.


6. Puppy Poop

Once one dog goes to the bathroom, another picks up the scent and wants to leave his or her mark, then another, then another, until finally every dog in the neighbourhood knows this spot as “the place” to go. I have two dogs and whenever I take them out to do their business I live by this golden rule: poop, scoop & bag. Your neighbours will thank you.


7. Holy Hashish

Is it 9:00AM already?  Time to smoke up! Somewhere in the world it’s 4:20 – and that means WEED! Second-hand pot smoke is insidious: it can slither from the confines of your unit through the walls, plumbing, heating and air conditioning ducts, and of course by way of balcony doors. Perhaps in a cruel twist of fate, I’ve been saddled with a neighbour who is trying to break the world record for most marijuana ever smoked under one roof.


Photo Cred - o.canada

8. Secondhand Smells

It’s basically the same issue as with the marijuana smoke, but the odors wafting into your space can come in many different forms, emanating from cooking, cigarettes, renovations and even garbage. The plethora of smells are endless...


9. Laborious Lift

Waiting for the elevator when you’re in a rush is never fun. Waiting for the elevator, waiting to press the button for your floor, waiting for others to get off—especially if you live on one of the higher floors in the building. By the time you’re home, it’s like you’ve doubled your commute time. The only time the whole elevator situation gets worse is when a new tenant moves in. One elevator ride turns even the friendliest encounter into a battle to get onto that people mover!


10. AM Alarms

You know that feeling you get when you just know you’re about to rant? Well that’s how I feel when the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night and you have to go outside in your pajamas. Just when you think that you live “alone,” you realize you actually live with three or four hundred brothers & sisters and heck of a lot of pets!


11. Buzzer Bugs

My front door buzzer always works whenever I forget my keys and my boyfriend has to buzz me up. It always works whenever the neighbours buzz up their friends or family. But for some apparent reason, whenever I don’t feel like getting out of my pj’s, the delivery gods disable my buzzer and force me to put on pants and go downstairs to pick up my delivery. Damn you delivery demons!!!


12. Continually Chaotic

In theory, having a small condo should mean you have less stuff which means there should be less stuff to organize and less stuff that needs upkeep. In reality, everything just ends up piled on top of each other and you’re not quite sure how, but it happened. The minute one thing is out of place – everything is out of place. And so you’ll find yourself forever cleaning, but forever messy.

Are there things that you recently discovered about city life & condo or apartment living? Let us know in the comments below!

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