Family apartment hunting with Rob Gambino

Rob Gambino is the co-founder of the Streets of Toronto Opens in new window brand, showcasing the city’s lifestyle and culture. Rob is also actively involved in the booming esports community.

There are a few key moments in life that really change you as a person. It could be spending a year travelling abroad, living on your own for the first time, moving in with someone and buying a home, or in my case, becoming a parent. Sometimes these life moments are pure joy, other times they can be challenging, and often they’re a bit of both. But in my experience, it’s in these moments where you really evolve as a person.

One of the biggest changes in my life was when I became a parent at a young age. I had a daughter when I wasn’t emotionally, mentally or financially ready. Nonetheless, it was the happiest day of my life. This kind of change of course impacts your lifestyle, career, and what you look for in a home. My biggest priority was finding the right place for me and my daughter.

Apartment hunting

I went through my fair share of ups and downs while hopping from place to place trying to find the perfect fit. I used different online search tools and real estate websites but even when I thought I found a gem, it didn’t always hold up to the online advertisement.

Some places I looked at didn’t include amenities that were mentioned or live up to the misleading images posted online. In some cases, the rent was actually higher than advertised when I went for a viewing. It was discouraging and felt almost impossible to find the right place but I knew for the sake of my daughter, I had to keep looking.

The wish list

My wish list wasn’t particularly long or specific. Everyone’s different, but there were different considerations when looking for a place for myself versus looking for my family. I was looking for a place that was:

  • Big enough to give my daughter room to play and have her own space
  • In a good location with access to public transportation
  • In a safe neighbourhood with parks nearby, and
  • In good shape and well maintained

After six months of going through this house hunt battle, I eventually found a place that met all of our needs. The location of our home really stood out to me because there’s a public library two blocks away. I like to take my daughter to the library twice a week so this was big. There are also two major museums really close by and a couple of well-known and established schools that were highly recommended to me. My daughter, like many kids, enjoys running around and it was an added plus being walking distance from one of Toronto’s most treasured parks, Trinity Bellwoods. Being central with access to so many essential family amenities made the decision pretty easy.

Settling in

We set up the place very minimalistic to avoid clutter as I wanted her to have space to run around and play with all of her toys. Since we had to pack up everything anyways, it was a great time to reset, clear out unwanted clutter and revisit essential items like budgets and rental insurance coverage. A new home and lifestyle meant tweaking my policy and coverage to make sure our things were protected. But a home is so much more than the items you fill it with. We were able to take this new brand new space and fill it with not just material possessions, but also family values and love. We were able to take a brand-new space and make it our home. This place is a positive change for us and exactly what we needed to grow.

Three years ago, my daughter was born and I feel like I’ve evolved into a better version of myself. Most importantly, I feel proud to give my daughter a brand-new home. We found the perfect place, in a great location, and can now enjoy nearby amenities that apply to both of us.


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