Timeless Cafe & Bakery

Great Scoop on Timeless Cafe!

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I visit godmother S fortnightly. She is in her late 80s and was my mother’s landlady when mom was studying at the University. Recently, godmother issued me a challenge – each time we go for a meal, I have to surprise her with a new place. Tough demand – having lived here for more than half a century, godmother had probably been to most of the older restaurants (a.k.a. not-opened-this-year places). Hence, I felt triumphant when I discovered Timeless Cafe & Bakery, the cafe which gave a whole new meaning to “hidden gem”.

Each year, Timeless Materials and sister company Kieswetter Demolition successfully divert some 70,000 tonnes of building materials, furniture and architectural items from local landfill by reclaiming and re-purposing them. These processes naturally gave way to new standards in recycling and brought to fruition the salvaging of architectural details and ‘timeless’ material.

Timeless Materials showroom is located in…

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Moving in together 101

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In January I had a moment of total clarity: “Move to Waterloo!” I thought and all life’s problems were solved.

You see, my partner and I were at a bit of a crossroads. We’ve known each other for years but we didn’t start dating until I moved away (from Waterloo) to Toronto (life, you so funny). I moved to pursue a career in film and television and low and behold, I’ve done just that! I have a great career in Toronto and all of my friends have slowly moved here to be young and cool with me. But now I’m almost 25, and after over 2 years of dating my main man, it was time for a decisions to be made. Would he move here, or would we move somewhere in between?

I couldn’t fathom trying to raise a family in the city of Toronto (honestly, I just don’t like it here that much), and commuting from the GTA just made me feel like I’d be missing out on life just so I could say I worked in Toronto. My job, however much is it important, is not as important as me being present in my life.

So back to January, I realized I should just move to Waterloo! I slapped on a timeline of January 2014, which would give me a year to fulfil any visions of my Toronto life I had left and also to give my partner and I a chance to let the prospect of living together sink in.

Some people move in together on a whim, especially when they live close-by and its like, “well I’m here all the time anyway!” But when you live in different cities you have the opportunity to really think about it, which contrary to what my friends might do, is a good idea.

To me, being married and living together is the same thing. You have real conversations about goals, timelines, budgets, finances, and troubleshooting. You have to compromise everything and struggle together to make this whole “partnership” thing work. It’s no longer the “Me Show” and that in itself is a huge adjustment especially after having decades of it to revel in. So we decided our “Me Shows” had a year until they were being cancelled. We are allowing each other to make this last year as epic as possible so we’re not silently resenting the other person for cancelling their favourite series.

And already I’m noticing and adjusting to this compromise business. I wanted a more expensive dining room table, he refused to buy it (and now he regrets it). So instead of being grumpy pants, we decided we will buy a cheap table and paint it a fun blue colour to keep our style in check… Then I wanted a 3 bedroom house rental,  but he wanted something smaller and more affordable while we transition, so I’ve had to bring myself back to reality a bit more.

When things don’t go my way, I find myself reacting negatively. I’ve always had things my way and nobody could say otherwise. But now, its a team effort.

Fortunately, his perspective is a realistic one: he doesn’t wants us to stretch ourselves financially so that tensions don’t intensify between us and this whole ordeal ends in a breakup. Which happens ALL THE TIME. So he’s a wise man and keeps me grounded.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned 6 months after this decisions is that my perfect solution will be a solution full of unexpected surprises. More than fancy tables or lavish apartments, I will finally get to wake up to the person I love everyday and that is all I could ever want.

The Boathouse, Victoria Park, Kitchener

The Boathouse.

An Insiders Guide to Waterloo has some great posts and information about KW. I specifically like their post about The Boathouse, which is sort of a hidden spot in Kitchener’s Victoria Park. It’s a music venue with patio and it’s a really great place to catch some indie bands or if you are a band, I recommend trying to get a gig here.

Downtown Kitchener and Victoria park are currently rebranding the area, as it’s now safer than before, but as any other park late at night, keep an eye out or take a cab in or drive if you’re not drinking.

 

On My Radar, June 11

Timeless Cafe: @reclaimmaterial This place is such a hidden gem in KW. I’ve heard great things but I just have to get there. Apparently this company rescues antique doors, furniture, stain class etc from century homes and buildings that are being demolished or renovated and sells them at their property. But they’ve also made a cafe there that serves lunch and brunch on the weekend that is outstanding. Fresh, local produce are used and it’s just really good lady-food.

Andies: I popped into this sweet little shop the other day but wasn’t in the mood to really sift through much. It’s a store for 20-something women with higher price points than students or teens could probably manage (unless your parents are rich, so whatever!). They have really bright colours, a whole slew of yoga jeans (I really want these), and generally casual clothes.

 

Honey Bake Shop, Uptown

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Pain au Chocolat

Honey Bake Shop (@honeybakeshop) in Uptown Waterloo is that place you want to show your friends and get them to try the pain au chocolat, the red velvet cupcakes, the walnut shortbread, the sour cream pecan coffee cake, and the strawberry and cream tarts. I’ve only tried the pain au chocolat but it hit the spot, as I imagine the rest of the baked goods would (I’m looking forward to reporting back).

I can see myself picking up some goodies when we have visitors stay for the weekend, and hopefully meet up with friends for a good catch up.

Inside you’ll find it bright, and modern, with about 6 tables facing the large window facing out to King St, and they also have a cozy nook with a reupholstered antique lounger and renovated fireplace. The kitchen is open concept, with a glass wall giving looming customers some insight into how the magic happens.

They’re baked goods have a professionalism difficult to find out of big cities like Toronto, this isn’t an eager mom selling cakes on the side – these people know what they’re doing.

Honey Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Owning a home is a burden, one I don’t care for.

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Everyone tells my partner and I to buy a home right now. “Buy a home!” they say, “Don’t waste your hard earned money on  paying someone else’s mortgage!”

As if the spark of the idea was good enough in itself to actually acquire a mortgage, buy, and maintain a home. Why people continuously say this to us, I have no idea. Obviously if we had loads of cash hanging around we’d be buying houses left, right, and centre. Buying a home is like the Number 1 preached/celebrated/enforced goal that ever existed. I’m sure a 3 year old would say her goal was to buy a home one day. As I’m not a complete knob, the idea of home buying crosses my mind regularly, but because I’m not a knob, I do not want to buy a home yet.

Home buying and renting are often compared as similar activities. I can tell you they are not. My housing expense is $755 every month, flat, done and over. For $755 I have a one bedroom basement apartment, laundry, heat/hydro/water, cable, and Internet. All this in downtown Toronto where I am a 1 minute walk from the subway. There will never ever be a day where I have to buy a new kitchen appliance, fix the roof, replace the windows, pay property taxes, or install air conditioning (or any installation of any kind, really). There will never be a day I’m surprised with an expense, or require to pay thousands of dollars to fix something out of the blue. I can spontaneously go on vacation, take time off work, or indulge in some other expense because my emergency fund doesn’t have to include new roofs.

This is why one rents. Because the fear of being house poor is not worth owning a home if its not fundamentally important to your happiness. A home is also not an “asset” because assets should bring in money. A rental property is an asset, a stock is an asset, a valuable artwork collection is an asset, but your own home is something you pay to live in, pay money to maintain, and then have a possibility of actually losing money on it, or just breaking even. And if you are lucky enough to make money off the sale, here’s the catch: you will probably just put that money into another home, and probably a more expensive home where the costs to maintain and live in it will be even more expensive.

Now I get owning a home is nice; you can do the lawn up real nice, or renovate it (yay HGTV). And you can reinvest that money into a bigger place or have an “asset (as the bank likes to call it)” to borrow against. But you can also have stocks that do that same thing or other investments that aren’t as risky as home ownership.

I believe the average household debt for a Canadian family is hedging up to $100,000. To me, I’d rather know my bottom line will always be my bottom line and spend money living my life with a sense of freedom while I’m young. I’ll worry about home ownership in my 30s or 40s, when I want my kids to grow up in a family home and have a really fancy lawn.

I need a job. Eventually.

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So a HUGE part of moving to a new city is being able to afford to live in that city ie: working. I’ve already established that moving sucks and is full of costly expenses. So I’m bringing my A-game to K-town when it comes to the job hunt! I have two things working in my favour: A: I have a fancy university degree & B: I have interesting real work experience.

Turns out… those things aren’t really all that amazing in a city that boasts engineers, scientists, MBA’s, computer programmers, there’s probably a team of astronauts hanging out somewhere. And there are all those professors, masters students, undergraduates yearning for any piece of work they can get their hands on.

And these job postings I’m looking at are so specified: marketing jobs mention the “ABCs”, what IS that? Fundraising jobs have their own software you should have 2-3 years of experience with. Video coordinators need to know how to edit, sound record, operate all kinds of camera, write, direct, produce, manage schedules and coordinate (and probably for some minimal pay). WHO are these people? How is anyone supposed to transition to a new field that is relatively similar to a different one, except for these extremely specified qualifications…doesn’t anyone invest in training their hires anymore!? Am I just really unqualified for life, how is it I have worked for years without gaining any of this knowledge!?

Anyway, I wanted to post a collective of helpful websites to search for new jobs in KW. I focus on communication and media jobs as it lines up with my experience and there seems to be a lot going on.

Media Job Search Canada: a lot of Waterloo tech companies look for programmers on here. yay me.

Eluta: they have an awesome Twitter feed @eluta_ca

Kitchener Jobs (Workopolis): Also great Twitter feed @kitchener_jobs

Waterloo Tech Jobs: this is a great site + Twitter @waterlootechjob, collecting all of the info from the other resources and focusing on tech and media

Another great trick is to research companies that you want to work for and then keep checking their sites for job postings that fit your interests more, instead of trying to fit into whats available right now.

I’m also really taking my time, I don’t want to have a month to find work, I want to take months to find the right fit that’s in line with my career. It also has given me insight and time to take some classes and volunteer to gain experiences outside my work environment so I’m not grasping at straws when I need employment.

We will see how this plan goes. I believe working hard means for something results in the achievement of that thing… but I’ve also had luck on my side so far.