Even condos must be planted deep in the earth before they can sprout.

June 10th, 2014, 7am

Up until March, this site across the street from my building was a busy parking lot. Fences arrived first, and it was all downhill from there.

When I leased this apartment last summer, it was after a two month long fruitless search for a unit that was any one of: closer to work, better sized, not facing a construction site or a space about to become one. Running out of luck and options in a tight market put me here, overlooking a parking lot with a “coming soon” condo development sign in it.

Cool story bro: when I showed my mom the view and said they were going to put a condo there, she looked at the space and said “where? That parking lot’s not big enough.” … No, she doesn’t live in the city.

For April and most of May, work started at 7AM every weekday as they dug out the remains of a basement, then started drilling to drive in the steel retaining wall beams and concrete anchors. My dog was most displeased by the noise and had to learn to use her ‘inside voice’. The cat just went a little bonkers and probably won’t recover ‘til after we move again. I can’t blame them, though. I never realized just how invasive and pervasive construction noise that close could be. It was a constant background hum/grind/thump/buzz… Vibrations always at the resonant frequency of something: be it brick or steel or concrete or pavement.

But all of that was just set up. Prep work. Now they’re on to the dig phase. Less constant rumble, more idling of queued-up dump trucks waiting their turn to take a load of rubble-dirt away. How deep they go depends on how many levels of parking garage they’ll have. Probably at least 3 or 4 storeys underground.

The worst part is you can’t walk more than a block in any direction from here (ok, maybe due West is the exception, for now…) without running into another of these sites. To the South, they recently installed the crane in their pit (the next phase after dig). To the East, there are two towers reaching for the sky. And to the North, a recently cleared block of housing is in the prep stage.

Growing pains.

The process has been strangely fascinating. Come August when we’ve moved on, I may actually miss watching them. Briefly. And then I’ll remember how teeth-grindingly frustrating it was to listen to and live with, and be glad I’ve left it behind.

Sanna, Christine, Anne Marie, Kim and 3 others said thanks.

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Shay Darrach

Fictionalizing life for 30-odd years.

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