How an artist lives in under 500 square feet

When Alexis Jardin left her rented Liberty Village penthouse behind in 2008 after a breakup, she was ready to buy a home of her own, but she didn’t want to bring more than a few suitcases with her.

Alexis Jardin, 50

Artist

Where: Corktown, Toronto
How big: 497 square feet
How much: $256,000

When Alexis Jardin left her rented Liberty Village penthouse behind in 2008 after a breakup, she was ready to buy a home of her own, but she did not want to bring more than a few suitcases with her. She had a short wish list: the place had to be small, it had to be easy to rent out when she was travelling and it had to have at least a little bit of outdoor space. (Jardin grew up in Muskoka and can’t abide by an indoor-only lifestyle.)

While working a photography gig, she found out about plans to redevelop the West Don Lands, an ex-industrial site east of the Distillery Distrct. Excited by the area’s potential, she decided to make it the starting point of her condo search. With a $300,000 budget, she began hunting. A pre-construction Streetcar Developments condo in Corktown seemed perfect, but when she showed up at the sales centre, there weren’t any units left. “I was so bummed,” she says.

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