Welcome to the first installment of fun new series Cool Roommates, a creatively-titled segment that will profile co-habitants from around the globe. Because there are lots of great pals sharing spaces in neat places and we all love looking into other people’s homes, right? RIGHT? The first roommates up are Tess and Hannah bezzie frezzies and actresses (and improvisors and plant aficionados and occasional pie servers) who moved to Toronto from Edmonton together in 2010.
WHO: Tess Degenstein, 24, and Hannah Spear, 21.
WHAT: A two-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a house.
WHERE: St. Clair and Christie, in Toronto.
HOW MUCH: $1000/mth, utilities incl.
How did you meet your roomie?
Tess: I was teaching an improv workshop and Hannah was in it. She played a really funny talking crab in one scene and, as the old saying goes, it was love at first dramatized crab! She then became a member of the improv company that I was in at the time (Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton), and we got to hanging out together (complete with actual YOGA/SEX AND THE CITY/ QUICHE dates…gross?), and formed a fun improv troupe that was still perform as, called The Navy.
Why did you choose to live together?
Hannah: Living together just seemed so obvious. Our friendship since the start has always felt so natural and effortless, so I know we both assumed living together would be the exact same SUPER-FUN-LAUGHING-ALWAYS-DOWN-ASS-BITCHES-time. When Tess’s last roommate moved out, she popped the question and literally without a second thought I said, YES!!!!!!!!!! In total we’ve been living together for just over 2 years.
Tess: That first summer living together was one of the most fun ones of my life. We performed together a tonne, fell asleep listening to the radio almost every night, learnt a lot of Nicki Minaj lyrics, and had friends over for wine and avocado and Pad Thai on our patio often. We moved to Toronto together in the fall, as we both had what we’ll call for simplicity’s sake, “big city dreams”. Spoiler alert: they’ve come true!
What’s your favourite thing about your place/neighbourhood?
Tess: The St. Claire and Christie area [is] so close to the Wychwood Arts Barns, with it’s kickass Farmers’ Market (apparently frequented/ plugged by Jamie Oliver! HELLO!). Also close to World Class Bakery, (690 St. Clair Ave. W.) which has my fave Vegan Date Squares on ze planet! AND I can hop on my bike and let the Christie hill whizz me straight south to Christie Pits and the Annex!
Hannah: Overall I love our little home entirely, but I would have to say the kitchen is my favorite room. Lately I’ve been obsessed with vines and have been trying to fill the kitchen with as many as possible.
What’s the best part about living together?
Tess: Living with the funniest person I know, who also happens to be an incredible, caring and supportive friend, and a hella-inspiring performer. ‘Tis a DREAM. Also: Having someone with whom to sit on the floor in the kitchen, and talk about my feelings, and drink tea. Also: She decorates the house real good (many plants and scarves).
Hannah: [Tess is] so easy to talk to, vent to, so generous with sharing her fruits and veggies AND clothes, so good at taking care of business every way. In short, I love Tess.
Okay, okay. Major love-fest over here, we get it. Any pet peeves?
Tess: Pet peeves? SHIT DISTURBER! Hmmm… She doesn’t put her empty McDonald’s take-out brown bags in the garbage; she leaves them separate as if they are their own complete garbage bag. They are not.
Hannah: Tess is really a morning person. I am really not a morning person. I do however benefit from this in that usually she has a million omlettes ready and waiting for me. Did I mention she’s the best and I am so lucky to live with her?
GET A ROOM. Any cool nicknames for the apartment?
Tess: Not really. We have a tonne of nicknames for each other. Those being: Cheech and Chong (interchangeable), BeeBeeCheeChee (Hannah), L’il Chubby (me)…I think there’s more, but that’s all that comes to mind right now. Hannah’s trying to start the catchphrase “Oh, that’s NASTY!”, but I think it goes for all things, not just our house…
What are some absolute non-negotiable house no-nos?
Tess: Uhhhhhhh…… Don’t poo everywhere?
Hannah: We pretty chill here, not too many rules. No psychos allowed, maybe? Always lock the doors? Those would be my 2 rules. NO PSYCHOS!
Fair enough. Describe your apartment/roomie in three words.
Tess: Roomie? Inspiring, hilarious, best-way psycho.
Hannah: Apartment—home sweet home.
~ Monica Heisey