Kingston bike theft

I had my first direct experience with Kingston’s legendary bike theft this morning, when I went to unlock my bike to ride to my office.  The lock was a mess: the plastic sheath around the lock was in tatters, and there were numerous scrapes and scratches to the lock, and my bike around where the lock was attached.

Despite a bit of cosmetic damage, the thief entirely failed to actually steal anything, making me thankful that I decided to spend money on a quality lock.  Just for the record, in case anyone needs a bike lock recommendation, I’m very happy with my Bikeguard Rocklock 1500.

I only wish the would-be thief had been a little smarter and not bothered at all.  But then again, if the would-be thief had been a little smarter, he probably wouldn’t have decided to become a thief at all.

Edit: image of the mess left behind:

IMG_20130730_091918

John Orr Tower ­— Queen’s Community Housing

To potential new tenants in John Orr Tower (or An Clachan, or other “core” Community Housing properties), I offer this advice: keep looking.  You can find a better apartment at a better location at a lower price with a landlord who, unlike Queen’s Community Housing, won’t be able to take advantage of you when it comes time to renew your lease.

About John Orr Tower

I’ve been living in John Orr Tower, operated by Queen’s Community Housing, for 2 years, 10 months, and 23 days, as of this post.  I’ve served over that period as the building representative for Community Housing, and as such I have some notion of the planning and internal decisions made behind the management of John Orr Tower (and other Community Housing properties).  That position carries no actual weight towards any decision—meetings are entirely a one-way source of information from Community Housing to representatives.

Up until about a year ago, I was relatively happy living in the building; I have a decent view of Lake Ontario and Wolfe Island, there’s a bus every 15 minutes to main campus, the apartment isn’t too expensive, and the walls are thick so I’m never bothered by neighbours.

But during my time here things started changing, in part due to larger Queen’s fiscal problems.  Community Housing stopped treating its properties as a benefit to students, and started trying to extract as much money as possible from students, while being as cheap as possible on building repairs and upgrades, lying to tenants (and myself, the “representative”) about changes, and using its status as a university to exploit legal loopholes regarding rent termination and increases.

Continue reading John Orr Tower ­— Queen’s Community Housing