Artist, activist, founding director of a multiple-award-winning non-profit arts org, single mom of a great kid & friendly old feline. Lived in the Canadian Arctic, Northern Manitoba, Southern Ontario & Québec before bartending my way out west in my early 20s. Musically, we love all roots, R&B, Motown, Creole/Cajun, old-school funk & hip-hop, old RnR, African, South American & Middle Eastern music the most (did I mention we have a biggish vinyl LP collection too?)! Big fans of sci-fi & fantasy films, social-justice documentaries, underground comix & zines, political posters, beautiful artwork, good books, exotic instruments, drums & percussion, nice rugs, candles, incense, canopies, tents & tipis, nightlights, great firepits & Rasquachification! Vegetarian, organic gardening & Fair-Trade advocates. Avid recyclers & composters. Responsible/social drinkers & smokers. "People Before Profits!" is a main motto.
We've had great guests here from across Canada & the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Brazil, China, Korea, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bosnia, Poland, Somalia, Namibia, Jamaica, Japan, Egypt, Switzerland, Greece, Belarus, Norway, Australia, Uruguay, Syria, Togo & Romania... so far! Amongst the travellers & vacationers we've also had several guests stay here while searching for work or a permanent place in the city, camp workers in town on their days off, professionals visiting for work-related functions, tradespeople here for training, students, starving artists, cool babies and friendly pets! Life's too short to accommodate grotty punks & takers, so we're givers—bring on the matchers & makers! Together we can build a better world! :)
This website has made some changes recently so if you're looking for a room (or summer camping) at the ESPA ArtHaus but it comes up as unavailable, please see our other rooms/listings on the left side of this profile page (under my photo & verifications) - click on "view all listings", and ignore the weird map - all of our rooms/camping spaces are on one property!
**** HOUSE-UPDATES (a.k.a. "Rants for Rule-Breakers") ****
THE RED HEN RANT: Seriously folks, we are not our guests' maidservants. Good guests don't leave us their weeks of travel-junk, or empties, or fast-food to clean-up after. The reason hotels cost a lot is because they have paid staff to take care of all that stuff. We are not the Hilton, and our rooms are not $160+ night. The sheets & plates & chairs (and, well, pretty much everything) don't match but they're clean and shared with love. We're willing to offer rooms for so low because we're volunteers, but we won't be able to offer cheap rooms if our guests treat us like paid staff with nothing else to do. Tin cans & take-out containers take 2 minutes to empty, rinse & put in the recycling bin. The recycling gods (and our garbage-bag budget) will shower you with good karma. We believe in a "sharing economy" but it only works if everyone (willingly) participates. REVOLUTION BEGINS IN THE SINK! :)
ALLERGY ALERT: It appears some guests haven't read our "Amenities" section before requesting space here. If you have allergies or asthma we are probably not a good fit for you. We have a cat & permit other pets! We have hardwood floors with many rugs that collect pet hair despite our ongoing maintenance. The house is very nice & loaded with character but it's also 100 yrs old with a million tiny nooks & crannies. We currently permit smoking in one room only, and while our house is not "smoky" we do also often burn candles & incense to keep it smelling pleasant. We're still doing light reno & mural/painting work when time permits. Come warmer weather doors & windows are wide-open, but in June the caragana bushes send out a lot of pollen. All things combined, very-light allergics seem to be fine with antihistamines, but otherwise we're probably not the best choice.
WI-FI NOTICE: We ask that guests who use Netflix change their playback settings so we don't use as much bandwidth and/or slow down service (details on how to change settings are included in our Guest Manual). If guests BitTorrent (illegal downloading/distributing of copyrighted material) via our wifi, we will keep 100% of their security deposit. We expect guests to fully disable torrents while on our property, so we don't get surprise abuse-notices from our ISP and risk having our internet accounts disabled, or being sued for enabling copyright-infringement. Okey dokes?
LAUNDRY/ENERGY NOTICE: Our laundry* & kitchen facilities are a privilege, not a right. People who repeatedly violate the laundry rules risk losing a portion of their security deposit. That means cold water & appropriate load-size. Guests who launder *a single t-shirt and one pair of socks* with a full-load of hot water? Nooo! (They can use the laundromat 5 blocks up the street.) Guy who had the oven on 350° for 2 hours to roast a *single bulb of garlic*? Nooo. (People who don't like it can spend a fortune eating out instead.) Woman who repeatedly had 'full baths' despite us not even having a bath-plug? Nooo. Sing in the shower instead please. Our awesome-cheap rooms won't be cheap if our utilities skyrocket due to unmindful behaviour. (Oh, so many stories...)
*Laundry used to be free but it's now $5 per load (wash/dry), unless previous arrangements have been made.
ON ISMs: After a year of hosting I have zero tolerance for guests who practice any kind of classism, racism or sexism. People who think they're born entitled to treat others as servants or lesser-humans are intellectually-lazy bigots and bullies. People who believe in any kind of caste or economic class system are no longer welcome here.
HOUSE-KEYS: Do not give our house-keys to friends or family members to return at some random or unspecified time after you've left town! If our house-key is not returned by the time of your official check-out, we will file a $50 claim on your security deposit. (Dec 2014)
MEAT-EATERS: We are a vegetarian household, and while we do try to accommodate meat-eaters, we can no longer accommodate heavy meat-eaters who fry meat on high temperatures with every single meal/multiple times per day. I am tired of cleaning up the meat/grease spattered all over the kitchen, and decontaminating the sink so full of grease that everything needs to be re-washed. If you must eat meat with every meal we suggest you buy cold-cuts or pre-cooked options that require little energy or time to re-heat in the microwave. We respect you by allowing you to eat meat here, please respect us by not making us suffer through it for days or weeks. (March 2015)
DOG-OWNERS: are expected to be 100% upfront about any behavioral issues their dog has *before* we approve your request to stay here, and are are expected to be 100% responsible for their pets once here, including informing us about any items of ours that your dog damages, and cleaning up after their messes, or risk losing your security deposit. Please do not ask to stay here if you insist on crating/isolating them for most of the day, or if there is any risk of damage to our property. (April 2015)
Please also be sure to preview the "House Rules" and "Amenities" tabs before booking so we can avoid expanding the above rant-section. :D Thanks in advance for your consideration!