When Gaelan Love bought a three-storey, 1,200 square foot townhouse near Allan Gardens, the neighbourhood became a little more fabulous.
The 27-year-old full-time marketing pro at Microsoft wasted no time adding his own personal touches to his new home, ranging from a colourful collection of abstract art to creating rooms inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race where his friends could properly check in on social media when stopping by for a visit. Love might as well be the gay neighbour you’ve always wanted… just as long as the “wig parties” he hosts on his spacious rooftop terrace stay under control.
You’re a first-time buyer. How did you wind up in a townhouse at Jarvis and Carlton?
When I returned to Toronto after living in Montreal for university for four years, I told myself I wasn’t going to live near The Village. But it’s funny how it happens—you just kind of end up living there. This place has everything I need, including two bedrooms, ample storage and a private rooftop patio, which is like another room. I also love that there’s no concierge or elevator. I have a front door.
Is it true your friends can actually “check-in” to your house on social media?
My friends and I are huge fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race. So I created two online rooms inspired by the show. My living room is called the Interior Illusions Lounge (which is the name of the room where contestants on the show “spill the tea” after showing their runway looks to RuPaul). My rooftop patio is called the Exterior Illusions Lounge.
Friends can check-in to either location on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram when they come to visit.
Your townhouse complex sounds very gay-friendly.
It’s a five-minute walk from the gay village so what do you expect? There are a lot of gay people I know in the complex—so much so that my friends have dubbed it Melrose Place (minus the dead body floating in the pool).
Where did you live before moving here?
I used to live in a tiny apartment above a bar at Yonge and Isabella. Rent was $500 a month and I had a great view of the Church of Scientology building. It was super cheap, which ultimately allowed me to buy my own place.
You don’t live alone, either.
I’ve recently assumed responsibility for the family dog. Her name is Rosseau, a 12-year-old black lab named after the lake where my family’s cottage is located. Rossy (for short) has lived with my parents her whole life. When I bought my home, I had the space and was close to a park so now she’s become my roomate. There’s hair everywhere and she’s not exactly a guard dog, but I bought this place on my own, and it’s nice to know I have someone else here breathing.
What was the most challenging part in buying your first home?
It all happens real fast. I went from seeing five places one day, then 10 places the next. Going from “I want to buy a place” to “buying a place” is a real leap in your mind. But once you do it, you don’t regret it. You also have to get used to unexpected costs. When you have a landlord, you can say, “Fix this,” and it’s fixed. But when you become your own landlord, you have to get used to fixing things yourself.
You’ve worked in marketing at Microsoft for the past three years. Is your job as fabulous as your house?
Microsoft is about providing solutions that enable people to get things done whenever and wherever. And so I use my home office a lot. Being openly gay at work is a non-issue and that translates into Microsoft’s advertising as well. One of my favourite ads the company released depicts a series of moments from people’s lives, one of which includes a lesbian wedding. It’s one of the best examples of being LGBT-friendly I’ve seen. Showing everyday people in their everyday lives. It doesn’t always have to be about showing rainbows.
You bought a house before turning 30. What’s the secret to your success?
If purchasing a home is an investment you want to make, then your lifestyle should be a reflection of your intention to save. It’s not about having lots of frills. Life isn’t about always having a plan but doing your best at what you do. Take your career seriously no matter what and have fun along the way.
You know a thing or two about having fun. You have a wig collection?
I bought seven wigs of different colours for Halloween a couple of years ago (like I said, I love RuPaul’s Drag Race). Once in a while I’ll have friends over and we’ll have a “wig party.” There’s nothing more fun than hanging out with your friends in a wig.
And all your wigs have names?
Each wig is named after a celebrity. Pink is Pink, brown is Ja’mie King (from the Australian comedy Private School Girl), blue is Katy Perry, blonde is Amanda Bynes, green is Nicki Minaj, the black bob is Rihanna and red is Lindsay Lohan. But I lost Lindsay at a wig party at Business Woman’s Special at ROUND venue in Kensington Market a couple of months ago, so if anyone has found her, please let me know. know.