By Anonymous Condo Resident
The year is 2053.
The streets of Toronto are deserted and barren. Tumbleweed have become sentient, carnivorous and seven metres tall, swallowing anything in their paths. The faint whistle of the wind through the empty streets is reminiscent of a world where owners walked their dogs, mothers laughed with their babies and Ryerson students tried to get through the semester without dropping out.
Even the city’s parkettes—which once gave civilians a bite-sized nature escape—are desolate, only littered with the memory of teenagers who once sat there and drank vodka out of water bottles.
Despite Toronto’s dystopian fate, the subway still runs, fueled by the rage from former subway riders stuck in TTC delays.
At night, only two monuments of a fallen people remain lit—the Pharrell Williams condos.
It all started when Williams announced his condo project “untitled.” on Nov. 5, 2019. Williams broadcasted his announcement on massive screens at Yonge-Dundas Square. The two-tower 750-unit residential complex would be located near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue.
In a video Williams posted on his Instagram, he revealed the significance of the name “untitled.” He said “space is only a backdrop—the experience is you.”
“I have no idea what the fuck that means, but I want one,” said fourth-year aerospace engineering student Frank Lyenuf, who recently inherited money from his late grandfather and hoped to invest in a place for the winter semester.
Due to Toronto’s housing crisis, combined with Williams’ worldwide acclaim from the Despicable Me franchise that he wrote, composed, performed and/or produced music for, everybody wanted their hands on Williams’ apartments. When the condos were put up for sale in January 2020, all hell broke loose.
The units sold out within seconds, inciting the beginning of The Toronto Apocalypse. Malls were ransacked, schools were shut down and workplaces were set on fire.
Three weeks later, Toronto’s residents gave up.
Since then, Feb. 8, 2020 is considered “The Departure.” Historically, this is a day when all of Toronto’s residents collectively said, “fuck this,” and permanently relocated to various parts of Alberta where homes are more affordable.
Present-day, the Williams condos are the only place where people still live in Toronto. The glass-framed exterior of the building and its unique design give the condos a futuristic feel.
The residents, some of which haven’t seen sunlight since “The Departure,” walk around the building in slow motion with unmoving smiles on their faces at all times.
Lyenuf was able to secure a condo when they went up for sale. He wanted a place to live until he graduated in June 2020 and planned to rent out his apartment once he moved back in with his parents. But he hasn’t left the building since he moved in 33 years ago.
“This semester is going by so slow! I can’t wait to graduate this spring,” Lyenuf beamed, staring into the distance.
The building is stacked with amenities, even offering its residents a fitness centre, where Williams leads mandatory 7 a.m. CrossFit classes every Monday and Thursday.
“Clap along if you feel like a room with a roof!” demanded Williams.
The residents sang along monotonously. In flawless unison, they completed as many burpees as possible within eight minutes.
“This remains the only habitable place in Toronto. I’m so grateful to be part of this community,” said Nothu Man, who didn’t blink once during his 26-minute interview.
Wearing the same blue heart-shaped sunglasses that he hasn’t taken off since announcing the condos, Williams stepped out to admire his buildings from afar. Underground, the subway came to a halt at Eglinton station.
As Williams stood in the middle of the intersection, a tumbleweed exited the subway and climbed up the stairs to the street level. As soon as it laid eyes on Williams, it gained momentum.
Williams became enveloped in the harsh, jagged fibres of the plant. The tumbleweed reboarded the subway and the Despicable Me: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack blared out of the towers’ joint speakers.