Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)

Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

Struggling to make ends meet, a retired Victoria woman is hoping to use her passion for cooking to find affordable accommodation.

Sylvia Bailey, 62, posted an ad on Used Victoria Oct. 20 offering to “cook/clean/garden in exchange for rent.” She has been taking on house cleaning jobs in order to afford rent but said she is finding the work increasingly exhausting.

“I have to psychologically prepare myself for it,” Bailey said. “It’s very hard on the body.”

READ ALSO: ‘I’m running out of hope’: Langford mother desperate for affordable housing

She spent 30 years as an administrative assistant but has always loved experimenting with various foods and spices. Bailey said she really started getting into cooking when she moved to the Yukon and needed something to keep her busy during the cold, dark winters.

“I found myself cooking for something to do and then inviting people over,” she said. “You have to keep yourself from getting cabin fever.”

With winter months now fast approaching, Bailey is starting to feel the same way. She said she is hoping to find someone who needs some help and can help her in return.

“Cooking for others really motivates me,” she said, explaining when she is by herself she will often skip dinner or only snack.

READ ALSO: Victoria ranks as 16th least affordable city in the world

In the past, Bailey lived with two women, 87 and 29, in a Fairfield two-bedroom apartment where she did all the cooking. She moved out because things were beginning to feel cramped, but said her two roommates were always extremely appreciative of everything she made for them.

With no one to cook for regularly anymore, Bailey said “there’s a void there now.”

She’s also thinking about compiling some of her favourite recipes — Thai chicken, “a killer lasagna” and moussaka, among others — into a cookbook to make a bit of money.

Bailey said she’s had a couple of people respond to her ad already, but hasn’t found someone who is the right fit yet. She’s determined to find a place where her love for cooking can grow.

“I go forward with confidence,” she said.


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

cookinggardeningRental accommodation

Just Posted

Adam Walker visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studios. (Peter McCully photo)
Podcaast: Adam Walker eager to get to work as Parksville-Qualicum MLA

Longtime Qualicum Beach resident discusses politics, much more

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Victoria police arrested a man in a Yates Street grocery store Nov. 27 after he refused to wear a mask. (Black Press Media File photo)
Belligerent man arrested in Victoria grocery store after refusing to wear mask

Officers fined the man $230 under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act

A 43-year-old woman is facing charges for impaired driving and leaving the scene of a crash after attempting to flee from police by driving down the beach in front of the Oak Bay Marina on Nov. 23. (Oak Bay Police/Twitter)
Victoria woman drives over seawall onto beach near Oak Bay Marina

Driver faces charges for fleeing crash, refusing breathalyzer test

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Campbell River city council recently held a roundtable meeting with leaders from the aquaculture and forestry industries to discuss how they can be part of a post-COVID economic recovery in the region.
North Island officials holding roundtable on aquaculture, forestry

Will go forward with quarterly meetings involving industry leaders to address issues in the sectors

West Shore RCMP arrested four suspects in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in View Royal Nov. 26. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP arrests four following armed robbery

A victim was assaulted and robbed in View Royal early Thursday morning

Most Read