During the span of my 40 years of life on this good green earth I’ve had the opportunity to live in a variety of areas of Ontario, Canada.
I’ve had the pleasure of Living in the country, where your closest neighbour is at least a kilometer away, to attending college in a city of 71,000 where you can’t get a moment’s peace.
Ontario is a terrific place to live, especially Southwester Ontario, where I’ve resided for pretty well my entire life. I’ve always lived in close proximity to Lake Huron and plan to stay in the general area indefinitely.
Living in the country certainly has it’s perks! Privacy from close neighbours. Acreage to stretch your legs and enjoy nature. Peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of city traffic.
There are a few negatives to living in rural areas as well. Solitude can be boring and the sense of Community really doesn’t exist in the boonies. A rural address means the potential for farms close by and the lovely fragrance that goes along with it. You have to drive EVERYWHERE you want or need to go. So reducing your carbon footprint isn’t all that feasible when living the country life!
Although some thrive in this environment and I’ve experienced this lifestyle a couple of times in my life, I would not wish to return to country living!
Towns with a population of five to fifteen thousand are the type settlements where you live, work, go to school, play, and die. Most of the necessary amenities are at hand and you really don’t have to travel a whole lot for what you need if you don’t want to. Real estate can vary significantly depending on the Town you’re looking at. So be prepared for a bit of sticker shock!
Communities within the town are common and define the social status (and income status) in areas such as these. In my experience, unless you are born and stay in these areas, you will never quite fit in and be accepted. Most of the towns I’ve lived in are very cliquey and you have to know just the right person or work at a certain place (ahem, Bruce Power) in order to become a “member”.
Getting around in these places in relatively easy. You don’t always have to drive where you need to go, you can walk or bike. There is still a small sense of community. Just without everyone knowing everything that is happening in your life. The closest city was at least 2 hours away, but that wasn’t a huge obstacle.
I only briefly experienced city living while attending college. I didn’t have a car but transportation was easy with public transit or a taxi to get to where I needed to go. There was always something to do! Bars and restaurants only a few blocks, a shopping mall just down the road, and a popular gym just a short bus ride away! Pretty well all the conveniences that a twenty year-old could ask for right at hand. B
ut city life did have a few downsides. We (the girls) usually traveled in pairs or groups for safety reasons. The noise really took some getting used to, especially coming from living in the country. The neighbourhood I lived in never seemed to sleep and traffic was a bitch. Of course with a higher population comes higher rent and an increased cost of living in general. I loved the experience of college and being so far away from home, but I’m happy that part of my life is over.
Living in a rural community of 1100 is where I call home presently. My daughter’s school is four blocks away, so we walk most days. My workplace is only two streets behind my house, so I have, literally, no commute. We are a forty minute drive to two city centers and a larger town for all of our shopping and entertainment needs. But we conveniently have a one-stop-shop on our Main Street that has pretty well everything we may need in a pinch.
By selecting a village-type community to move to, we really did get a big bang for our buck when we bought our house. Our home in other areas would have been at least 25% more than what we paid and our little town has such a welcoming community feel. Everyone is very nice and welcoming. Of course, there a still a few stuck up bitches that will never go out of their way to welcome you or even say hello, but those folks are very few.
We live in a place where our daughter can go to school with the same kids for pretty well her whole academic life. She can safely ride her bike down the street to a playmate’s house. If she ever needs anyone in a pinch or gets in trouble, she knows that she can go to any of our neighbours because she knows them all! The only off-putting part of really small town living is the gossip. Everyone knows what everyone is doing. Whether that be home renovations, a job loss, a cheating spouse, or a surprise baby! There are no secrets in a small community! But to be honest – I don’t want to live anywhere else!
No matter where you hang your hat, just be happy! Make your home and create lasting memories where it best suits you and your family.
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