Moving to the city made me see things differently.
Moving season is at its busiest right now. Some of you may have started packing your boxes, while others are already painting the walls of your new residence. In any case, lots of people will be discovering their new neighbourhoods this summer, as July is the most popular month for moving in Canada.
There are many reasons for families and individuals to move. According to the trends, work is the primary reason for moving, family reasons come second and moving to an improved home comes third. Personally, I grew up in a suburb that was a 15 minute drive from Quebec City. I lived there with my family until I turned eighteen, at which point I moved downtown. I moved for a change in lifestyle.
I loved the neighbourhood I grew up in. It was a safe, green environment, and we even had a great backyard to play in! Living downtown is quite different, and it definitely has changed the way I see things. For those who are about to make the leap from one to another, below are a few examples.
When I lived in the suburbs, I saw parks as the perfect place to play soccer and baseball with my buddies. We would set a time and location and then 10 of us would meet at the soccer field. As far as I remember, we would have the whole place and the two goals to ourselves. Now that I live in the city, I see parks as the perfect bring-your-own-wine and barbecue venue. Yes, we still play a little soccer sometimes, but now we have to be wary of Frisbees flying over our heads and people sunbathing.
My first expense as a 16 year old in Quebec was a driver’s licence. Having a car was essential, especially since the only other way to get into the city was an hour and a half bus ride, on a bus that you could only catch every hour. Moving downtown, I discovered that “parking” was a frequent topic of discussion among people who have a car—much more so than makes and models!
3. Tiny patio
I came from a neighbourhood where yards were vast. The 50 square foot patio was where my mom’s lounge chair would lay, while the rest of the yard was where I would play. Living in an apartment downtown, I see a 50 square foot patio as enough room for a 15-person evening cocktail party. No kidding, those things are rare in the city!
4. Grocery stores
I used to see the grocery store as a large Costco-like hangar where you could buy absolutely anything you need. You undoubtedly would need a large basket and you would do grocery shopping for the entire week, especially since it was a 10 minute drive from home. These days, I see the grocery store as a corner store where I can buy milk, bread, eggs and ketchup. The meat I buy from the butcher across the street and the cheese from the cheese counter next to the fish store. In the end, I walk home in just minutes.
Living in the city is not always relaxing and it can sometimes feel a bit “dirty”, seen from the perspective of someone who grew up in a green suburban neighbourhood. There are always people around and it can get pretty noisy at times. Still, it has its advantages and currently, I much appreciate my city lifestyle. I love that I can walk anywhere, that restaurants and shops are diverse and that I feel things are happening all around me. The energy of the city works for me these days and maybe well into the future too. Previously, I believed that raising a child in the city wasn’t an option. Now I know that it is entirely doable; it is just a slightly different way of living.
Whether you are moving from the suburbs into the city or moving from the city in search of more green space, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy getting to know your new neighbourhood this summer!
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