Wednesday, May 13, 2009

City dweller or tree hugger?

City life is bustling with people, traffic, noise and pollution and the city itself often has a pulse of it's own. People live in small 500 square foot condos and often need to take an elevator to get to their unit after buzzing in at the front door. People prefer to live near malls, coffee shops, public transportation and grocery stores. Everything you need is right down the street or if you are lucky, in your very building! It sounds enough to make someone feel crowded but after living in Toronto for a decade, all of those things, people and noises can make you feel comfortable and right at home!
Downtown Toronto

It took awhile for me to get used to living in Toronto because it is such a busy place but now that I reflect on living there, I have to say that I did enjoy living in or near the big city. I felt like there was a world of possibilities at my doorstep. There were infinite ways to spend your weekend and always things going on to take part in.

It wasn't a carefully thought out plan, leaving the city, but rather an opportunity that came up that I did not want to turn down. In September of last year I left the big metropolis of Toronto and moved to BC to live in the mountains in a town of less than 15,000 people.

Downtown Squamish

I must admit that it took a long time for me to see my town for all that it has to offer. At first I was in awe of it's natural beauty. This corner of the the country has others beat, hands down, in terms of natural beauty but for what it has in natural beauty, I missed the diversity of culture and outside stimuli that the city has to offer.

Moving here felt very much like that movie "Funny Farm" with Chevy Chase where you move from the hustle and bustle of city life and then have to adjust to the the quiet and quirks of small town living. It took me quite some time to 'unplug' from Toronto but now that I have, I can see what both places have to offer and why people have such a hard time deciding between city and small town living.

I have found small town living to be a lot quieter and serene which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the person. Living in a small town requires you to really discover what interests you and go out there and find it. You are not innundated with advertising for the newest yoga class or what's new in fashion. If that sort of thing interests you, it does exist but you have to seek it out. With the slower pace of life you are left with a lot of time to think and reflect as well.

Eight months later I am still getting used to small town living and trying to decide which environment I am more cut out to live it. City dweller or tree hugger... we shall see.


  1. Great make me want to be both a city gal & tree hugger at the same time. Its like comparing apples to oranges. I want fruit salad :)

  2. City dweller!!! come back to TO! :)

  3. It's always a toss up! Smaller towns force you to be more creative where you can be a passive participant in activities in bigger cities.

  4. Not yet! We shall see...I have to give the mountains a fair shot first!!!

  5. I've always wanted to try out living in a small town. The few times I've visited them (Guelph, Stratford, etc.) I've felt a real sense of calm and peace. There's just something really great about escaping to a place with fresh air and tons of green space, especially when living in a big city like Toronto.

  6. Downtown Toronto looks so impressive and downtown Squamish looks very cute!