A Few Thoughts On City Living

7 August 2015 | 4 Comments


Early yesterday evening, our regular UPS guy knocked on the door next to mine. I heard it loud and clear, because our house is a semi (meaning it’s attached to the house next door), and every knock on their door sounds like a knock on our door. I said hello to the delivery guy, and told him I’d inform the neighbour they had a package on their front stoop. I then headed upstairs to my office, stuck my head out the window, and hollered at my neighbour (who was entertaining guests on her back porch) that she had a box to collect at her front door. I didn’t think twice about the privacy issues… it’s always seemed like their business is our business, and vice versa. We can hear them through the shared wall in our house, and are often aware of their comings and goings, but it’s a peaceful co-existence.

I thought about my lovely cousin, who lives in the country with her small children, and how there are metres and metres of space (if not acres) between them and their neighbours. They would probably have no idea if the UPS guy left a package on their neighbour’s front stoop.  When my cousin and her daughters came for a sleepover in the city earlier in the summer, my cousin’s eldest daughter told Clara that she had a forest in her backyard, and couldn’t believe how small our backyard was. It was so sweet! Clara, being the ultimate city kid, had no idea what she was talking about.

A friend recently shared something on Facebook about city living vs suburban living (this friend is moving to the ‘burbs soon). The post talked about which is “better”… living in the city, or living in the suburbs. As if there’s a right answer for everyone!

My family moved around a fair bit when I was growing up. We had 5 major moves before I was 13 years old (including moving from the States to Canada). I guess because of that, or because I’m a fairly practical person, I feel like I could make a home anywhere.  I find the choices people make, and the variety of options to be fascinating.

We’ve seen a lot of friends decamp from the city for the ‘burbs or for the country, and I don’t think anyone has made a *wrong* decision. It’s just different. More than once we’ve thought about “cashing out” of Toronto’s insane real estate market and heading for the hills. But ultimately, I don’t think it would be right for me, for many reasons. It’s right for a lot of people, but not for me. So we stay. For now. For a while.

I do love hearing stories of how people live in various ways though. Have you seen the Motherhood Around the World series on the Cup of Jo blog? It’s so fantastic to read about all the wonderful and diverse ways there are to make a home and raise a family.

[photo above of my city backyard, so you can see how close the neighbours are. It’s tiny, but I really love it.]



4 Responses on “A Few Thoughts On City Living”

  1. Laura says:

    I love love love the motherhood around the world series on cup of jo. I don’t follow the blog regularly but do like to see when one of those stories is posted!

    And it’s funny you mention the trend of moving in/out of cities, I’ve been thinking a lot about that too lately! I always thought I was a city mouse, but lately have been longing for some woods and long driveways and that unkempt casual kind of country life. I grew up near farmland, with many friends living down roads with W/N numbered designations, I could never grasp why someone would not live in the city! Now, I think I envy that life a little bit. But maybe just from a distance? (o;

  2. avery says:

    I fantasize about living in the country as well! The grass is always greener, right? =)

  3. Carol says:

    I used to think I could never live anywhere but in the middle of a big city. Now I think – how soon can I leave? I want space and quiet. In reality, I would probably be terrified of how alone I’d be. But right now, I crave some space between me and the next guy. And a garden.
    ps – what a divine little chair you have at the end of your garden 😉

  4. avery says:

    I understand the need for space and quiet. Especially when your kids are grown. I want a bigger garden too!

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