Seventeen years ago, I made the move from hectic city living to the wide-open spaces of the country. At the time, I was moving to be closer to my future husband, and really didn’t believe in my heart that we would stay in Orono for as long as we have – little did I truly understand the appeal of rural living.
Our very first home was a one-room schoolhouse, full of mice and heated by a wood-burning stove. Of course, I knew very little of wells, septic tanks, and the other particularities of country homes. Nevertheless, I was quickly captured by the quiet and didn’t mind the easy, traffic-less commute into town. I loved my daily walks on dusty country roads and forest trails. I enjoyed planning my massive vegetable garden, and I was especially surprised at the ease of meeting neighbours, who quickly became lifelong friends. It was not as much of a learning curve as I initially feared and quite frankly, I’m not sure I could easily leave this way of life.
For many people there comes a time when city living begins to lose its appeal. The constant congestion, high price of living and incessant traffic are no longer as tolerable as they once were. Yet, for many individuals, the thought of moving to the country seems like a daunting undertaking, especially for those who have never lived outside a metropolitan area. However, country living is much easier and enjoyable than city dwellers think, and may just be the change of pace that you need. Here are a few of my favourite things about country life:
Proximity to nature
For many city dwellers, the odd tree and small patches of grass are the most nature that they will see in an entire day. When you live in a rural area you can literally open up your door and be surrounded by the beauty of nature. For those looking for even more wilderness, Clarington also has numerous conservation areas, Darlington Provincial Park and South-Central Ontario’s largest forest, the Ganaraska Forest.
No matter what way you look at it, you can get more bang for your buck if you live in the country. For the amount that you would pay for a relatively small condo in the city, in the country, you can purchase land and a home of your own. The average cost of a detached home in Toronto recently rose to $1.05 million, making it more economical and realistic to dream of being a homeowner in the country.
While it may sound cliché, in rural areas everyone really does know their neighbors. When you live in the country you will often find a friendliness and strong small-town community that is lacking in larger metropolitan areas. In the city, anonymity with your neighbors is far more common than familiarity so it may take some time to get used to, but you will soon value the strong relationships you will develop with your fellow country folk.
Living in the country gave my husband and myself the freedom to design and build our dream home, which was an unforgettable and rewarding experience. Moving to a rural area and purchasing land gives you the freedom to create your own home and design your living space. This is rarely feasible in a large city, where empty lots are scarce and condos and townhouses are pre-designed by large companies. Installing your own well and septic is much easier than you think, and shouldn’t deter you from building in the country!
If you aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to the big city but would like a change of pace then Clarington may be the perfect place for you. With GO stations in Oshawa, Newcastle, and Bowmanville, easy access to the 401 and a 407 highway extension in the works, it is easier than ever to commute to the big city. If you would like more information on country living or are interested in moving to Clarington please feel free to contact me anytime