Moving has got to be one of the toughest tasks that one has to perform during adulthood. In the past 13 months we have had to move twice and both times were challenging, emotionally as well as physically.
The first move was from Pakistan to Canada (Lahore to Toronto) and now the second move has been from being very close to Toronto Downtown to the suburbs. I will lay down both pros and cons of City life (which for me meant Condo life) and a disclaimer that I am talking about Toronto so city and suburban life somewhere else could be totally different from what it is like here. Given a choice and if I hold all the other factors constant, I would choose to live in Downtown. But well, life happens and you have to get out of your comfort zone for the greater good of your family.
When we set out house hunting after landing in Toronto last year, I was very sure of the fact that we cannot start off our life here being in the suburbs. There were a few reasons for that, the major one being the fact that I do not drive and I did not want to get stranded in a house in a completely new environment. So let us talk about the what I loved about living in a Condo and the factors that kicked us out into the suburbs.
City Life (Condo Life) :
We weren’t living in core Downtown so someone else might have a different experience but from what I observed here is my list:
- You have access to subway and if you are lucky like we were, you could have the subway at a 3 min walk. So, on a day that I was feeling low, I could just hop onto the subway and go to downtown to have lunch or just roam around without being dependent on my dear husband.
- You do not know how to drive/do not have a driving license, no worries, subway got you covered.
- Snowstorm/hailstorm/windstorm or any kind of storm do not come in way of your daily activities (because subway is King! ) If any of you follow my Insta stories, I took kids to Disney on Ice all by myself on the day of the worst snowstorm.
- You have grocery/pharmacy/ walk-in-clinics (in most cases) at a walking distance.
- Even if it is snowing cats and dogs and you look out of your window, you can almost always detect signs of human existence which can be a mood uplifter on those gloomy days.
- Underground parking (need I say more?)
- Personally seeing people around me, in the corridors/elevators/lobby , made me happy. (weird much?)
- You really don’t need to worry about how to dispose off your garbage. All you need to do is go down the hall and put it in the chute .
- Space is very limited in a Condo. It is ideal for people living by themselves or Couples without kids. I see people with kids living in condos very happily so maybe its a desi thing to be wanting more space with kids. But this wall was basically my kitchen so imagine the struggle!
- Rentals are insane near downtown so with a single income (like in our case) we were really pushing it to be where we were for a year.
- You always have to worry about the neighbors when your kid is throwing a tantrum because her rice touched the gravy and you pray that you get non-desi neighbors so you could at least call the kids Uloo ka Patha without being judged.
- Storage space is so limited that I feel like my clothes have started breathing since we moved in into our current house. And hence every piece of frniture that we bought had storage option.
- If the kid is taking a nap you cannot vaccuum, watch tv, talk , take a shower. You can only occasionally breathe.
- You cannot host more than 6 people at your place. I made that mistake and it resulted in people stepping on my kids, their toys and each other. (just kidding)
- If you have guests over to stay, that means both you and the guest have zero amount of privacy.
Like I said above, given a choice, I’d still go back to being closer to Downtown. It is so lively there, you can go out at 2am to get food or coffee. I was not driving back home in Pakistan so when we moved to Toronto I felt so liberated that I can go out on my own without any worry in the world, at any hour of the day. But one has to make decisions for the kids and put yourself at the back seat so here we are in the suburbs where the whole city sleeps by 8 pm. More on this in the next post. Come back soon 🙂