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Living In The City Vs Living In The Suburbs

| August 16, 2019
downtown toronto

Being a singleton and having lived on my own for the past four years, I don’t live the high and glamorous city life that every other person makes it out to be.

Instead I live in a 40 year old apartment building, own my 1,000 sq ft 2 bedroom condo on the sixth floor with a glamorous unobstructed view of the CN Tower from my office and bedroom, and a balcony that’s large enough to park my car.

Furthermore, it takes me 15 minutes to work – 20 minutes back with very minor traffic, my parking spot is included with my apartment, and have a full separate dining room – something that you can’t get with these new modern condos.

By not living downtown I do have to drive to everything including schools, local amenities such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and video stores, but when I step onto my balcony past 8pm I don’t hear any traffic, sirens, people yelling or any of that crap. It’s totally quiet bliss, peace and serenity.

I absolutely love living the suburb lifestyle, but as I get older I have to wonder what is all the hype about living the downtown city life of daily hustle and bustle?

Living in suburbia offers way more space then you’ll ever get in any place downtown – unless you own a penthouse with a rooftop terrace, but then again I’m not on your level and you’re living the life of the rich and famous.  The other aspect about the suburbs that I absolutely love is the convenience and variety of shopping – living downtown you’re limited to shopping at the same stores, and generally paying more than if you shopped and compared.

I can’t imagine not doing any weekly shopping at stores such as a Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Honestly, Home Depot has become my second home, and some even know me by name, but that’s a whole other story. These type of stores you don’t get in the downtown core, instead you’re limited to mini stores that charge an arm and a leg for whatever you’re buying.

I enjoy discount shopping and I love buying necessity items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and other household items on sale.  This type of shopping is only available in the suburbs.  The shopping choices are definitely limited when you live in the downtown core.

So, you’re still going to tell me downtown living is better?

Okay, I do have a heart, and there are two sides to every story. Downtown living does benefit some, and offers certain things that suburbia doesn’t. For example, if you work and live downtown, you likely don’t need a car. Therefore, you save thousands of dollars in insurance and gas alone, and potentially a car payment. This money could be used towards travel, more expensive downtown location, savings and investments.

See, I told you that there are some benefits.

The Big Picture

In real life most downtown residents and suburbanites don’t feel like they’re trading space for time. Rather, the choice often comes down to personal preferences.

Some people want a backyard big enough for a hockey rink, while others see extra bathrooms as just more to clean. A recent census showed that more people are moving out of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to the surrounding suburbs than the other direction.

Living in the suburbs is much cheaper – home ownership and general everyday living expenses. However, I don’t think the differences are huge. I think a lot of it comes down to the quality of life one is looking for. We all got our personal wish lists, so if having more room is important to you, then burbs may be for you, however if you like that sushi spot across the street from you, then downtown living just might be your thing.

One thing is certain that we all look for is more TIME. Like I said in many of my past articles, time is something that none of us can get back. Losing hours a day in commute is not worth it for anyone, so downtown living or suburbs may be for your after all. Either way, I think one’s job plays a big factor on where they live. My job is not anywhere near the downtown core, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to live in the concrete jungle, if circumstances were different I’m sure I’d be more for downtown living.

Final Thoughts

It can be very difficult to get around the suburbs on foot and it is hard to buy a 24 pack of toilet paper if you have to carry it home on foot. If you have a car then shopping in the suburbs is definitely less expensive than shopping in the city.

In the suburbs we have the luxury of driving to our store of choice, when we shop in the downtown core everything is more expensive because we are paying for convenience.

Readers, is downtown living made out to all it’s be?