We 905’ers take a lot of heat about life in the suburbs from those city folk, don’t we? There’s a constant rivalry between those in the city and those in the ‘burbs, it seems. Having lived in both, and then chosen to remove ourselves from city life, I’m always happy to sing the praises of this suburban life. And being in Whitby means that we’ve got the best of both worlds — close proximity to the cool city stuff, with the laid-back, spacious lifestyle of Durham Region.
Here are ten fantastic things about living in Durham Region. (No offense, city friends, we love you, too, but we really are totally happy out here!)
10. Parking, parking, glorious parking!
We’ve got street parking for cheap (and even free!), we have free parking lots, we have mall lots and driveways. Living in the suburbs means never worrying about parking ever again.
9. Cheaper housing
This goes without saying, doesn’t it? Housing prices in Durham Region are still more affordable (though most definitely on the rise, so a fantastic investment!), and we are loving every part of that!
8. Close enough to the city
It used to be that the suburbs were a cultural wasteland, although these days we’re teeming with great food, theatre and shopping. Still, we’re in love with the fun stuff in the city too, and living in Durham Region means an easy drive or train downtown to have fun there.
Not only do we easily head downtown for nights out, but the majority of residents in Durham Region commute to work in the city, too. And thanks to the GO Train, it’s an easy commute.
7. Lots of friendly neighbours
Maybe it was just the places we lived, but we’ve met so many more people since moving to the suburbs than we ever knew downtown. Perhaps it was the fact that we spent less time outside our actual home there, whereas here, we’re always hanging out in the back and front yards. The cliche is real: neighbourhood get-togethers, friendly hellos, friendly BBQs, and more. Suburban life is friendly and warm.
6. Easy livin’
We loved our city lives a lot, and we do expose our kids to the city as often as possible, but we have to admit, we love the easier pace out here. There’s no competing for space in rec programs, and the infrastructure is designed to support young families. We’ve got playgrounds on every corner, and tons of activities dedicated to young families out here in Durham Region.
5. Proximity to the country
We’re close to cottage country and vast green spaces out here in Durham Region. We can shop for food right from the farmers who grow it in our backyards. And our kids can head up the road five minutes for things like horseback riding lessons, and long walks through vast conservation areas.
4. It’s quiet
Truly, truly quiet. When we first moved out of the city, we found it unnerving how quiet the nights were. But it’s the truth — we hear all the birds, the wind in the trees, and kids playing in the park behind our house. We hear very little traffic, city buzz, or sirens here.
3. Easy access to the 407
With the extension being built, we’re on the fast-track to pretty much anywhere from Durham Region, and able to avoid the congested 401. This makes commuting easier, but also family road trips, which is something we love doing!
2. People are happier in the ‘burbs
That’s scientifically proven! Studies have shown that typically people in the suburbs have better mental health overall, assuming they don’t have a really long commute to work. That’s what’s great about Durham Region — it’s a reasonable commute to Toronto for work, just close enough without the stress of city life. Perfect!
1. It’s bigger where it’s smaller
We’ve got larger living spaces, larger play spaces, larger everything out here. But as an established suburb, Durham Region also has personality, history and culture. Smaller neighbourhoods that allow for larger families are a big draw for many moving out here. We’re partial to Whitby, of course, but the entire Region is hot, hot, hot!