I recently came across this article in which Toronto Life chats with former urbanites who now reside in the suburbs. Having grown up in a smaller community of 20,000, I escaped for the bright lights of the city when I moved to Auckland (roughly the size of Calgary, Alberta) at the age of twenty. Since then, I’ve fully immersed myself in my urban playground of Toronto. While there’s something to be said about the idyllic vastness that is a rural environment, I won’t be trading in my shoe-box apartment for greener (and much more spacious) pastures anytime soon!

Here’s what I love about city life:

1. New Urbanism, which is a design movement, promotes walkable neighbourhoods and town centres. Having places to meet friends where you aren’t being sold anything is an amazing feeling.

2. Public transport is a godsend. Save yourself both time and money by hopping on the TTC.

3. Cultural cuisine. Feel like dim sum in Chinatown with gelato for dessert in Little Italy to follow? It’s entirely possible in Toronto.

4. Retail therapy for all budgets. Feeling spendy? Be sure to visit Holt Renfrew and the Mink Mile for some of Canada’s best shopping. However, if you’re strapped for cash or prefer something vintage, I highly recommend Kensington Market, where I just recently purchased a $1 blouse. Toronto has something to suit all budgets, tastes and styles.

5. A thriving social life. Whatever your interests, there’s a club for that.

6. Free events. Save your pennies, check out TIFF in the Park, stop in for a free yoga class downtown or engage in intellectual discussion at one of U of T’s renown lecture series.

7. Parks and green space. Toronto is a smog-filled concrete jungle, you say? I beg to differ. There are at least three parks within a 10-mile radius of my apartment. I do not have to drive anywhere to be one with nature.

8. Entertainment. And I don’t mean in the traditional sense of the word, although there’s plenty of that too. Just walk east or west on Queen Street, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Urbanites are fascinating to observe.

What’s your take on the Toronto Life article? Are you a city person or do you prefer the spaciousness of the ‘burbs? Alternately, do you like the serenity of a rural, more removed community? Weigh in here!

2 thoughts on “ Urban vs. Suburban ”

  1. Interesting post and article. I’ve always lived in the suburbs and even though I work in Toronto, I just don’t know that I can see myself living downtown. I like the spaciousness and quiet of the suburbs, but that if I want to go to the city for something, I’m not THAT far.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Jackie! I definitely see where you’re coming from, spaciousness is a great perk of the suburbs. I prefer having very few possessions (I often recycle and gift clothing to my friends) and not a lot of space as I find it more manageable. Since high school, I have moved countries and continents quite frequently. I love being able to pack up and move without much notice. However, many of my friends and family members love the serenity and wide open space of the suburbs.

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