Are you a city slicker?
Does a big city excite you? Energize you? Make you want to move into the penthouse of a skyscraper?
Whether you own your home or rent a space to live, you very likely have some opinions about where you choose to hang your hat. There are advantages to an urban lifestyle that city-dwellers cannot imagine doing without, while die-hard country folk may not comprehend compromising on having space to breathe for such perceived ‘conveniences.’
You may be surprised to know that, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia, 80% of Canadians live in urban areas. Of course, a large number of that population lives outside the downtown core of their city, preferring suburban sub-division style accommodation, or even small town living (which, statistically, qualifies them as “urban-ites.”)
Where do you prefer to live, given the choice? Here are 5 indicators that you are a city-slicker at heart:
1. You would rather take the bus or walk than drive.
The closer one lives to a true urban centre, a downtown, the more likely they are not to need or own a car. Everything is designed to be at their fingertips, possibly including their workplace. The one and only draw for some city-dwellers is the short commute to work on foot, by bike, or via public transportation. The thought of extending the work day by sitting in traffic morning and night seems absurd to them.
2. Your love of ALL of the different type of cuisines.
Foodies of all stripes are drawn to cities that offer them endless dining options. The bigger the city, and the more diverse its population, the more varied the menu options will be. Immigrants tend to settle in urban areas and eventually ethnic restaurants grow into the communities to offer authentic comfort foods that become beloved to everyone who lives there.
Take the time to eavesdrop on a conversation sometime between people comparing cities in different provinces (or states), and you will eventually hear them rate the restaurant scene. “You’ve never been to Montreal? You have to go – the FOOD is amazing!”
3. You appreciate the beauty of city architecture
Many cities, not just in Canada, but around the world, take deep pride in their own distinctive skylines, and in the character of their buildings.
Here in Southern Ontario, the CN Tower cuts a figure that is admired from all along the shores of Lake Ontario, and the skyscrapers that are staggered around it create a unique silhouette that is widely recognized by travellers to the area
The choice to live in a small apartment downtown is often influenced by the view of the city out strategically placed floor-to-ceiling windows. The price to purchase a condo in a tall building often has a premium added for the upper floors for this reason, and the penthouse is typically considered the “best” unit, like the cherry on top.
Every city in the region has its own history, and there is undeniable beauty in restored century homes and heritage buildings with their exquisite detail and stately elegance.
4. You feel safe having people close by
In purely practical terms, living in the city provides access to other people for many reasons.
Hospitals, clinics, and other medical services are easily accessible: For anyone with a chronic health issue, it can be very stressful not to have easy access to specialists and services they require. Some seniors, who managed large country homes and raised families far from urban centres, make a decision later in life to move closer to the medical offices and centres where they find themselves spending time.
Airports, train stations, bus terminals close to home: Regular travellers appreciate being a short distance to these centres. Young people who live far from home for school or work love knowing that, when loved ones come to visit, they will be close from the moment they arrive!
Neighbours can easily check on each other: Quirky neighbours have been the stuff of sitcoms ever since who-knows-when, and bad ones are definitely a challenge! But most city-folk appreciate having a neighbour close by who looks out for them, notices if they aren’t around, and can quickly come over if a need arises.
Interestingly, despite the physical closeness of neighbours in city communities, a lack of privacy is very seldom a concern, and it seems that most people respect their city neigbours’ boundaries.
5. You thrive on energy and diversity
Without a doubt, the bigger the city, the more intense the buzz. Entertainment and recreation options are limitless. Sports fans often have home teams to cheer on, art lovers may spend time in museums, party-goers club hop and dance the weekends away.
The people in most cities in Canada are also diverse, speaking languages from all over the world, bringing a variety of cultures and customs together in one place. Those who are in awe at the beauty of such diversity miss it when they are away from their home city.
There are lots of other reasons why people choose to live in cities, and we would love to hear your thoughts. What is your favourite city? Would you live there, or is it a place you just love to visit?
Stay tuned for the argument on the flip side: Next time, our country-mouse cousins are going to chime in on this conversation and tell us why they prefer to live closer to nature