Living Part time in the City and the Country: The Good, Bad & Ugly

June 15, 2011 1

As I mentioned earlier in the year, my husband and I bought a house in Niagara on the Lake. As entrepreneurs we have some flexibility with our work schedules, so we took that as a sign to start living the life we always wanted and live part time in the city, part time in the country. Splitting life between Niagara on the Lake, and downtown Toronto has proven to be quite exciting! When we mention that we live in the city… and the country it’s surprising how many people say “Oh, I’ve always wanted to do that!”. I thought we were the only ones crazy enough to have that dream. As it turns out, there’s a lot of people out there that love the excitement of downtown living, but crave the tranquility of a quieter pace of life…at least a few days a week.

One thing that happens when we tell people about our living situation is that people always have lots of questions…from finances, to lawn moving, so here it is…

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

The Good
– the peaceful feeling of waking up with clean air, blue skies and chirping birds
– having a totally new way of living…together
– regular visitors from the city who are excited to see what you’re up to
– the space! our house is 3500 square feet, that’s a big improvement from our condo that is 800 square feet
– having loads of new places to discover, including tons of new wineries that we’ve never visited
– getting loads more exercise from walking around the property and doing yardwork
– finally having a use for all my “country” knowledge acquired from growing up on a sheep farm
– having a barn cat. it came with the house, but has become a good companion for us

The Bad
– our lawn is 2 acres…and takes 5 hours to mow!
– the totally out of control gardens – weeds, weeds and more weeds!
– after living in condos for years, not knowing how to fix any “house” stuff, or where even to start (our eaves trough was ripped off our house 2 months ago in a violent wind storm…we still haven’t fixed it)
– the hot water tank isn’t very big….so after one bath we’re back to cold water
– scheduling meetings only on days you plan on being in the city can be tricky
– it’s very expensive having a condo downtown and a house in the country…but worth it!

The Ugly
– the endless Spring, coupled with a broken lawn mower, means the grass did not get mowed for several weeks and was almost 2 feet tall in some places
– TICKS! long wet grass is the perfect breeding ground for ticks, which are now everywhere in the tall grass. Ticks are little annoying bugs that bury their head in your skin, suck your blood, and carry lots of diseases…including Lyme Disease!
– Having my pregnant friend get stuck in our driveway in a snow storm. There’s no faster way to feel like sh*t than trapping a pregnant woman in your cold house when you know all she wants to do is get back to her own bed
– Holy Moses is Propane Freaking Expensive! Having lived in a condo for years, we’re used to turning up the heat, turning down the heat and leaving doors and windows open without a thought. Within the first 2 weeks of owning our house we got a propane bill for $1,200! From then on, we kept the heat low, lit fires, and lived like Scrooges!

There is 1 comment

  • Keri Copcutt says:

    Ingrid, I LOVE the post on living in the country versus the city. You are living the life that many wish they could but it does come with a price like higher propane costs, ticks and snowed in guests!! However, to have that flexibility in your life is WORTH IT!!!