Everyone who even knows me a little bit knows that I don’t particularly enjoy the suburbs. This is not to say that I think they aren’t great for certain types of people, however I am not that certain type of person. I am also only one person which doesn’t make living in the middle of nowhere in a bigger house all  by myself seem appealing. The inner city vs. suburbia debate has recently come up among my friends and I, specifically those who are half married and looking to do the next logical thing according to societal norms — up-size and move to the burbs.

I do think we are very fortunate to live in a country where we have the opportunity to live in single family homes with little plots of land but I also think that most people who seek to sprawl into the suburbs are incredibly materialistic. I know a large amount of single people, or couples without kids that live in huge houses out in the burbs, and for what? More space to accumulate junk? Access to all the finest department stores and chain restaurants? Long drives every day to and from work? Yeah, totally makes sense to me. Intentions of building a family in their 5-10 year plan makes sense, sure, but a lot can happen in that time, including a lot of expensive cab rides back to the burbs while you try to live out the last bits of your youth in inner city establishments.

Yes, some of those people likely work close to where they live, which then make them living that far more logical. It is mostly the people who work downtown though, or anywhere remotely central, who live in the abyss of suburbia that I don’t understand. To the argument of moving to the suburbs for your family, there are also many inner city and less remote neighbourhoods with much to offer for families. I also tend to enjoy the look of an established neighbourhood that has trees and homes that weren’t slapped up to fulfill the demand of the boom. Additionally, what kind of character do most of these “new builds” have? Not everyone is a character kind of person granted, but I personally don’t like living in a box that looks like everyone on the block’s box. Did I mention the fact that I don’t particularly like the idea of living next to an old landfill? Yay, your view won’t be obstructed by any construction in the next few years, but sadly because your backyard is an old dump.

I also find it entertaining that a good amount of these new neighbourhoods feature “lakes”, nothing like a man made lake to attract the Calgarian masses. I personally enjoy the natural river that runs only a few blocks from my cozy inner city apartment. Oh, and I especially enjoy the variety of establishments within walking distance that I have to choose from on any given night if I want to go out. Even though transit is well established around here, I love the fact that I can choose not to wait around for a bus or in traffic, get my cardio in and walk to and from work. The best part? I usually walk past all of the traffic.

It has been mentioned that if I wasn’t single I would probably feel differently towards the suburbs because the inner city is better for single people, and although I do agree that the suburbs would be hell for a single person with no baby buggy and golden retriever to take on weekend strolls, I don’t see myself ever wanting to live so far away from reality. My sentiments may be result of never actually living in a suburb, as I grew up in a fairly inner city neighbourhood and then just moved closer to the core as I got older, but none the less I am just not sure I understand the suburban craze. Bigger, cheaper and further away doesn’t sound like a deal to me, if I was looking for space and distance I would live on a farm and even then, when did we all feel it necessary to have bigger everything? I barely enjoy cleaning my 675 square foot apartment, let alone a 3 story 2000+ square foot single family home.

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