(Note: This post was written by Laurel Regan and originally published in a separate blog called “Why Windsor…”, which was later merged with Alphabet Salad.)
Now that the option of leaving Victoria was actually on the table, all sorts of choices and possibilities began to present themselves for consideration. Hours upon hours upon hours were spent online researching cities all over Canada – job market, climate, house prices, cost of living, ease of travel (no ferries allowed!), size, and so on. We went in with our minds open to pretty much everything, and worked towards narrowing down our choices to the place (or places) that suited us best… and time after time, more than any other location, Windsor kept ticking all the boxes for us. Despite some of its well-publicized concerns (the dismal job market being the main one), Windsor fit.
Obviously no location is perfect, every location has its drawbacks, and each individual has their own specific preferences and desires for the place they call home… so what it comes down to, really, is weighing the options, calculating the pros and cons of a particular location, and determining which side tips the scale.
Some of our considerations and conclusions:
- Climate: It’s a given that leaving Victoria and moving to just about any other part of the country means that we’ll experience more extreme weather… but there’s extreme, and then there’s extreme. Overall, Windsor‘s weather seems to be milder than the other places we investigated… not quite as much of a shock to the system.
- House prices: As discussed in my previous post, this was the very thing that first attracted us to Windsor!
- Cost of living: Windsor didn’t necessarily have a huge edge over any other city in Canada, as getting off the Island immediately means that life – groceries, gas prices, etc. – is cheaper, period! One telling point, though, is that when gas prices in Victoria were up over $1.10 per litre, Windsorites were paying around $0.89. Nice.
- Ease of travel: We absolutely love Windsor‘s location – in fact, I’d have to say that along with the cost of real estate, location is probably the city’s biggest selling feature for me. So many interesting places are within a day’s drive of Windsor (with no ferry fares!), which means that the possibilities for weekend getaways are endless. (For example, the notion that after driving for around five hours we could be in Chicago… Chicago!… is completely dizzying.)
- Size: Windsor‘s not too big, not too small – it’s just right.
So, Windsor it is.
Next steps: Plan for future employment; get our home ready for sale, put it on the market, and sell it; take a trip to Windsor to find and buy a new home… then move!
Life is good.