Homeowner: Country and City

When you are looking at houses, or before you start looking, it really does help to draw up a list of things that are important to each of the people who will live there. This will help you decide where to look, and will also help you to eliminate houses that simply won't work.

Here are some of the things that we thought about, in terms of location.

My partner Clyde is an artist, and wants to live somewhere quiet and rural, away from the city, but I've lived in Toronto for the past fifteen years and love the city. Our compromise is that we do indeed live in rural Southern Ontario, but we sometimes stay in one of the many toronto hotels and visit the city.

Toronto is about three hours' drive away from Prince Edward County, where we live. It's not always a pleasant drive in the winter, though, so sometimes we take the train. Via Rail takes maybe two hours to get us to Union station from Belleville, but we live a good 45 minutes' drive from Belleville, and unless we stay at the Royal York Hotel, we still have to take a cab or the TTC to our hotel.

Currently I don't drive, so I really do miss the city, but, to be fair, there are benefits to living in the country. We do have high speed internet which makes it possible for me to work from home.

Although the house we bought is fairly remote, it does have an art gallery in a converted barn, and since the previous owner is a photographer there is also a dark-room. It is not on the water, and Clyde did want a waterfront home so he could go swimming, but we didn't find one with enough privacy, so having a swimming pool was our compromise. In retrospect we could have bought a house without a pool and had one put in.

My side of the deal is that I got a large downstairs area to use for my study!


Living in the country means being prepared for things. In the winter you often can't get into town, so you have a well-stocked freezer and you're prepared to have to stay indoors for days at a time. You also buy more things by mail order.

In the summer there are lots of mosquitoes, so you put up lots of bird-boxes, feed the birds, and have window screens.

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