So I live in downtown Hamilton and my husband and I are about to have a baby in the grit of it all. But wait- a baby in downtown? Is that even safe? Is the air even clean? What about the schools there? Wouldn’t we be better moving to the suburbs as soon as possible?
It’s funny how much people can love to visit one place and shop, eat, spend money, walk around, enjoy all the experiences it offers, but when it comes to where they situate themselves for 90% of the time, they prefer something completely different. I truly wonder why?
I grew up in the suburbs my whole life- Niagara and then in the ‘burbs of Hamilton. So I understand what it’s like. When I first wanted to buy my condo in downtown I took my mom to show her my ‘awesome gem’ of a find and she nearly fell over- she couldn’t believe I would want to buy in that area when there were plenty of good homes in the quieter, ‘safer’ neighbourhoods on the escarpment (aka ‘the mountain’).
They’ve since completely changed their minds and love visiting to see the views, walk around Bayfront Park and eat at all the tasty restaurants and cafes with us. However lately, but they are starting to change their tune with a future grandchild on the way. But why? In fact, I recently got an email from my mom who is obsessed with realtor.com and sent me a listing of what she thinks we might consider moving into:
Oh. hell. no.
My husband Scott was born and raised in downtown Toronto where he grew up learning traits and having experiences I think us suburban-raised kids tend to lack: independence (getting himself to extra-curricular activities due to non-reliance on a car), self-awareness (taking public transit alone and with confidence), exposure to diversity (thegreater myriad of cultural, social etc backgrounds that surround you in the city) and generally being better equipped to handle life at an earlier age. So to him, growing up in Si-burbia is equally as strange and bizarre as thinking kids can’t be raised in a city.
I understand most will make an exodus to the suburbs once they start having kids (my sister,various friends….) but at the same time, is it really that worth it or necessary? I will revisit this topic in a later post. For now, this is what prompted my interest in writing: documenting things that new downtown parents can do and take advantage of.