City vs. Suburbs

Oh, I have been itching to do this post for some time! Why? Well, this strange phenomenon has been happening to almost everyone I know… Friends happily live downtown and then BAM- a year or two after having a kid they get up and leave it all for a house in a suburbs. I think I struggle to understand why they make this choice. So maybe I need this for myself: understanding what drives people to make this move by doing a pros and cons list of downtown baby life vs. suburban baby life. Maybe there are more pros to living in the ‘burbs? Let’s start the rumble-
Warning: I will be ruthless.



  • Less reliance on a car = save money
  • Pedestrian & bike- friendly living = more time spent outdoors
  • The best cafes and restaurants at your doorstep
  • Affordable housing options (detached, single, condo etc) *this is for Hamilton, definitely not Toronto
  • Close to the waterfront and big public parks
  • You get more mileage out of your fancy stroller
  • Near entertainment (First Ontario Centre, local festivals)
  • Greater anonymity
  • More diverse (culturally and socio-economically)
  • Greater access to public transportation: GO Trains, buses to airports and downtown Toronto. (Meaning you won’t have to shuttle your kids around as much as they grow up)


  • Main shopping centres (Limeridge, Mapleview etc. are further and a bit more tricky to get to without a car)
  • Fewer daycare options
  • Most residential buildings in downtown are older (more money for repairs, renos etc needed)
  • Can have limited parking options
  • Sometimes very small/no backyards


Yes, this is an actual onesie you can buy


  • More daycare options
  • Bigger communities of children
  • Many extracurricular clubs (dance, sports, etc) are located there
  • Higher ranked elementary schools compared to downtown
  • Quieter
  • More room for parking (your cars and guests’)
  • Away from “undesirable” sights like jails, strip clubs and homelessness…eye roll.


  • Barely any interesting options when it comes to restaurants or cafes
  • Traffic (on the LINC, on the 403…etc)
  • …speaking of which, you spend your time in traffic, don’t you?
  • Gas Gas and more Gas ($$$)
  • You are a human taxi driver: for yourself and for everyone, everywhere
  • Daycares- lots, but are packed because of so many kids
  • The most desireable areas are $$$ and usually have a box for their backyards
  • No festivals or events anywhere within walking distance
  • Your child will likely grow up in a bubble
  • Less privacy: everyone knows your business

What do you think? Did I miss anything? If you did have kids, what choice would you make? I think another interesting comparison would be “baby in the country” which would have its own unique pros/cons list. Anyways, let me know your thoughts!


10 thoughts on “City vs. Suburbs

  1. Is there a happy medium? My last house in Waterloo was strategically purchased just a 25 minute walk from downtown. It was a neighborhood that was one of the original “suburbs” in the 1960’s (complete with unique mid-century bungalows and side splits.) We had the best of both worlds in this location.


    1. Totally! I think there are great in-betweens like you describe. I think it depends on the type of suburbs too. The ‘burbs’ back in the 60s look very different than they do today and they keep evolving. There are a few middle kind ‘suburban/city’ neighbourhoods like Roncesvalles or high park in Toronto or Locke street/ Durand which were once the burbs but are very connected with a city-feel. That I could do.


  2. Interesting points! I grew up in a small town so not quite a suburb but definitely not a city! I guess I’m the country option. My pros would be so much space outside, not really any crime, and going to the city feels like an outing, Cons would be commuting, lack of diversity, and as you get older, lack of job opportunity. But whenever I go to the city I find it overwhelming and dirty.


    1. We always say that if we don’t live in the city, we would just go the whole way and move to the country to get the space the suburbs no longer have. You could always do a guest spot on pros/cons on having a baby in the country! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I think it’s worth keeping an open mind in either direction. I grew up in a bubble in the burbs and cities- the sights, sounds etc scared me! Now I am in the city and love it. Life is funny like that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have children but I can totally understand why living in the burbs may be more attractive. I do envy those with the bigger backyards in the burbs. I love me some backyard parties. But I personally love the downtown core. So much to do and see even if it’s just walking the neighbourhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if homes nowadays in the suburbs had bigger yards I would totally see that as appealing. Nowadays the backyards are the size of a shoebox and there are barely any trees! I could handle the burbs if it’s an older neighbourhood with big trees and big yard.


  4. Pingback: Baby in a Condo – James North Mommy

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