Where do you want to move?

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  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @torey You had so.much more of an elegant answer.

    What surprised me in 1985 when we went to coastal BC is that when we went from town to town (from city to city) in the southwest, how even acreages seemed piled one on top of the other. I had asked when we could be driving through the country. I was told that we were and I was quite surprised. There was no true rural area in the Mission area (or east or west of there) even back then. I can only imagine what it's like now. That was a long time ago already!

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning @torey

    I hope you both realize that I wrote that slightly tongue-in-cheek, though there is a serious element too.

    While I don't know all the specifics of Canadian soils, historical patterns of trade or settlement, etc., I certainly realize that most people want to live in a climate that is at least moderately warm, has good transportation connections for travel and shipping goods, and trade and manufacturing that supply jobs.

    The same thing is true in the USA.

    I'm not surprised that BC is overpopulated. Washington has also become very overpopulated in the last 30 years or so, primarily around the Seattle metro, as many Californians have fled north, but brought their problems with them. :-( Colorado has also been changed significantly by too many people moving in too quickly.

    When I wonder why more Canadians don't move "farther north", though, I am thinking less of Nunavut/NWT/Yukon and more the northern reaches of Ontario and Quebec up around the coasts of Georgian Bay, or the region west of Ottawa, or anywhere in the southern third of Saskatchewan. Even New Brunswick seems thinly populated to me.

    Again, I am not familiar enough with Canada to know the specific issues that may affect each area, though I have visited many of the southern provinces. But it sure seems that a huge percentage of Canadians live in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal, even more so than the percentage of Americans living in our own largest cities.

    Vermont is not quite as remote as the Canadian Rockies, but we have many dirt roads, serious winter blizzards that can shut down roads, temperatures routinely below -18C in midwinter. The main employers here are government and tourism. Wages are generally low and taxes high. The soil outside of the two big river valleys on the east and west boundaries is very poor, better suited to animal pasture than vegetable farming. Agriculture here tends to be dairy for cheese production and small-scale regional farms that don't sell to big chains. And even here in Vermont, a third of the population lives in a single metro area in the northwestern corner.

    So I understand the issues that underdeveloped Canadian regions face.

    I guess I'll never understand why so many people prefer cities, which seems to be universal. It's happening worldwide. It's not simply economics, because cities are much more expensive places to live unless you are in a run-down, dangerous slum. If I had to be poor, I'd much rather be rural poor than urban poor. (Of course, having grown up in a rural area born to Great Depression-era parents who had known poverty and still practiced self-reliance and frugality, I have a much better idea of how to deal with rural poverty than urban poverty. I'd be helpless in one of those urban slums.)

    Hearing different perspectives is interesting and educational. Thanks for sharing.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,635 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning Yes, despite the fact that we have the Agricultural Land Reserve here in BC, it is managed by an outdated system and run by a bureaucracy that is doing little to protect the prime growing land in south coastal BC. When we drove through there recently, we were again shocked at the amount of development over that past year. There is very little left that is really rural. Farms are being allowed to be sold for development.

    One thing that is particularly aggravating to small farmers is that they can't have a business that supplements their income. One farm recently had its small bistro shut down. They were selling pies and other goodies made from their orchards but because they were selling coffee and other non-farm items, they were not allowed. Another, last year, had its Fall Thanksgiving/Hallowe'en events (like hay rides and food sales) shut down because it was considered an indoor commercial venture. But if you are making beer or wine, then the rules change. Change to the point that there is now a huge commercial international brewery operating on 10 acres of prime farm land. Ironically, years ago, the land was used for hop farms. But it is like a slap in the face to all the small farmers around the brewery who are struggling to make ends meet.

    Even where the land is not being sold for development, it is being bought by very wealthy people who are putting up super mansions, some over 10,000 sq feet with sprawling driveways, lawns and outbuildings and paying very little in taxes because they might have an acre or two of blueberries. So then the property becomes worth so much that people who are truly interested in farming can't afford it.

    I agree with you @VermontCathy, that I would sooner be rural poor than urban poor. There is a huge difference between the two. Most people who are rural poor at least have the ability to farm, garden, hunt and fish. And yes, the largest portion of BC's population lives in Vancouver or the surrounding area called the Lower Mainland. But anywhere else that has good usable land is fairly well populated.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @VermontCathy I actually hadn't caught that, but it is a question that is honestly asked by some baffled people.

    Those regions, northern Ontario & northern Quebec are tough. There are people there, yes, but they are also very rugged, do it yourself types and they are few. We bought 2 jerseys from a woman who originally lived there on her own, deep in the bush. A tough one alright and she had stories, but a very kind & generous woman. Still, you wouldn't want to cross her.

    The same issues (minus mountain issues of course) apply in those two areas. If you take a look at a Google maps map, you will see the darker green of the Canadian Shield (trees, rocks, water), and then the muskeg/tundra areas north of that that are a lighter shade.

    Some of the reasons people gather in these cities is that they are major entry points. Both immigrants & tourists know about them, go there & often stay.

    By Ottawa...I don't know enough about it to comment.

    In Saskatchewan, 10,000 acres is considered a small grain farm. Those guys won't sell that land to little guys for anything. That has increasingly taken up the majority of the land in the southern portion. Large ranches are also common in less fertile areas.

    New Brunswick, I'm not fully sure of, but maritime provinces seem to have their fair share of lack of jobs and I think that could be a factor. I understand that it is very beautiful there.

    I am also one who doesn't understand the draw of a large city, a small one...or even a small town. The cities can be interesting to visit in normal times, but space beats a cramped city any day!

    Rural poor. That's us. But, overall we are doing just fine!

    Sometimes I think about how rich we really are and the choices that are open to us. It is definitely all in perspective. My cousin, in Toronto, wishes he could be in the country right now & have a farm. He is lucky that he has a balcony where he grew lots of tomatoes! But, he moved from sw Saskatchewan to a job out there. You have to live with the decisions you make. Sometimes, rich or poor, it is hard to leave when those choices are followed. Some factor often keeps people stuck.

    I too am enjoying learning about a different area than my own. It gives me an opportunity to travel even when I can't. Thanks! 😄

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @torey "Muskeg terrain starts just a few hours north of me and it covers large sections of the north. Its difficult to build on and even harder to maintain roads."

    This is probably the biggest feature that makes large chunks of Canada different from the northern USA, apart from Alaska. We don't have a significant amount of muskeg. Roads run everywhere in "the lower 48".

    I seem to remember reading that the farthest you could get from all roads (including dirt four-wheel drive roads) in the lower 48 is about 35 miles. If you move farther than that from one road, you're getting closer to another one. Anywhere that wasn't developed as urban/suburban was developed instead for logging, mining, or farming, with the roads needed to make that happen.

    The most remote sections of Maine, Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming would feel very lonely to city dwellers, but they still don't have the isolation you described for northern Canada. In the United States, only Alaska has that kind of isolation.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning "Those regions, northern Ontario & northern Quebec are tough. There are people there, yes, but they are also very rugged, do it yourself types and they are few. We bought 2 jerseys from a woman who originally lived there on her own, deep in the bush. A tough one alright and she had stories, but a very kind & generous woman. Still, you wouldn't want to cross her."

    You don't want to cross anyone in small towns or thinly-populated rural areas. Everybody knows everybody, and everybodys knows everybody's business! This was true in the small town of 1,500 people and the surrounding rural area where I grew up, and it's no doubt even more true in the bush. People mind their own business, but they do know what you are doing.

    Canada's own Lynn Johnston said it well.

    https://fborfw.com/strip_fix/saturday-august-10-1996/

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin
    edited November 2020

    @VermontCathy This is true for the most part. Some people here would still help, but some would turn their nose up and leave, which is sad. I heard that from someone from Saskatchewan too, and it had happened to her in a couple serious situations. Sadly, not everyone would come to your aid.

    I do think that the more remote you are, though, the more the cartoon is true.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    I am on my third continent and love living in Ecuador. Canada is nice but almost always too hot or too cold or too buggy and the weather is rarely good. I've been to every province. Newfoundland is amazing. The people and landscape and seafood are out of this world but we had blood running down our faces from bug bites. BC is lovely but covered in an almost permanent chemtrail soup.

    I'm so happy to see blue sky like in my childhood almost every day here. Yes, there are problems but far less than what I'm used to. Lived in Germany for quite a few years and liked it a lot but it's overpopulated and has a really bad legal system. Not a great place for women. Ecuador has a lot of rights for women. I can't think of any place I'd rather be.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭

    I want to move wherever the Holy Spirit leads.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @blevinandwomba I think that they'd kick me out. Remember this Sesame Street song? "One of these things is not like the other..."

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    Anyone want to move to Nova Scotia?

    Beautiful, but where its located, it would come with really bad snow & winds, including the possibility of cat. 1 hurricanes & lesser storms. I can't imagine this being comfortable in those storms or in winter. I could see all your animals blowing away. 😬 Considering the size of the trees, you would never have a windbreak for much of anything.

    But on the other hand, if you had a really long line, maybe you could catch a fresh fish or two.

    I bet these folks thought that they got a dream place to build. After a while, they most likely found that it wasn't such a dreamy choice. I suspect that it is one of those types of things.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,635 admin

    Definitely not for me with those cliffs! Stunning home! Amazing kitchen! But...... Not much for soil from the looks of it. You'd have to build raised bed gardens. Can't imagine putting in fence posts. You'd have to build a log rail fence. It says there is a septic field but that looks like they might have had to blast to dig a hole for the tank and field. That's a lot of money to pay for a view.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @torey My guess is that it is mainly rock with not much soil to speak of.

    Did you see how many bathrooms? All but one bedroom had an ensuite. Even if you rented all four upper rooms out, you'd never make it pay for itself.

    Our rule for buying a place (if we ever get to buy another), is that it needs to be able to pay for itself. It has to have the ability to bring in a good income. This one never would.

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    I'm thinking right now I want to move somewhere tropical, but I don't want to deal with hurricanes. Maybe Hawaii someday.

  • AdrienneHew
    AdrienneHew Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    You may want to wait for prices to drop. Since all the lockdowns, mainlanders are buying from the web and paying astronomical prices. Almost makes me wanna cash out and move to NZ.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree that it's probably not the best time to move, either to Hawaii or to rural areas that have been in demand. It may actually be a good time to cash out if you have an extra property that you bought as an investment, but I'd be careful about selling a primary residence right now without someplace else to go. You might make some money on the sale, then have to pay a premium price at your new location.

  • AdrienneHew
    AdrienneHew Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    I say that half jokingly, but point taken. I love my home and the views are spectacular. We're just getting going, but if we had our land rehabilitated, we'd make a mint even above what we could sell it for if we just cashed out as-is.

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    I'm not going to be a home owner any time soon. Wherever I go, I'll be renting first, most likely. Given what just happened in Florida, I definitely won't be living anyplace where there may be shifting foundations under large apartment/condo complexes. :-(

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I love the Pacific Northwest. I have always lived here. We have seasons, more or less. Usually it isn't too cold or too hot. Yes it does rain a lot. It tends to keep things green. If I had to move somewhere else, I think I would like a maritime climate within easy reach of the mountains and with a semi desert climate on the other side of the mountains. Oh wait, that's exactly what I have here. I think that New Zealand might be the closest to having similar conditions.

  • COWLOVINGIRL
    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    I would love to try out Wyoming!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    Funny thing...I have never been to western WY to see the Tetons or any other mountain ranges, but I traveled from north through to the south by interstate & other times by other highways and stayed in the southeast area for a while.

    The region is unique & the people are of a different culture than anywhere I know of up here. There are few trees, not much for water other than a very few reservoirs, a few irrigation canals and such.

    I enjoyed free climbing their "mountains" (bluffs), like the one in the last picture on this web page. https://www.bearmountainbeef.com/our-story They are quite high & when you look down from them, herds of cattle & antelope look like tiny ants. There are lots of rattlers! At least while I was there I never got close to one while I was on foot. It was a concern while getting to & from those sandstone rocks & while finding handholds while climbing.

    I loved the firey sunsets. I was privileged to see some very neon-like ones there.

    I did some field work for some farmers & got to take part in some branding on a large ranch.

    I appreciate it's history.

    I really enjoyed the people & the region and a few years back was able to revisit briefly. I would love to go back for longer and take some extra time to swing over to the mountain ranges, both in the northern part & southern. I really miss it!

    I have wanted to see the rodeos at both Cody & Cheyenne. Maybe one day!

    I would encourage you to visit. The people that I met were wonderful and the culture was very interesting.

  • COWLOVINGIRL
    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I think I will! I think it could definitely be the spot for me.

  • COWLOVINGIRL
    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Thanks for the link!

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 339 ✭✭✭

    Hub and I were thru Cheyenne for a day on a road trip home from a conference in May. What a total disappointment! It was an old, but pleasant town full of character when were lived in eastern Idaho in the 1970's, and was still a quiet, quaint little town when we were through there about two years ago. How times have changed! The place has been "discovered", and what was once scrubland on the edge of town is now an ugly several miles of suburban strip malls, gas stations and services. There is a "new crowd" of ugly low-class urbanites taking over and parts of the town felt downright urban dangerous. On the plus side, there is a gorgeous municipal park with a lovely new arboretum in the older part of town, but the new development is really heartbreaking.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @Suburban Pioneer That is sad to hear. I haven't been there for well over 25 years, and it would make sense that the city would change. The big city mindset (with all of the bad trappings) certainly isn't one that suits the area, as far as I am concerned. Even though many people might call it progress, sometimes it is just the opposite.

    When we went south those few years ago I felt that the rural areas still had the same ageless feel that I knew so many years ago.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very sad to hear about Cheyenne. But cities seem to change their culture faster than smaller towns or rural areas.

    It is intensely frustrating to me to watch humans become overwhelmingly city dwellers, not just in North America, but worldwide. I fear that in coming decades, there will be financial and social pressure applied to try to force more people to move in to the cities and suburbs. Some excuse of economic efficiency will be used, but it will really be more about control.

    I just want to be left alone, but it's getting harder and harder to find places where we can still be left alone.