Many millennials living in the city will tell you that life outside Toronto doesn’t exist. They often live in 500 square-foot apartments, spend most of their time lining up to try the latest food trend and have to wait for the third or fourth streetcar before they can squeeze on to get to work.
As the mass exodus from Toronto continues, once die-hard urbanites are finding that the move is not the end of their social life as they expected. Cities like Hamilton and regions like Niagara are more populated than ever with young GTA transplants breathing new life into the once sleepy communities, and giving rise to trendy restaurants, artisan coffee shops, recreational opportunities and even nightlife.
One of the latest destinations for fed-up city folk on the hunt for a more laid-back lifestyle is Thorold, a quaint city of about 18,000 tucked between St. Catharines and Welland off Hwy 406. There’s plenty of good reasons to consider making it your new hometown.
Downtown looks like a movie set.
Thanks to Thorold’s commitment to historical preservation, its downtown is a charming collection of historical storefronts, not unlike a picturesque European town. The stretch encompasses necessary amenities with perfect spots for family dinners, date-nights or solo weekend relaxation without the parking woes of the city.
Your neighbours will be like-minded.
A major concern for urban dwellers is moving out to where family and friends won’t follow. “Prior to 2015, very few people east of Highway 427 moved to Southwestern Ontario. This has changed over the past two years, and homebuyers are looking west for bigger lots at affordable prices,” says Gary Mcilravey, manager, market research at Empire Communities. “For the price of a condo and much less than the price of a fixer upper, more Torontonians are willing to move west to make their homeownerships dream come true.” With this recent surge, your neighbours will be an eclectic mix of Torontonians and locals in search of livability and back-to-roots values.
The great outdoors actually exist here.
The Welland Canal that flanks the entire city of Thorold gives it the air of a breezy waterfront village, connecting to a network of hiking and biking trails and a beautiful canal-side boardwalk that leads to regional destinations with vineyards, boating and greenhouses. Just beyond your new home are acres of undisturbed pastures and lush landscapes, not to mention it’s a stone’s throw to some of the province’s best natural attractions.
Commuting isn’t as hard as you’d think.
With the rise of telecommuting and the slow death of the traditional nine-to-five, a home outside the core is becoming more desirable to those that can no longer live in their parent’s basement or spend most of their salary on rent. Occasional commutes into the city for work or leisure is a small price to pay for less road rage and more facetime with your family.