Starting a family can be a lot like starting a new life. And, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when beginning this new chapter is: where you’re going to start your new life. While a family can be raised anywhere, depending on the lifestyle you envision for yourselves, you may prefer the convenience and boisterousness of urban living, the residential and family-oriented appeal of the suburbs, or the quiet, natural setting of the countryside. Each have their upsides and downsides and here, we’ll look at the main ones to help you decide.
Family in the City
For parents that want to raise a family in the city, convenience is a huge factor. For one, they don’t need to commute to work every day by car, since the city offers such an efficient public transportation system. By using public transit, you not only lower your carbon footprint, but also save tons of money on gas and car maintenance.
City dwellers have a multitude of services and amenities at close proximity. From the grocery store, the pediatrician, to places where you can enjoy recreational activities, the dynamism and convenience of the city, is a major part of its appeal.
On the energy front, because most people live in buildings and condos, this can also lower heating costs in the wintertime. In recent years, there has been a huge spike in family-sized condos being built (4 ½ and 5 ½) making the possibility of owning property much more accessible to new families.
A Family, a House and a Yard
When the first or second child comes along, many families tend to migrate towards the suburbs. The reason for this is quite simple: homes are less expensive. In fact the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board claims that the price of homes is the main reason people move to the suburbs.
Suburban living is very popular, despite the fact that people usually have to make long commutes, endure heavy traffic on a daily basis and require a car. Calm, safe and isolated away from the hustle and bustle of the city, people who live in suburbs are also enticed by the fact that they can live in a brand new home. This is an opportunity that lacks in the city, especially at the prices you’ll find in the suburbs.
Interestingly, according to sociologists from the Interdisciplinary research group on suburbs people that grew up in suburbs will usually return to the suburbs to raise their family. This gives their children the opportunity to have the same quality of life they did.
The Joys of the Country
The country is not for everyone. But for those who love the fresh air, nature and peace and quiet this is the ideal place to bring up your kids. Terrains are large, neighbours are few and far between, there is lots of space for your kids to run around and enjoy the nature that surrounds them.
Also, village schools have far less students per classroom. A reduced class size can be expected to produce increased academic achievement.
Urbanites may find that one of the major downsides of living in the country, aside from being isolated, is that the public and community service fees are higher. Commuting is another hindrance, and mobility can become quite a problem, especially when kids reach the post-secondary level. This will often entail having to move.
In the end, choosing the right location to raise a family is a personal and subjective decision. We all have our own values and lifestyles we feel more comfortable with and ultimately these will delegate the decision we make.
Join the debate. Tell us where you live and why