Monday, May 25, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: They paved Paradise...

I was trying to think of something I could write about for this week's post, when I read Mali's post at A Separate Life, about her love of nature. One person commented, "Perhaps in order to appreciate nature we need the contrast of urban life?"

I can relate. I grew up in small, rural communities -- and like many kids from similar backgrounds, couldn't wait to leave. :)  Over time, though, I've learned to appreciate the merits of the country too. In a lifetime of moving around, I've come to realize that there is good & bad to be found everywhere, advantages and disadvantages in every situation. It's up to us to make the most of things, wherever we wind up.

Right now, we're living in a small town turned bedroom community -- part of what's known as the "Greater Toronto Area" or "Golden Horseshoe" -- an almost continuous string of towns & cities along the shores of Lake Ontario, stretching from St. Catharines/Niagara Falls in the southwest to Oshawa and beyond in the east. While I enjoy living where we do, and having so many amenities at our disposal -- downtown Toronto is a half-hour's train trip away -- I also love that by driving north about 10 minutes, we're out in the country, amid farmers' fields, riding academies and forests.

But urban sprawl is slowly creeping in. Over the weekend, we drove to visit a cousin who lives on an acreage "out in the country" -- and marvelled at how less & less far away it seems these days, as shopping plazas, housing developments and condo towers have started to line the route we drive.

Closer to home, one of the routes we take to the cemetery to visit Katie has been mostly farms and forests for the past 17 years. However, there have been rumblings about development for more than 40 years -- specifically, plans for both residential and commercial development that will expand our local population by 70,000 people. 70,000!! That's basically adding a whole new town to the area.  Eventually, there may even be a major airport built in the vicinity.

We've been hearing about it for so long, it seemed like something distant and far off -- perhaps a bit of a pipe dream.

But last winter, development signs went up along the road -- and over the last few weeks, heavy equipment has started to bulldoze trees and level farmers' fields. 

I suppose you can't stop progress. But it does make me feel a little sad. (And gave me this earworm for today, lol.) 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here     


  1. I get sad when bulldozers come to replace trees with parking lots and other stuff.

    Your neck of the woods sounds wonderful.

  2. I had a similar experience growing up. Could not wait to get out of the small town. And now I crave it. City life can be hard. 😞

    Like Lori, it makes me sad to see the sprawl. Seattle has be trying to counter it by installing parks. But it's not the same.

  3. I love the small town life... until I can't find something I need. I always want to cook with more exotic cheeses, besides cheddar, but I can't find them. Or gnocchi. And I wish I had a nice clothing store close by. But in the long run, I think I prefer the quite country life.

  4. It sounds like where I live. Right now, I can still drive 5 minutes and be in farmland. But I know it won't stay forever. I can see the towns sprawling outward and growing closer and closer together.

  5. It's hard to get the perfect balance. I'm grateful for the new housing developments in my town - we live in one of them! But our community is resiting a big supermarket. Hopefully we will be able to keep the best of both worlds.

  6. Wasn't Lali's comment on my post perfect? I think she's right, as I couldn't wait to get out of the country as a teenager. If I'm honest, I still know I couldn't live there full-time, but if I won the lottery, I'd definitely buy a weekend cottage in the country. (Or go on a lot more safaris!)

    I remember being in Bangkok, a huge 12 million plus city, living in a gated community as an exchange student. Ten years later, the rice fields next door were all further housing developments. It's happening everywhere.

  7. That would definitely make me sad. That sprawl is awfully hard to stop, soon (although I hope not) there will be very few quiet places left. Your neighborhood sounds lovely!