Settling In To Our New City

Yes, we are alive. We are slowly settling in to our rental apartment in our new colder and snowy city. In a stark contrast to life in an outer borough of a large city, we now live at the edge of the suburbs, bordering a greenbelt. It’s beautiful, but it’s also a little isolated as the nearest store is a 10 minute drive away.

With the province under a stay-at-home order, we haven’t done much exploring at all. We did one drive to a walking trail but since then people have been advised to stay closer to home and that’s what we’ve been doing. We have been working towards finding and buying a home, although so far just online. We’ve also settled in to the rhythm of working from home most days and combining all our errands in to one trip.

Visiting the river before the current stay-at-home order

We knew that moving here wouldn’t save us money right away, and in fact the move itself was quite expensive. After I have a few months of data, I would like to make a post comparing the costs of urban vs suburban living. It’s not going to really be a fair comparison given the pandemic, but it will be helpful for us to plan our budget going forward.

The biggest change has been the snow and the cold. Some fun lessons we have learned so far:

  • Snow tires are not optional, like at all.
  • Snow tires do not make you invincible. You will still skid and fishtail, so drive cautiously.
  • Snow days are a thing and it’s perfectly acceptable to WFH (if you can) if the roads are treacherous.
  • It is a good idea to go out and clear the snow from your car after a large accumulation at night, even if it’s not done snowing. It will make your life a lot easier in the morning, really.
  • Shoveling your parking spot is totally a thing, and a smart one! Get the snow out of the spot before it turns to hard ice that will stick around all winter.
  • Keeping a small shovel in your car is a smart thing to do.
  • Walking in snow is exhausting, be sure to plan accordingly and bring snacks.
  • A good set of gloves are your best friend.
  • Layers are key – no one cares if you look like the Michelin man.
  • People run and walk on high speed roads without side walks no matter the weather. Don’t be alarmed, just give them lots of room.
  • It’s okay to walk on roads, just walk opposing traffic. People are used to it and will (mostly) give you space.

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