Inner City or Suburbia?

It has been a long time since I lived in the inner city, a great place in my youth to live and work. Bustling night life and endless choices to eat but as most do we ended up in the suburbs. No longer desiring the night life or more likely to take a cab down town to have dinner or meet friends. We settle into comfortable lives in cookie cutter houses and never every really get to know your neighbours even though you may have moved in days apart in a new subdivision. Worse yet you’re the new family on the block in an established neighbourhood and really never get to know anyone.

Inner cities in most of Canada’s bigger cities are starting to change a lot. Edmonton’s down town revitalization has taken it from being a place you didn’t want to be except maybe to meet a friend for a drink after work or out for dinner, to a place that I would actually consider living again. The addition of a new arena and more new high rise buildings is making it feel alive again and quite possibly even for someone like myself a place to call home again. Grocery stores are better dispersed and while I would commute out and not into down town it’s looking better every day. Given that we are empty nesters it may be an option.

Suburbia seems to get farther and farther out and schools and public transportation can’t seem to keep up. In most cases young families will spend countless hours in vehicles taking children and spouses to places they need to go. I look at our own neighbourhood and think that while it does have a bus stop and is the end of the route, parents must constantly be driving children somewhere.

Is it a sign of changing times that people might consider the Inner city as a way of life again, could you walk to work and not feel like you are held hostage because you don’t have a vehicle? Is there hope that families can once again populate the inner core of our cities and make them viable? Some of the best park land is in the center of cities, could you see taking your children to those parks again? Inner city or suburbia, I guess it depends on what you want out of your life.

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