Hi everyone! Welcome to the first post of April from the Canadian blogger series. This week’s post comes from Axel who blogs at Iron Rogue. He writes about living in the suburban life of Ontario. Much like Axel I enjoy living in the suburbs but being able to get into the city when I need to, I think it’s the best of both worlds! Thanks Axel!
Other posts in the Series:
Hi, my name is Axel and I blog about triathlon and multisport fitness over at Iron Rogue. I live in Mississauga which is a city on the West side of Toronto and I grew up in Scarborough which is a city on the East side of Toronto. Life in Toronto was already covered by Rose from the Healthy Hipster, so I thought I’d address life in the suburbs.
One of my favourite authors, Douglas Adams, in his book Mostly Harmless, talked about happiness being attained through having a beach house:
“A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind,”
“A beach house,” he said, “doesn’t even have to be on the beach. Though
the best ones are. We all like to congregate,” he went on, “at boundary
“Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind.
Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other.”
Which perfectly explains why suburbs are such popular places to live: we want access to both green and serenity and the utmost of modern convenience, culture and infrastructure. We want to live on that boundary condition.
When suburbs are done right, they’re a mixture of residential, commercial and other zones such that citizens can access groceries and other goods as well as medical and other services easily – preferably occasionally on foot! When they’re done wrong, they are huge swaths of residential where everyone has to take a drive in their car in order to be able to do anything further than gardening their own yard.
If you live in the suburbs, you’ve probably got a gym or community centre fairly close to you so that you can exercise, however, the real upside is access to parks and trails. Dedicated paths are so much better than sidewalks or bike lanes on city streets for running, biking, roller-blading – whatever you can come up with! Playgrounds are designed for kids, but there are ways to sneak in a little exercise too. More and more often, classes like Yoga or Boot Camps are being held outside in parks and green space.
Just don’t let your knee go past your toe – this guy was more interested in getting in front of the camera in time than proper technique!
A suburb like mine will still let you get into the city if you need some hard-to-find nutritional super-food ingredient or if you want to take some kind of fitness class that’s a little off the beaten path, but just as easy to get to will be green spaces that let you experience nature. It can get a little disheartening when wildlife and civilization mix in ways that weren’t intended by nature (racoons at the neighbourhood patio bar, foxes crossing a mall parking lot – I’ve seen both of these), but the young at heart will try to get joy out of sights like these. Even a Hydro Easement (like the ones behind my house and the one near where I grew up) can provide exercise and wildlife opportunities – I used to see jackrabbits, now I see hawks.
Certainly Ontario isn’t the only province with suburbs, but as one of the bigger provinces, and the most populated it’s bound to have more than its fair share. I hope you’re getting exercise and fresh air, wherever you are!
What do you prefer, suburb or city life?
Anyone ever take a boot camp class or outside yoga?