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    How Living In The Suburbs Can Shape Your Life

    A move to the 'burbs' is more than just a geographical change, but a lifestyle that can influence your well-being

    Written By Robert Van Rhijn

    Ah suburbia, where lawns are greener, streets are quieter, and minivans reign supreme. But living in the burbs isn't just about picket fences and cul-de-sacs; it's a lifestyle that can greatly impact your life in unexpected ways.

    So before you pack up and move, it’s important to look at the potential pros and the cons.

    The Commute Conundrum

    Most people are hesitant to move to the suburbs because they think they will spend their life battling traffic.

    But research actually shows that it’s the urbanites who spend more time commuting to and from work. Plus with many jobs becoming remote or hybrid, the commute thing isn’t such a big deterrent.

    One point — Suburbs.

    Lawns, Gardens, and Greenery

    At first glance, suburbanites appear to take their lawns very seriously. Studies suggest that having a well-maintained lawn can positively impact your mental health.

    There's something therapeutic about mowing the lawn on a Saturday morning or planting flowers in your garden. It's not just about aesthetics, either. This is a hands-on way to connect with nature and build a sense of pride in your home.

    Two points — Suburbs.

    Community Connections

    We know that community is key when it comes to feelings of happiness and a sense of belonging. And while some suburban neighbourhoods can mean being part of a tight-knit community, that’s not always the case.

    Articles exploring the reasons behind why many people feel sad in the suburbs note the absence of clearly-defined communal areas and a lack of organic cohesion. This ultimately highlights the challenges of socializing in a sprawling environment.

    As David Roberts writes in Vox: “The neighbourhoods are made for cars, not kids. So kids stay inside playing Xbox, and families don't leave their homes unless it’s to drive somewhere.”

    Research also shows it’s those random run-ins and spontaneous chats that really grease the wheels of friendship, especially as we grow older. But the sprawling ‘burbs make that repeated spontaneous contact very challenging.

    One point — City.


    But it's not just our mental health taking a hit from suburban living. A bunch of studies have shown it can also mess with your physical health.

    For example, there was this study back in 2004. It found that folks living in places with more urban sprawl were more at risk for being overweight or obese.

    Another study showed that people in spread-out suburban regions reported more health problems, including high blood pressure, arthritis, headaches, and trouble breathing, compared to those in urban spots.

    And get this: Even after the researchers factored in things like age, income, race, and local environment — the connection between suburban life and health issues remained.

    Two points — City

    School Daze

    Families often move to the suburbs to get access to better education. After all, studies show that access to quality education is a significant factor in choosing suburban living.

    However, in Canada city schools and suburban schools are pretty much on par. In Ontario, education funding follows a provincial formula. A significant portion of this funding is based on student enrolment, and aims to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students.

    Let’s call this one a draw.

    Retail Therapy, Suburban Style

    The suburbs are known for big-box stores and strip malls. And while they may look cooker-cutter, research does suggest that the convenience of having everything from groceries to electronics in close proximity can significantly reduce stress levels.

    So, embrace the ease of one-stop shopping and revel in the convenience.

    Also, even though things might be more spread out there’s still always online shopping.

    3 - 2, Suburbs.

    Quiet Nights and Starry Skies

    Probably the biggest pro to suburbs is that there’s way less noise than the inner city.

    Every day, noise pollution messes with millions of people, mainly by impacting their hearing. But loud noises can also trigger things like high blood pressure, heart issues, irregular sleep, and extra stress.

    Research also shows that kids who live near noisy areas (like airports or congested streets) are more likely to struggle with memory, focus, and reading.

    On the other hand, living in a quieter environment can contribute to better sleep and overall well-being. So, trade the sirens for crickets and city lights for starry skies. Your evenings may become a peaceful retreat from the chaos of the day.

    4 - 2, Suburbs.

    Ultimately, living in the suburbs is more than just a geographical change. It's a lifestyle that shapes your daily routine and influences your well-being. So whether you're a seasoned suburbanite or contemplating a move, embrace the perks of life in the 'burbs.

    Starting your search for a new home? Click on any of these links to access active listings, sold listings or contact a Strata agent.

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