Sunday, January 9, 2011

A great place to live

When Mrs. Spit and I moved into our house, we didn't know much about our neighbourhood. Sure, we knew we could afford the mortgage payments - a rather important feature if you ask me! But the neighbourhood? We only knew that it wasn't the high-rent district. Heck, it wasn't the middling-rent district.

We've been here for almost six full years now. While our old house drives us batty whenever it's time to do a renovation, and frustrates us in countless ways due to the fact that it's well-nigh on a hundred years old, it's a decent house that keeps us sheltered and comfortable.

Today we donned warm socks, snow pants, warm jackets / sweaters, toques and gloves and walked six blocks to the winter festival being held. The city shut down the street for the weekend - no small feat as it's a major traffic route - and the action was on all weekend at the community center. People came in from all over the city to celebrate winter. I even heard it advertised on a local radio station as I was braving the blizzard on Saturday to buy dog and cat food. Yeah, maybe we're nuts, celebrating being in the depths of winter, but there you go.

There was ball hockey in the street, free skate rentals on the outdoor skating rink, outdoor curling, artists carving in ice, horse-drawn sled rides, artists displaying their wares, and even a mummers group giving an outdoor play for those hearty enough to attend. And the cost for all this? Gratis, zip, zilch - free for those souls who came out. Food was, for apparent reasons, not free - but today was French Canadian day, so we ate Poutine for lunch, with a Maple Syrup sugar-stick chaser!

{Mrs. Spit rides the ice-slide - it was rather slippery for some reason.}

{A carver works on his T-Rex carving - most excellent work!}

{Mrs. Spit starts to spin her sugar stick.}

The great thing about my neighbourhood is not that it's affordable (though it is more affordable than most areas of town), not that there are great restaurants (there are, and not a single chain to be found), not that it's rife with artists (but you might hit a couple if you start throwing bricks at random), and not that there are multiple festivals held here through the year (but there are, and they're all free). It's not any one of these things. Rather, it's all of them and more.

When we bought our first and only house after living in rental properties for the first four years of our marriage, we were totally rolling the dice on where we landed. Some thought we came up snake-eyes. Mrs. Spit and I? We think we came up sixes.


Mrs. Spit said...

We sure did!

loribeth said...

Looks like you had fun! I'll have some of that maple syrup candy, please. : )

~ap~ said...

Looks super-fun! And super-cold! Brrr! Rach would love to spend some time in all of that snow, she's batty, says I. *nod*

Ya Chun said...

is she only wearing a sweater? You Canadians are crazy.

I wear multiple layers and hat scarf and gloves when it gets to 30!

We got lucky in our neighborhood too. Isn't great to find a good fit? Glad you guys found yours, creaky old house and all.