Family Nature

Movin’ On

This spring we’ll be putting our house on the market. Ugh. The process of getting the house ready, purging, cleaning, dealing with showings, packing and moving is completely overwhelming. Moving is stressful at the best of times. Moving with four kids could put me over the edge. I just keep telling myself that the end result will be so worth it. I’m keeping my eye on the prize. Our goal is to be within walking distance of our kids’ school.

We’ve only been in the house we’re in for about a year and a half. We still love the house. We downsized from a three storey, 2000 square foot home, to our lovely, modest 1100 square foot bungalow and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. I wrote about it in one of my first few blog posts: Downsizing. How much space does a family of six really need anyway? It remains one of my most popular blog posts.

It’s going to be difficult to find a house with a layout that we like as much as this one. It’s also going to be hard to give up our amazing back yard. If only we could take this house and plunk it in a different neighbourhood.

Have you ever checked your walk score? It’s a neat website where you can enter your address and see how “walkable” your neighbourhood is. It looks at the nearby amenities and assigns walk scores. Our Walk Score is 38 out of 100, which puts us in the “car dependant” category. Yup, we sure are.

Where we plan to move has a walk score of 91 out of 100 and is considered a “Walkers’ Paradise” where “Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.” Everything we’d need would be a short walk away: the public library, the school, grocery store, the park, local coffee shops and tonnes more.

Eye on the prize, eye on the prize, eye on the prize … bring on the walkers’ paradise.

6 thoughts on “Movin’ On

  1. Lisa Marie

    Oh, I don’t envy you at all – but holding onto that final goal is the way to make it happen. Sounds like it’s a worthwhile move too!

    I did the walking test – and we scored a 51 out of 100. I was actually pretty surprised. I guess it’s not AS bad as I thought living here without a vehicle in the day time. Wonder if there’s a walkable with little kids website? That might change my score…. 😉

    GL packing and purging!!

  2. Cheryl

    That walk score site is interesting, though a bit off (it seems to list the very-close-to-us Toronto East General Hospital as a library, and completely missed the actual, close-by, recently renovated library!). Still, the score (61) makes sense to me. This is a pretty walkable neighborhood, but not as walkable as it is closer to WCS. I’d actually love to a bit south, but we don’t really want to spend much more for a house than we’re already spending. Maybe I should look into it…

  3. Patience

    When my dh and I look at houses; we always seem to have a tug of war between what I see as well located walkablity features versus him wanting a large property with a two car garage.
    Long Branch is somewhat walkable (scored a 55) (we do have a Shoppers, library,No Frills and a deli within a few blocks) with pretty good transit but it’s a bit far from the central core for my tastes. It’s also an up and coming neighbourhood that is still in transition.
    I was surprised before when you moved to the burbs as I never thought of you as living somewhere that car oriented.
    My final goal is to be able to walk to a subway but that’s in the future. Good luck on your upcoming move.

  4. Rhondda

    Walkability was our number one concern when we chose our current home, including walkability to a subway station. Neither DH or I drive. We found out pretty quickly which neighborhoods we could afford that were walking distance to a TTC station (in the east end). We spent maybe 2-3 months getting to know the area, then really honed in on about a 3-4 block area where we wanted to be.

    We ended up with a little (by most people’s standards) house that had virtually everything that we had put on our wishlist. I think our place is about 1200 sq feet? Alexandra said “it has a human scale” and I agree. Its 3 bedroom, with small bedrooms, the bathroom is the size of a postage stamp – less place to put “stuff” and not so much to clean. My sister lamented when we bought it “its too bad that you couldn’t afford something bigger”. But I didn’t WANT a bigger house! Who wants to do the upkeep, cleaning, pay for the heating? Its got everything we want, and we love the location.

    Hoping you find your perfect place, Amanda. You have a really clear ideal – I’m sure it will be worth the effort in the long run!

  5. Winston

    Hm. We scored an 83 but it’s missing a lot of stuff. I can’t imagine it would be possible to be closer to 100 than where we live. Just about everything is within 4 blocks.

  6. Billie-Jo

    wow, my neighbourhood scored 92! we live in Parkdale and i would say that score is pretty accurate. the number one thing i love about Parkdale is that everything we need is in walking distance. we’ve got a library on the corner, grocery store a few blocks away, choice of queen or king streetcar, or the dufferin bus. it’s also walking distance to ontario place and the cne which the kids love in the summer. dufferin park is also within walking distance now that both my kids are old enough to walk a little further. and the grove community school is close by as well. pretty cool. :))