The grass is greener

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author: mason sliva | executive director


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Regina, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to travel around the world, spending time in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Toronto, Ottawa, and New York City. Most of these cities were simply short pit stops on my trip, but I was fortunate to spend a month in Shanghai, and two months in Toronto.

Prior to this summer, I was one of Regina’s biggest supporters, constantly arguing that not only was Regina already pretty great, it had the potential to develop into something exceptional.

However, after getting a perspective on life in bigger cities, I have admittedly had a difficult time re-adjusting to life in the Queen City. I figured that the easiest way for me to come to terms with coming home is to point out a few things about Regina that are different in larger cities.

1) Pace of life: This could be said when comparing any large city to any small city, but I still was amazed with the difference of pace of life. In larger cities, the commutes are longer, lines are longer, and the sidewalks are busier. Frankly, in cities like Toronto and New York, the mass population means that everything takes longer, and therefore there is less free time. In Regina, we can stop and smell the roses. Take advantage of that opportunity, as you don’t realize what you are missing.

2) City Pride: Okay, so Torontonians seem to believe they are the centre of Canada, and New Yorkers seem to believe they are the centre of the world, but the pride for the Queen City is somehow unique. Many Reginians recognize the downsides of YQR, but at the same time, have an intense pride for it. I have been ecstatic over the past few years to see the rise and success of local businesses, and it appears this is not about to stop anytime soon. A large portion of this local success can be attributed to the pride Reginians have in their local businesses, and the support they provide them. Keep supporting the small guy, Regina.

3) An Actually Liveable City: Obviously, there is a much greater access to a variety of services and opportunities in large centres, but it can be hard to take advantage of these. Many of the people I met that were born in Toronto were forced to move further and further out of the city to avoid rising costs of living. For example, a 250 square foot bachelor apartment in downtown Toronto was renting for $950/month. In Regina, you can get a fancy, new apartment over 1000 square feet for that price. As well, the concept of owning your own house in Regina is actually feasible, whereas the cheapest studio apartments are nearing $500,000 in Toronto’s downtown.

With all this being said, there are obviously advantages and disadvantages to living anywhere, but one should realize that the grass is always greener on the other side, until you’re on the other side.

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