5 Things I love about Saskatoon
Being closer to family and being able to visit soooo much more often. As much as I miss Ottawa, I seriously appreciate being closer to immediate family.
The storms. There is no storm like a prairie storm. Don’t believe me? Check out Greg Johnson’s photos (he’s a storm/tornado chaser).
The slower-paced life. It’s kind of strange, but since leaving Prince George (the town, not the newborn), I’ve been living in very fast-paced cities. I really do enjoy it, especially the opportunities that those metropolises bring. However, finding time to be slow has been a huge gift to my family. Kids naturally want a slow life, and here I’m not fighting the mentality of everyone in the city to take it slower. It naturally is just slower.
Houses are affordable. Ottawa was affordable – outside the city. While living there, we were willing to live outside the city (at the time, it would have been closer to Andy’s work anyway). Here we are beside major bus routes and we were able to put 20% down on the house (which is a duplex, by the way). We wouldn’t have easily been able to do so elsewhere. It’s more affordable overall, which is helpful with limited income.
20 minutes maximum to anywhere in the city by car. Totally loving it.
5 Things I hate about Saskatoon
The driving makes me crazy. 3 things in particular: 1) no one knows the meaning ‘get up to speed’ when merging 2) most people don’t know how to make proper left turns at signal lights 3) everyone usually goes typically 10-20km slower than the posted speed limit. Why, Saskatoon? Why?
The wind. I have never really liked wind. I think I was sheltered in Prince George (literally! it’s located in the basin of an old glacier – we were sheltered!) and never really experienced much wind. I hated the wind in Edmonton. In Ottawa. Now, Saskatoon, which is far worse because it is very very prairie here with nothing to block any oncoming weather (like wind).
Lack of good foodie place to eat or buy foods. I admit – I was super spoiled in Ottawa. I had ready access to anything I wanted. Saskatoon is a big step back from the Ottawa foodie scene. In the half of the city that I live in (the west half- and I truly mean this whole half of the city), there are no good food places for us to go to. Oh yes, there’s a Denny’s. And yes, there’s a couple Tim Horton’s. Even a Boston Pizza. But they aren’t really that tasty. I do feel it’s a woeful situation here in the foodie department.
Lack of mountains. I guess it’s not so much a hate as a dislike. I truly love the mountains. We’ve been fortunate that the last two years we’ve been able to vacation in the mountains (love you, BC!). I don’t know how often we can keep that up though. They are truly majestic. And home.
It’s been harder to make community here than any other place I’ve lived. I have no idea why. Edmonton we had an enormous amount of great friends (we also studied there for years). San Clemente – 1.5 years – made great friends quickly. Ottawa – 1.5 years – made tons of friends quickly. Saskatoon – 2 years – few friends, lots of acquaintances. Maybe it’s us, maybe it’s the city. Not really pleasant. We love the few friends we have (very dearly!), but I don’t know what’s up with people not being as open and community-oriented. It makes me a little sad.