My folks came over the other night. We all sat around the table drinking coffee and catching up, laughing. After awhile Kevin went downstairs to watch television. My parents made a move to go home but as often happens it didn’t seem like the right time to break and the conversation carried on, my dad standing with his coat on and my mom and I still comfortably seated.
We had been talking about the a news story we had seen on real estate prices across the country and how Toronto and Vancouver seem to be becoming only for the rich. (In Toronto the average home is around $400,000. Our house is significantly below average and still seems unaffordable! According to the news story, the average Vancouver home requiring renovations sells for a shocking $700,000.) By contrast, you can buy a mansion in Winnipeg for about $100,000 – but who the hell wants to live in Winnipeg? I said surely there must be other great Canadian cities where you could maintain an urban lifestyle AND a have an affordable house. Maybe Montreal? What about Regina or Saskatoon?
It all got me thinking about my how my parents drove from Ontario all the way to British Columbia before I was born. It’s always struck me as a bit insane, but as we were talking I began to understand what might have possessed them to do it. I listened to my dad tell his story of watching a storm approach for hours as they drove across the prairies and I realized I wanted to make this happen too. I want to see this country. The wheat, the mountains and everything else, from the ground and in person – it suddenly seems very important.