ere is a quick overview of the 8 must knows of rural living in Ontario if you are in a rush:
- Commuting - Long drives could mean time to plan ahead and organize your days
- Internet - Know your providers and how strong service is in your area. Not all regions can handle high-speeds and high bandwidth usage
- Goods - Understand what you are giving up and what you will be gaining by moving rural. Your shopping habits are bound to change
- Well - Depending where you go, your water may be coming straight from a well! Understand the nuances and you will be fine
- Septic - Often misunderstood, but know that your drainage system will be different when you go rural. Know what this means for you
- Transportation - Public transport looks different out there. Make sure you know your options and plan accordingly
- Entertainment - The big city has it all. Rural living has a different definiton of entertainment. Are you willing to change your entertainment and night life preferences for a possibly better life in a rural town?
- Business - Depending which region you decide to go to, the opportunities can be very lucrative and reqarding at the same time.
It’s no secret that the dental landscape in Ontario is changing rapidly. Covid-19 has really upset the industry in many ways. A recent article ( Jan. 2021) stated that the Simcoe, King and Peel Region experienced the largest increases in house sales. In the Peel region , Caledon experienced the largest increase in annual house sales, rising 29% y-o-y ( year over year). The average sold price for detached and semi-detached houses in Caledon grew 21% to $1,224,675.
What seemed to be an afterthought for many dentists is now becoming a very real possibility. If you’re a dentist fresh out of school, or you’ve been in the game a few years and seriously considering where you want to settle for the long term, you’ve likely considered (or currently considering) rural Ontario (i.e anywhere not in the “GTA”).
If this is you, then along with the fun of deciding whether to purchase or start a practice from scratch, you’ll also want to consider the rural lifestyle. Is it really that different from living in the GTA? What should you know about living in rural Ontario that can help you decide if this is the lifestyle for you?
To help you answer these questions, we reached out to an expert in rural real estate here in Ontario. Rita doesn’t just help buyers and sellers in the rural real estate market, she is one too. Here is her story and the pros/cons of these 8 things you must consider before going rural!
I grew up in the rural part of Caledon East ( still live in Caledon) and loved living on 25 acres. Yet, if you asked my siblings you would probably get a mixed response. One would agree with me, and the other would not.
Rural living has its advantages and disadvantages. From my experience, whatever disadvantages there may be with rural living are far outweighed by the little known advantages and benefits.
Let’s assume you live on a few acres of land, 20 km from the nearest small town and 200 km from the nearest city. I know rural areas that could be closer to either and many that would be much further, so anything I list below could vary depending on those distances.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- It gives you time to mentally prepare for work and unpack your mind before getting to work/home
- Commuting 30 km each way to work or about half an hour a day means you can learn on the go with audiobooks, podcasts, and other audible learning formats
- Enjoy the scenery! Nature is surprisingly refreshing, and enjoying the ride can be a great way to energize yourself
- You’re likely going to be commuting long distances anyway even if you’re within the GTA. It might as well be a traffic-free and positive experience
- Paying for gas and maintenance of the vehicle
- Sometimes weather can contribute to longer commute times.
- Vehicle is a necessity (no go trains or public transit)
Access to reliable internet service has its challenges with rural living.
- More time for family and connection
- Enjoy the outdoors more. Get into activities like hiking, biking, gardening, skiing etc...
- Better internet service is becoming more accessible as time goes by, especially now that more people are seriously considering and actually making the move to rural areas
- More time to read and enjoy learning new hobbies
- There are only a few companies that service rural areas and they tend to be more expensive
- Those that are available are often much slower and more expensive than those available in the city
- Cell coverage is often spotty in rural areas with some areas and some providers being worse than others
- Television is also largely limited to satellite providers
- Cheaper housing than in most cities.
- Fortunately, online shopping works in rural Ontario too. Your choice of fashion doesn’t have to change now that you are living rural
- Personally, I still shop local as much as I can, but if I cannot get something locally, Amazon is only a click away
- Less options to choose from locally
- If you are traveling to the nearest small town to purchase your basic goods like food, clothing, and household goods, there will be less selection than there is in cities
- This means you might not be able to get certain ingredients for exotic food, or may be limited in brands of household goods
- Some items may be more expensive locally than what you may find in and around the GTA
- Before purchasing a home with a well, there are inspections that can be done and there are different types of wells to note as well.
- Most rural homes are not served by municipal water supply. Instead they rely on well or dugout water.
- Often this water is either unsafe to drink, or just plain unpalatable. In this case, there are 3 main options I have seen people take.
- First is to buy an expensive water treatment system to make the water drinkable
- Second is to use a water cistern and haul water from town to fill it on a regular basis
- Third is to use the well or dugout water for things like bathing and laundry while hauling just enough water for drinking and cooking (usually in 20L bottles)
Pro and Con:
- Most rural homes are not serviced by sewers therefore a septic system would be installed on the property
- Septic Systems can last a long time as long as they are maintained and serviced depending on the number of people living within the home
- Pumping the system to clean it out happens every 2-5 years depending again on the number of people living on the property
- No public transportation. Personally, I could never allow myself to be limited by public transportation. I would much rather drive and be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want.
- No public transport means you have to get used to driving if you don’t already like doing so
- ATVs, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, hiking, and so on
- This really depends on what you enjoy but lots of great activities and fun to be had with your family and friends in the outdoors
- Things like theaters, bowling alleys, and amusement parks are pretty rare in most small towns
- Most will have bars, restaurants, and public parks.
- If you are planning to start your own dental practice (purchase or startup), then you may have the advantage of being the only dentist for miles out. Less competition means more opportunity for you to build a successful career
- Community involvement and making yourself known pays off
- Generally people love going to places that are familiar and they know your name
- Smaller population to work with, but given the saturation of dentists in the GTA, this may not actually be a bad thing after all!
This article is meant to give you a balanced perspective when considering rural life. As I mentioned earlier, I live rural and love it. As a dentist, the options are great. You just have to look and be clear about what you want your lifestyle to look like. If you are looking to move or would like more information please contact me. I look forward to helping your vision become a reality.
Rita Lange OCADUA
Royal LePage Credit Valley Brokerage
Toll Free: 1-800-631-5216
Consistent Award Winner
SRS, SRES, ABR, CLHMS,CBW 'Your Vision is my Passion'
Rita Lange OCADUA Royal LePage Credit Valley Brokerage Sales Representative
Consistent Award Winner. SRS, SRES, ABR, CLHMS,CBW. 'Your Vision is my Passion' emailto:email@example.com