Monday, March 14, 2011

Carless

Bill is teaching this semester at Trent University, in Peterborough, about 2 hours from here. He's teaching micro- and macro-economics and between his workload and the weather, he's spending most of his time there. (We decided last December that he would rent a place in Peterborough at least until the end of March.) So, I'm left here in Kingston without a car most of the time.
How's it working out? Quite frankly, maybe better than if I had a car!  First, I don't have to clean snow and ice off the car and I don't have to rush to clear out our parking area when it snows. Second, I'm getting lots of exercise walking everywhere, and third, I'm spending a lot less money since it takes a little more effort to get places.
I've almost always lived in an urban village setting. I grew up in New Edinburgh, Ottawa. In our Washington, DC years, we lived in Chevy Chase, DC. These are both older, close-in neighbourhoods, with historic homes, sidewalks, mature trees, and lots of local amenities such as shops, restaurants, etc. Places where you can leave your car at home and do your business on foot. The trade-off is that we've had to have smaller houses than we would be able to afford in the 'burbs.We decided to settle here in Sydenham Ward in Kingston precisely because it offers the same pedestrian lifestye we're used to.

Where can I get in 10 minutes of walking from my front door? Here, in no particular order, is a short list:
1. the supermarket (a Metro store, to be precise),    
2. a Natural Foods store (Tara Foods),
3. Old Farm Fine Foods (local, organic farm produce),
4. Pan Chancho Bakery,   
5. Wolfe Island Bakery,
6. Starbucks (not one, not two, but three!!!),
7. a pharmacy (Shoppers Drug Mart),
8. a butcher shop (the Block and Cleaver),
9. a hardware store (Vandervoorts)--also carries sailing gear, in case you're into things nautical,
10. three book stores (Indigo Books, Novel Idea, and Berry and Peterson),
11. Gwyn Griffin, a shop that sells WOOL and WINE (what a combo!),
12. a games store that also sells WOOL and beading supplies (the Minotaur), and offers a Sunday afternoon knitting group,
13. many clothing stores, ranging from the Gap to Gracie's (a fave) to Chris Reynolds (sophisticated),
14. several jewellery shops (Modern Primitive can be counted on for inexpensive but lovely gifts),
15. a flower shop with great garden paraphernalia (Trugs),
16. an Anglican Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Cathedral (St. Mary's), and many other churches,
17. a movie theatre (the Empire), and a theatre for stage and concert productions (the Grand),
18. at least four inns (the Hochelaga, the Rosemount, the Belvedere, the Frontenac Club to name some),
19. Queen's University,
20. some big hotels (a Sheraton, a Marriott, a Radisson),
21. two hospitals (the Hotel Dieu and Kingston General),
22. City Hall, with its skating rink in winter and market square in other seasons,
23. Frontenac County Courthouse,
24. a huge park,
25. Lake Ontario (can be seen from my front doorstep, although not from inside the house),
26. more restaurants than I can count, including the locally famous Chez Piggy and our favourite Le Chien Noir,
27. a yacht club,
28. a public library (complete with coffee shop and extra-large video collection), and
much, much more. 

St. George's Cathedral on King St.E., Kingston, ON
 Where can you get to in 10 minutes without a car?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's impressive. You will drive the Kingston real estate prices shy hight with this post.

    ReplyDelete