Last year, Emma Willer, her husband, and their three children moved from a two-acre property in King City to Toronto.
Why did you decide to move into the city?
There was no sense of community or neighbourhood where we lived. We had to drive to everything, even to take the dog for a walk. My commute was an hour and a half on the GO Train each direction, and if something happened with the kids, I could only get back home according to the GO schedule. My husband drove 40 minutes each way to Mississauga. Then we found ourselves coming into the city every weekend anyway.
Where do you live now?
Off Roncesvalles, near High Park, in a smaller but perfectly adequate home. We still have a garden and a patch of grass. When you live near the biggest park in the city, that’s all you need.
How did the move affect your finances?
We are lucky to be able to do this; it’s not a move everyone can do. It’s affordable in part because we sold a house in England first. We did have to pay the Land Transfer Tax. But our property taxes were higher in King City, and I swear we got fewer services. We dropped the cost of commuting and we sold our second car. Some of our utilities are cheaper because our house is smaller.
Were you annoyed by Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday’s comments that downtown is an unsafe place to raise kids?
Definitely. The weekend after he said that, we took the kids to the teaching kitchen in High Park. They were eating vegetables that were grown right there. I thought to myself, Holyday is ridiculous.