Where should I live?
April 24, 2018 7:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm not in a position to move right now, but what if I was? Snowflakes inside.

My husband and I are possibly planning on moving within the next ten years. We had originally thought either the east coast (Newfoundland) or the west coast (Victoria), but hey, why not see if there are any other suggestions out there?

A blizzard follows:

- Must be on the seacoast or in the shadow of mountains. Like, Jasper, AB mountains, not Seattle, WA mountains.

- Must swing centre or left. No more right wing.

- We are a pair of introverts who are wholly uninterested in things like concerts, theatre, drinking, eating at restaurants, or anything involving socializing with other people.

- We do like shopping, especially at comic book stores/used book stores/small local retailers.

- I have a ton of hobbies that need frequent access to facilitating stores (snake-raising, orchid-growing, sewing, knitting).

- I love gardening, and would love somewhere that would allow me to grow a great big garden.

- We have a dog and three cats, so a dog-friendly city would be nice.

- Winters of all kinds do not bother us. Ten feet of snow? Sixty? Sure. Hot summers really bother us, though. Our ideal climate would be between -5°C and 15°C year-round.

- My husband is an immigrant and does not speak French; I haven't spoken French in years, so we should be considered anglophones.

- I am originally from Newfoundland and have a strong pull to go back there (20 yrs exile) but my relatives all tell me it has drastically changed and I wouldn't like it anymore.

Must be in Canada.
posted by Nyx to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Victoria or anywhere on the south half of the island wouldn't fit your qualifications. Summers are HOT, snow is a rare thing, and due to humidity, soil types, insects and wildlife, gardening becomes more of an expert level challenge, than an enjoyable experience.

The north half of the island, you're looking at very poor access to the services you'd like.

Sunshine coast may be a bit of a better fit, if you can handle day trips in the ferries for shopping.

If you can get past the coastline requirement, Look into the kooteneys. Jobs are sparse but it may be a good fit. Saskatoon would fit your requirements too minus the mountains/ocean .
posted by OnefortheLast at 7:53 PM on April 24

Halifax? On the water, a big enough city to have eclectic shopping, and pretty close to your family. Not familiar with the political scene there but the Liberals are in the premeir’s office currently. According to my friends who live out that way their winters are decently Canadian and hence worse than Victoria’s. Summer seemed fine while i was there and a quick google says the average temp is 19C, which sounds cool enough.
posted by cgg at 8:49 PM on April 24

Wikipedia effectively has a list of all the cities in Canada. By the time you get to the bottom of their top 100 list, it's listing cities small enough I'd call them towns.

I am guessing you need a not too big, not too small city for something like orchid growing stores. If it exists, there is a good chance it's on this list.
posted by aniola at 9:53 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]

Since you have time: make a list and make exploring possible locations the theme of vacations over the next couple years?

Smaller university towns will likely be a reasonable fit, as well as the usual cities. Plus specific touristy towns, if that's affordable for you. So the East Coast list might look like: St. John's; in NS: Halifax, Sydney (economically liberal, slightly more socially conservative, but, like, in an East Coast way not a prairies way?), Antigonish, Tatamagouche (hobby supplies would be found in Truro, about an hour's drive away), Wolfville, or anywhere along the South Shore from Bridgewater up to Halifax but specifically Mahone Bay and Lunenburg area (will be generically socially liberal but maybe less economically liberal, since more affluent folks live in the region), or Bridgewater (lot of young folks moving out to this region to run small farms lately); in NB: Fredericton (not on the ocean nor mountain-adjacent, but may as well check it out), Sackville, Moncton (more Francophone, but not exclusively so), maybe Saint John (see comments about Sydney); in PEI: Charlottetown, certain other small towns within easy driving distance of Charlottetown (I'm not as familiar with PEI, but I know there are pockets).

There are a few other more liberal pockets in rural areas in the region, but those are starting to get more than an hour's drive away from snake-raising stores. The rest of the hobbies you mention - fibre arts and plant (orchid)-growing - will be highly compatible with rural Maritimes, however. So if you only need non-standard-pet-store reptile supplies infrequently, that can expand your options even further. If your concern is partially racial diversity and whether a community would be welcoming to non-white folks, I might be able to provide more detailed information over memail in some cases.

NB: the provincial political parties in the region don't always act like their federal counterparts. So Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Liberal governments sometimes do stuff like undermine collective bargaining rights, promote more traditionally conservative education policy, or inadequately support health infrastructure in rural areas. The political climate can vary a lot between communities.
posted by eviemath at 5:27 AM on April 25

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