*returns from further web search* So nobody
commutes from Milton to Brampton? At least, not by public transit? *sigh*
So yes, I think we're serious about moving. Something has to be done, anyway, because Shoemom is going quietly stir-crazy as things stand. She's a small-town - rural, really - Niagara native who's been doing her level best to keep up with the urban mileu for five years now; in one of the most multicultural cities in the world to boot. While she assures me she has no regrets (and well she shouldn't - the woman has a more active social life than I do at this point, for cripes' sake), apparently enough is enough. She's not getting any younger, and while she 'never thought she'd be the kind of person to care about this kind of thing', the fact is her 'roots' are calling her back.
I can't really complain about any of this, since I've had it pretty much all my own way in the matter for those same five years. She can't afford to live on her own, and neither of the Shoesisters are viable alternatives at this point, so we're joined at the hip for better or worse - better, since we're buddies as much as we are relatives at this point. I love her especially for picking up after Shoedad's desertion and making a strong, independent woman of herself, and I love her generally for what she's done for me since, well, birth, so what can you do?
Besides...while I also love my city truly madly deeply...I've been here for more than a decade now, and have reached the stage wherein most of the reasons I love it can be just as easily pursued at a distance. You know, I've been having a lot of fun playing at the city sophisticate - the way you do, in your 20's and early 30's - but I'm not really, never will be, and have the strong idea that it might be time to stop trying so hard.
Back to where, now, is the bit we've still got to sort out. Shoemom's idea is naturally of someplace corresponding much more closely to her experience; especially so since as a 'pioneer' (that is, one who works full-time in our preaching ministry) she's out in her community's face more or less constantly. Thus being able to relate in terms of language, culture etc is important to her well-being on several levels.
Also high on the list of priorities is lowering our expenses, simplifying our lifestyles at least a little. At the moment, we have a great place at a reasonable rent in one of Toronto's most desirable neighborhoods - and it's a jr. one-bedroom apartment. We're literally stuffed into two tiny rooms. An upgrade would be very nice indeed.
Thing is, there are complications. The big one is that I don't drive - and I work in Brampton, not Toronto anymore. So the search for Shoemom's more relatable mileu is limited by the exigencies of public transit. As it turns out, apropos of my post last night, there are a lot
of exigencies in the preferred corridor. It's doable, but it's nowhere near as simple as we'd thought it would be. The GTA commuter train system is set up to shuttle people back and forth from the outskirts to Toronto, not from outskirt to outskirt. Which is efficient use of resources I guess; but not at all helpful in re: ours, just now.
This nixes, unfortunately, most of the places in which she would be happiest - Niagara Region and immediate environs. Of the remaining possibilities, Burlington is the most desirable - since we lived there for awhile in the 90's - but still too far away, Oakville is kinda pointless anyway if the idea is to simplify living expenses, and Mississauga and Brampton are just...well, Mississauga and Brampton. All the same objections to the current situation apply, with 'all there is to do there is shop' thrown in.
This leaves Milton
. Amazingly pretty, fashionable little city, all the amenities (it better have, being the fastest-growing city in Canada) close to everywhere else we'd want to be...a matter of minutes down the highway from Brampton...and no ruddy GO bus. Aargh. Will keep you posted.