Living in Grande Prairie is vastly different from living in a huge metropolitan city. There are some pros and cons that may be deal breakers for some. If you are used to big city life, the sheer number of Grande Prairie’s cons can far exceed the pros but, the pros are worth considerably more in my book. Let me examine each category for you. This is of course based on my own values, wants and needs and that of my little family.
1) Winter here is so awful you want to cry by January 2nd. Actually, it’s so awful you may have already begun crying sometime in November but then the thought of Christmas and New Years celebrations got you out of your funk. I promise you the funk will return. Now by awful, I mean that when the deep cold takes over, it’s actually still fall. There will be WEEKS of nothing but snow. It will snow until your lilac shrubs have all but disappeared and you then realize you hadn’t yet gotten around to putting your garden to sleep and your yard will be a mess come spring. There are no trumpets or warning that herald the dreaded winter, it does not pussyfoot or take it’s time….it slaps you in the face and doesn’t wait for your reaction. Winter here is so very awful.
2) There is no orchestra here. I know right, what the heck? Yes I am being serious. I researched it before I came and I was bummed then and still am bummed. It’s hard but I’m surviving.
3) There are few amazingly delicious restaurants. It sucks and then sucks some more but, it is what it is. If you love fast food chain restaurants, you will be in heaven.
4) It is difficult making friends in a transient city. That’s the long and short of it.
5) The city has not gotten around to doing much in the way of beautification. I’d like to talk with City Hall about this but, since they haven’t responded to any of my other queries, I don’t think they will respond to this one.
6) Grocery shopping threw me for a loop. It was hard finding so many things I had taken for granted in Toronto. If I did find a much sought after item, it wasn’t the best quality. I doesn’t matter what grocery store I go to. Gosh I miss mangoes.
7) This is not a pedestrian city. Everything is spread far out and the public transit system is young. I’ve heard they are working on improving it but it has a ways to go yet. Don’t get me wrong, you can use the transit system but, it may take some time to get used to it.
8) There appears to be only one recreation centre here. It’s super awesome in all that it offers but, it isn’t prorated and therefore VERY expensive if you only want to do few laps in the pool or around the track.
9) Most houses here are brown or grey. The shades might vary but, they are still brown or grey. It simply is not a colourful city. If you find a house that a different colour, the relief to your eyes is palpable.
10) The new style of architecture here is seriously lacking and the sentiment of the many “experts” I have spoken to is that, there will be many unhappy people here in a few years. The newer homes are simply being built too quickly and care is not being taken. I personally recommend an older home.
I think those are enough con:)
1) The never ending blue sky. Honestly, I can’t get enough of it.
2) The lack of humidity and smog. Coming from Toronto, I can tell you that breathing in there during the summer months, is like having a heavy meal without the satisfaction or the nutrition.
4) The opportunity to start from scratch.
5) Fresh delicious foods such as grass-fed beef, wild meats, fresh free-run eggs, fresh veggies in season. All these things are easy to come by if you meet the right people or make the right connections.
6) Chuckwagon races.
7) Cowboy boots everywhere.
8) Hmmm, cowboys everywhere?
9) The folks I have had the pleasure to meet and make friends with have been genuinely kind and helpful in our transition.
10) There is a Reggae band based here. I know right? I was not expecting that. They are called Tasman Jude, I haven’t heard them perform yet but will as soon as I have the opportunity. I am excited:)
11) There is a free to view art gallery and a brand new and gorgeous library.
12) The surrounding mountains and rivers and fields!
13) Many programs for kids. This is actually a really great place to raise kids if you can make friends with other families. When we go out, baby Ang is much adored by all whom we come across. Parents don’t seem as harangued by their kids and it is common to see children out with their families. Coming from Toronto, this was refreshing. I think many families in Toronto have an on-call sitter.
14) The restaurants I have enjoyed eating at include: Rics Grill, Mucho Burrito, Ramona’s, The Taj Indian restaurant, Lefty’s (in Bezanson), AND El Norteno’s Taco Stand. YUM!
I’ve listed more pros as I strive to be optimistic:) Does anyone have anything to add to either list?
There is that blue sky I mentioned. We got quite close to this deer whilst playing at the playground. We enjoyed creeping up as close as we could and hoped to be able to pet it;-)