I am an escapee from Canada’s biggest city, Toronto. For four years and five months now, I have lived in a community on the gorgeous Saanich Peninsula near Victoria, BC. My husband and I were smitten (there’s no other word for it) on our first visit. Keen gardeners, we felt we had one more garden in us, and this was where we wanted it to be. However, we came back the following summer to make sure that there was indeed a basis for a long-term relationship, and that it wasn’t simply an infatuation. There was, it wasn’t – we went back to Toronto and quick-sticks put out the For Sale sign.
I haven’t had a millisecond of regret; in fact, apart from people, the only thing I miss is an inexhaustible supply of my mother-in-law’s tomato sauce. Years ago, I heard the injunction, “Bloom where you are planted.” Well, here are 10 of many reasons I’m blooming where I’ve been transplanted.
I unabashedly love being in a place where:
- you can see an eagle and a hummingbird at practically the same time;
- the local paper puts out a songbook of carols every Christmas;
- all the taxis are hybrid vehicles;
- there are fireworks displays at the merest hint of an excuse;
- you can say you’re from Toronto without getting a sneer or snide comment;
- the airport is so human-scale/small that you walk across the tarmac to board the plane;
- the local sailors festoon their boats with lights for a magical sail past each Christmas;
- you can hop on a ferry, large or small, any time for a trip through glorious scenery at what I think are bargain prices;
- roadside stalls offer flowers, jams, veggies and fruit for sale on the honour system – payment goes in a little wooden box;
- you can practically shove a stick in the ground and it will grow (I scoffed when told this the first of many times, but it’s true).
If really pressed, I could perhaps find 10 things I don’t like, but somehow I doubt it.