If you’re seeking a lifestyle filled with leisure and outdoor adventure – without long work commutes and traffic congestion – Owen Sound should be your next home base.
The City of Owen Sound, located two and a half hours from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has recently claimed the impressive title of the “Work from Home Capital of Canada” for several reasons.
The pandemic has greatly changed the way many of us work and how we spend our time when we’re off the clock. Countless businesses have switched to a work from home format to keep employees safe from COVID-19. Because of this, people have gained work flexibility, allowing them to relocate to a quieter and more affordable location while maintaining employment.
Moving to Owen Sound can most definitely provide you with a healthy work-life balance. Instead of spending hours stuck in your car or on public transit commuting to the office, you’ll have plenty of time to do the things that bring you joy and happiness. Whether that’s cooking fancy dinners, taking your kids to the park or hiking a scenic trail with your partner, you’ll have time for it all.
“When you work from home, there’s so much more time to do the things you love,” says Brent Fisher, manager of Community Development and Marketing for the City of Owen Sound. “Some people spend endless hours commuting to and from their place of work, while others spend time fishing, biking and exploring Harrison Park.”
Since the pandemic pushed businesses to allow remote work, many Canadian’s are able to move to a city that better aligns with their interests and hobbies.
“The city has experienced a massive tourism boom in the last six to eight years,” says Fisher. “People come here for a vacation and promptly realize that it would be a great place to live permanently.” By moving to Owen Sound, you’ll have the time and energy to discover exactly what you love and you’ll have plenty of time to do it.
“Owen Sound is a 5G community,” he continues. “There seems to be a stigma that since Owen Sound isn’t located within the Greater Toronto Area, we’re still relying on the old dial-up internet that we had when we were kids and that’s not the case.”
Even if you don’t operate a small business from your home, the city always has several job openings within the sectors of health care, manufacturing, education and tourism.
“The region maintains one of the lowest unemployment rates in the province but there’s still such a high demand for labour,” says Fisher. “Employment for spouses or significant others is always a consideration, and in our city there are so many great opportunities.”
In a post-pandemic world, commuting from your home to your office in Owen Sound is unlikely to ever exceed 10 minutes. This can be attributed to the beauty of living in a smaller town.
Though Owen Sound has experienced an influx in residents over the past few years, the real estate remains less expensive than other cities in Ontario. In the scenic and ever so charming city, people can afford to purchase a home with a large backyard in a safe neighbourhood. For many who have moved to Owen Sound, this was simply unattainable when they were living in the Greater Toronto Area.
“It doesn’t matter what season it is, there’s parks, trails, bodies of water and so much else to explore,” says Fisher. “You could live here for your entire life and not check all of the boxes in terms of places to explore – the city is an outdoor playground.”
Along with an abundance of outdoor offerings, Owen Sound has all of the built amenities one could ask for. From shopping, to recreation, to healthcare including a hospital that offers a full range of specialty services and brand new MRI machine to big-box stores like Walmart, HomeSense, Winners, and Home Depot, residents have everything they need within close proximity.
The city is also home to Georgian College and several elementary and secondary schools, many of which are walking distance to the residential areas. This means that some parents can walk their children to school and be back in time to hop on their morning Zoom meeting.
“The schools located within Owen Sound are second to none and the families that move here have so many options to choose from,” says Fisher. “There are public schools, Catholic schools, Christian schools, French schools and more.”
Those with a passion for shopping enjoy spending the afternoon walking around the River District, which is lined with quaint shops, art studios and restaurants. This is an entertaining way for one to spend their Saturday’s or even their lunch breaks when working from home.
But if the thought of leaving your extended family or friend group behind is holding you back from moving, don’t fret.
“The camaraderie between residents is very special,” says Fisher. “Owen Sound is a tight-knit community and there are so many ways one can get involved and meet new people.”
There’s no shortage of opportunities to socialize in Owen Sound. From recreational and cultural activities to festivals and charitable initiatives, you’ll be connected with your neighbours in no time at all.
“It has all of the big city amenities and a lot of small town charm, which people quickly fall in love with,” says Fisher.
If you’re ready to move to the “Work from Home Capital of Canada”, click here.