Why

Bandit was about to do his business. I fished a plastic bag from my jeans pocket and waited on the sidewalk to, well, you know.

Suddenly…

“Garth. Is that you?”

I looked up from the emerging issue and saw a great, long bejesus white motorhome come to a stop on the street beside us.

“It’s Eric,” the driver shouted at me “From Vancouver. We’re blog dogs. I can’t believe it’s you. And Bandit.”

Eric and his squeeze turned out to be decent people. They’ve had it with Van, are fleeing to Australia (another house-horny place) and decided to rent a camper and drive across the entire country before departing Canada. “We had to see our own country, before we left it.” So there we were, on the pavement in a tiny, seaside Nova Scotia town in the waning hours of a hot July.

Actually a weird number of people who waste their lives reading this pathetic blog have turned up in my summertime retreat lately. I met Bob from Grimsby (& family) on the wharf this week. And Angela from Manitoba (I think) popped into my rarefied bank building for selfies. There’s been a steady stream of people on vacation, or exploring, curious and kind enough to come and see me. Most are gracious and don’t ask the obvious question: ‘Why the heck are you here?’

Here’s why.

Before I made an absolute fortune writing a free blog I toured the country giving lectures on financial stuff, hired by banks, advisors and fund companies. Dorothy was my roadie, doing up to 200 gigs a year, hitting every crystal hotel ballroom and Legion basement in the nation. One rainy October eve we landed in Lunenburg, on the south shore of Nova Scotia about an hour from civilization. My speech that night was in a museum full of fish. Seriously.

In morning’s light, the place was a heady swill of sea, history, architecture, colour, culture and the confident, bemused serenity of locals dealing with some dude in a tie from Upper Canada. We were infected. Within a year we’d bought a little blue cape house on the harbour. The routine airplane travel or the long drive (22 hours) was rewarded with weeks by the salty ocean and solid, welcoming neighbours. It’s amazing how sweet people can be when you suck the road rage, shopping malls, competition, and financial stress from their souls.

In April of 2018 Dorothy, Bandit and I made the annual car trip. Soon after I lost my mind and bought the historic stone B of M edifice in the middle of town when the bank decided to replace it with an ATM and a web site. The reno turned it into a such cool, peaceful space that I was smitten. Why not live and work where I wanted to live and work?

Months later the Atlantic Canada branch of my financial business opened its doors. Employees. Clients. Dog. Flexible, progressive corporate partner. Connected in real time with colleagues still imprisoned on the 53rd floor of a bank tower at King & Bay. It had occurred to me that if I could look after the affairs of people in Vancouver or Montreal from downtown Toronto that the same could happen from the seething urban core of downtown Lunenburg. And so it was. And is.

This is what our world has become. Technology, connectedness, digital infrastructure – these things have made geography moot, removing the shackles of location and the sacrifices big-city living demands. Good jobs, incomes and financial security can be carved out anywhere. And surely, when people are freed from the burden of million-dollar houses and hour-long commutes they feel encouraged about their careers, lives and futures. How is this not better?

Anyway, as I write this Bandit is sleeping four feet away. Within two blocks of this liberated bank is the drug store, the post office, lawyer, grocery store, town hall, concert hall, restaurants, boutiques, eight art galleries, four real estate offices and a harbour which today berths a $16 million US superyacht. Oh, and my house. By the way, my home (it’s nice) and my bank cost less together than a slanty semi in Leslieville. Lots of cash left over for a tug, too.

The only regret? Took too long. You should reflect on that. I sure do.

142 comments ↓

#1 Mike on 07.30.19 at 4:22 pm

You’re the Lunenburg Yeti! We loved the East Coast and Lunenburg, along with the Wolfville area. You’ve realized what we all quietly lust after, to remove ourselves from the ratrace and enjoy tranquility.

#2 James on 07.30.19 at 4:25 pm

One of the nicest places I have ever been in Canada. The people there are real and friendly as anything. Honest hard working people. I genuinely admire them for their tenacity in a place that finding gainful employment can be quite difficult. You have picked a great location. All you need is a deck by the sea to sip your morning coffee or perhaps a sloop!

#3 Dolce Vita on 07.30.19 at 4:28 pm

“The only regret? Took too long.”

Ditto.

Still, better late than never.

#4 I hear ya ... on 07.30.19 at 4:29 pm

retired at 60 and could have left with a full pension at 55. Can never get those 5 years with great health back. Am loving it though …

#5 Derek R on 07.30.19 at 4:30 pm

Yup, great place. I made the move to the South Shore too. But Lunenburg was a bit too Big City for me so I moved to one of the villages outside Liverpool. Never regretted it.

And you helped. I took my wife to one of your roadshows back in 2009, not long after you first bought a place in Lunenburg. By sharing that, you put a seal of approval on my crazy plans.

Thank you!

#6 Ed on 07.30.19 at 4:35 pm

Cool town…what pastel color is your house?

#7 Stan Brooks on 07.30.19 at 4:36 pm

Mass exodus of sane people from the insane place, it is pretty much guaranteed.

Note that this was strictly a Canadian choice: the debt, the idiots in power, the greedy oligopolies, the expensive life.

Yes, the world is open and you can earn money in much better in terms of weather places, that are much cheaper and with much lower taxes, that are much more affordable overall where you can eat real food, not the GMO crap or the growth hormones rich meat from the grocery store.

What is left is baseless hype, arrogance and incomparable ignorance, useless bragging of how expensive that shack is and how rich the indebted sheeple is.

You reap what you sow.

Canada is beautiful but the cost of living is prohibitive.

#8 Surfsideboomer on 07.30.19 at 4:42 pm

Did the same thing but headed from the Fraser Valley to Parksville, Vancouver Island 18 years ago. Managed to get a job in Nanaimo and never looked back. My small abode sits a half block to the ocean and beautiful Rathtrevor Provincial Park. My squeeze and I have a boat now and couldn’t be happier. Every day is a good day on the water. “Follow your dream, live the life that you imagine”!! Set your goal and chart your course…..

#9 BobC on 07.30.19 at 4:43 pm

I’m sure a lot of us would love to see pictures of the town. I know I would.

#10 Alberta Ed on 07.30.19 at 4:45 pm

Time and good health to enjoy it are beyond price. Plus chiseled abs and a good financial advisor.

#11 Peter on 07.30.19 at 5:12 pm

I dream of doing the same thing Garth. At one time leaving TO and moving back to my home town of Niagara Falls was my version. But the GTA seems to be swallowing that area too.

Two things still stand in my way – moving away from family and winter. What do you do about winter in Atlantic Canada, is it not really any worse than southern Ontario?

#12 Brett in Calgary on 07.30.19 at 5:12 pm

Take a trip to realtor.ca and search Lunenburg, NS – refreshing.

Viewpoint.ca is better. Now that’s what a real estate site should deliver. – Garth

#13 Leon T on 07.30.19 at 5:22 pm

Bravo! You’re writing is truly inspiring.

#14 greyhound on 07.30.19 at 5:25 pm

Lunenburg is glorious. If you’re still young. But old folks need medical care. NS has the lowest physician salaries in the country. 10% of the population has no primary care doctor. Due to a doctor shortage, hospital emergency rooms in Cape Breton and elsewhere are now closed some weeks because they can’t find staff. Locals have to drive an additional 100 km or more to get emergency care.
I’ve summered in Nova Scotia for more than 30 years and had thought we would retire there. But the medical situation is just too scary. Maybe Garth can run for premier and get something done…

Lunenburg contains 2,100 people and has its own full-service hospital. Compare that with BC or Ontario. (BTW, health care sucks coast to coast.) – Garth

#15 Marco on 07.30.19 at 5:34 pm

Not everybody have a choice. A lot of people are humiliated by bosses breathing behind their necks.
Because a job is not a human right but commodity in the best country in the world. Long time ago the story of remote work took place but I am just interested in percentage of people who actually do it.

#16 Loonie Doctor on 07.30.19 at 5:35 pm

Loved this post Garth. I have been doing a lot of thinking about exactly what you are describing. I am only in my 40s and probably at peak career. Having grown up in a more remote area, it has really struck me over the last few years how different that was than my more urban abode. The average person on the street or with whom you transact treats you differently when they are not essentially anonymous amongst the crowd and are likely to rub shoulders with you again in other venues. That is a big deal for me as someone who deals with people all day long in the pressure-cooker of healthcare. Anyway, I have no regrets about the time poured into my career to date, but am thinking seriously about scaling back dramatically and escaping back to a smaller area like you describe. No burning crisis, but I just don’t want to have waited too long either.
-LD

#17 Linda on 07.30.19 at 5:35 pm

To be fair, telecommuting for the masses hasn’t been around all that long. Many employers have yet to truly embrace it and yes, there are still plenty of professions where telecommuting would not work. Anything blue collar, for instance. Difficult to fix that plumbing/electrical/mechanical issue over the Internet:)

For those whose choice of profession does permit telecommuting & where there are no work related barriers to doing so, where one lives is limited to whether there is speedy & reliable telecommunications service. There may also be time zone adjustments to be made, but not having to commute for hours each week is worth the bother.

#18 Bob on 07.30.19 at 5:41 pm

You’re probably the best advertisement to move/visit Nova Scotia at the moment…

#19 Bob on 07.30.19 at 5:44 pm

….I wish you could convince my wife to move to your neck of the woods, I certainly can not.

If you could, might be a couple of new customers for you….

#20 Sask to AB on 07.30.19 at 5:45 pm

Way to go Garth.
A wonderful post.
Thank you for sharing.

F56AB

#21 dirtydebtor on 07.30.19 at 5:48 pm

Appreciate your aha! moment garth – though i don’t think the entire city can pack up and digital nomad a success in a far flung seaside town.

You were able to do the digital nomad thing, because you spent 15 odd years building up a business that can be run somewhat remotely. If one of your offices should shut down, the prudent business decision would be to shutter the NS office, as the bay st office is the connection to clients, capital, and credibility.

You have succeeded as a digital nomad, but that window of opportunity is open only to a small group of folks in select fields. The world is collectively urbanizing, and that is because money and opportunity is continuing to concentrate in cities.

#22 JonBoy on 07.30.19 at 6:04 pm

So neat that Eric and his wife (K.) actually saw you and talked to you. Eric introduced me to your blog when I moved to Vancouver back in 2017 and I’ve been here ever since. We’d often mention different things you’ve written on your blog.

Thanks for being friendly and welcoming!

#23 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 6:05 pm

#80 MF on 07.30.19 at 3:27 pm
66 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 11:49 am

-Tons of local women here of all stripes. Usually it’s the type of guy who is a total failure here at home who searches internationally for a woman. They will blame everyone else but themselves though.

MF
————

That’s probably mostly correct. Some (or maybe many) Women here may regard a 35 year old guy who makes 40K CAD, rents a studio, and drives a Hyundai as a loser.

But in other countries where half the Men may be alcoholics, totally unemployed, and where there could be up to a 2:1 ratio of Women/Men in certain age groups – this same guy is a rock star.

On top of that, marriage means different things in different cultures. In some you get no choice in who you end up with, in others well educated, gainfully employed Women in their 30’s – who are single – are shamed by literally everyone including their own families. Many Women live in Cultures that are shamelessly Patriarchal. Marriage in many cases have little to nothing to do with romantic pursuits. Western relationships have a lot to offer a Woman in these situations – even if the guy looks like Shrek.

I wouldn’t fault a dude for a second if he took his search for a life partner outside our borders if he was S.O.L. trying to get a date at home. To each his own in that regard.

I know at least one Canadian couple who found enough benefit being together outside of love, that they married. They’re totally happy, life together for them is much better than it was when they were alone. Pragmatic considerations evidently work. I just watched that movie about Maud Lewis, and it looks like this is the kind of marriage she had as well.

Same deal could be had with an international coupling IMHO.

#24 Larry B on 07.30.19 at 6:05 pm

Lovely place and money is not everything but for this couple, it is an extra $5K/year in combined income taxes. (use your tax software to check by changing your address) But, lovely place.

Houses costing half can make up for that pretty quick. – Garth

#25 jimbo on 07.30.19 at 6:08 pm

Stopped in and shook Sir Gartho hand last august when on a seniors pilgrimage to the eastcoast.Lovely spot is Lunenberg and the old bank is beautiful.Keep up the good blog,Garth.and give Bandit a extra pat from a “friendly Manitoban”.

#26 Cto on 07.30.19 at 6:16 pm

Very good article Garth
From a guy that come from a small town with all the services that Toronto has , I know where you’re coming from.
Unfortunately I live in the GTA now.
East End house paid for and would move in a second if my wife’s family wasn’t here and she can’t live in a small town. Sadly 50% of the people living in Toronto have no idea that Canada has everything Toronto offers, including jobs, outside of the GTA or north of 7.
Not sure , but I think Canada sells Toronto and Vancouver in countries overseas and not “Canada”.

#27 Sean David on 07.30.19 at 6:16 pm

Happy I popped in today to see what words you had to share. Thank you for this inspiring post. Time is the most precious currency.

#28 the ryguy on 07.30.19 at 6:20 pm

I Just got back from Taber Alberta, we had a family reunion down there. There is definitely something to small town living. Everyone waves and says hi, very little traffic, cute local newspaper really catches the spirit of the place. A group of 16 of us walked right into the golf course and got an immediate tee time.

We had an event at a church in Barnwell, that however is a little too small for me…since I’ve been binging the office I have to add “thats what she said”.

#29 Guy in Calgary on 07.30.19 at 6:20 pm

Pretty much why the wife and I left the GTA. I work from home but still have to meet clients. My furthest office is a 15 min drive and my wife drive is about the same. Home before 5 most days with plenty of sunshine left to enjoy a home cooked meal, walk the dogs and look at the mountains. The house we have in Calgary would not be remotely attainable in the GTA without great sacrifice. We now spend much more time outdoors as the weather is pleasant in the summer and we ski most weekends in the winter. I enjoy being able to hike/camp/bike/ski in pristine wilderness then go to a nice city for a meal and an old fashioned all in the same day.

Yes we miss friends and family but we are all scattered all over the place anyway. One is already making the move after visiting a few times.

Life is too short to be that stressed. Who knows where we wind up in the end but the West does it for right now.

#30 AlbertaGuy on 07.30.19 at 6:29 pm

Hey Garth, turn the vault into a quirky AirBnB Rental and all your clients will make the pilgrimage to Garth’s Blog Dog Kennel.

#31 Sail away on 07.30.19 at 6:36 pm

#15 Marco on 07.30.19 at 5:34 pm

Not everybody have a choice. A lot of people are humiliated by bosses breathing behind their necks.

Because a job is not a human right but commodity in the best country in the world. Long time ago the story of remote work took place but I am just interested in percentage of people who actually do it.

———————————————–

Of course a job isn’t a human right. That’s ridiculous. It’s not a commodity either.

It is an opportunity to exchange your labour for something else that you want… usually money.

And because we are the best country in the world, everyone in Canada has an equal right to pursue a job. Different jobs require different credentials. The more qualified you are, usually the more autonomy you have.

Seven of our employees choose to work remotely about 1/2 time. They earned this by gaining the proper credentials and proving themselves over time.

#32 Robbie on 07.30.19 at 6:42 pm

I completely understand why you made the move! I was born and raised in Vancouver and now I reside on Salt Spring Island. Opposite side of the country from you, Garth, but a pretty and quiet island with lots of trees, lakes and ocean waterfront.

#33 Jason on 07.30.19 at 6:44 pm

Very nice, Garth. I wish a had the cahones to do what you did. Maybe I will someday.

#34 AlbertaGuy on 07.30.19 at 6:45 pm

#15 Marco
#31 Sail away

As independent contractor I work remotely (6 months AB and 6 months AZ) for past 10 years…best gig ever.

#35 Lazy Gen Z'er on 07.30.19 at 6:49 pm

You and your cis-gender pet canine look alike Mr./Mrs/He/Xer/Xit/Zit/Dr./Drs/unspecified/basketball/other/two-spirited/and 1,000 other gender-identifications, Sir/Madam/Xadam/Saddam/Assad/

Under Ontario law, I have to include all genders, but I’m too lazy to type it all!

#36 darrell on 07.30.19 at 6:50 pm

Just a terrific post, Mr. Turner. Clearly heartfelt.

When I had the pleasure of meeting you at the ‘Belfountain General Store’ on its Re-Opening Day a few years ago, I noted a sense of loss and longing on the mention of Lunenburg.

So this story of finding your heart-home location, leaving that home and then returning, sends chills.

Bravo ..!! The Turner family success and happiness are truly well deserved. Its lovely when Karma prevails.

#37 Long-Time Lurker on 07.30.19 at 6:55 pm

Go ahead, Felix. We’re waiting. Garth and Bandit were begging for it with an intro like that.

#38 Sebee on 07.30.19 at 6:59 pm

Back during some Farley Mowat CBC tribute they played a couple of interviews from their archives.

There was a very interesting tidbit from Farley about how flawed human behavior is when it comes to living in the city. He highlighted nature and how it behaves and how every other species on this planet wishes to disperse except human beings who congregate in cities at significant risks. I can never forget how convincing this was to me.

And today with connectivity and Buffalo area estates at 20% of Toronto homes? It really stops being as special as we think it is.

#39 Stormy Daniels on 07.30.19 at 7:09 pm

So you say you’ve saved a lot of money buying property in Lunenburg?

If I drop by then, it should be no problem collecting my $130,000 then, right……….

See you and Bandit soon ;)

#40 Yukon Elvis on 07.30.19 at 7:11 pm

Lots of cash left over for a tug, too.
………………….

Formerly known as the SS Minnow. Bet ya didn’t know that. They never did find the electrical glitch that stranded Gilligan and the crew on the desert island for all those years.

#41 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 7:19 pm

The charm of a place like Lunenburg is hard to beat, but much of what Mr. T describes can be had in many small centres in Canada.

Ms. IH and I took last Friday off and headed to Picton. We took the scenic route along Lake Ontario through Wellington and Bloomfield – these are sweet little villages in their own right, especially Wellington. Picton itself is now a GTA summer hide out. Very busy and loaded with touristy restaurants wineries, and micro breweries.

Speaking of beer, that’s what we were there for. Looks like the local Millennials are doing well in this segment, as they owned, and were running all the places we stopped at. Ms. IH got a pretty good flush going sampling all these different craft beers, and we came back (I drove) with a hatch full of fancy expensive liquids from Prince Eddy’s, Barley Days, and 555’s by days end. This stuff is awesome to say the least.

We may do this again, but on the ATV’s instead of a car. There is a railbed trail running from Carrying Place all the way to the main drag in Picton.

To me, small town living is where it’s at. The price of admission is figuring out how to get a household income of near 100K+. If you can do that, your life will be easy with none of the stresses, expenses, and headaches that come with big city living. You can get by with less, but ~100K guarantees an easy living, even with kids.

All forms of outdoor entertainment are right at your doorstep. ATVing, fishing, hunting, you name it. The touristy areas have many places to sample food, drink, and art. You can sample some classical music at the Westben, or attend the Havelock Jamboree for some Country music (and other stuff I shouldn’t mention). We went to an event in Trenton last year called “Hops on the Water”. It was nothing more than a live band and a whack of micro breweries trying to get you to drink their stuff. 2.00 per Mug. It had a Vegas like atmosphere because everyone was walking around half in the bag. It was great, Ms. IH had to do the driving home that time.

Pretty much the best of all worlds, and getting better all the time as local cities and municipalities do more and more to attract “foreign” dollars.

#42 Chris on 07.30.19 at 7:20 pm

Moved to a regional town in Australia from a capital city about 5 years ago and pity the ignorant me who lived in cities for so long. Expensive, time-consuming, soul-sucking monstrosities most of them. Will never go back.

#43 Liza Hassan on 07.30.19 at 7:22 pm

We live in a day and age that says, savers are the real problem of destroying our economy. Debt ridden society will wish they never went this debt binge way and until we stop trying to take care of everyone from the world by letting Canada be the dumping ground for the world, we will have ever more poverty and debt ridden society.

Just like in Ontario, you can’t spend, tax, pile on debt your way to prosperity.

#44 Smartalox on 07.30.19 at 7:23 pm

You mentioned that it was an ‘annual’ drive.

Does that mean you still commute back to the GTA for the winter? How are the winters in Nova Scotia, anyway?

#45 Keith on 07.30.19 at 7:25 pm

My wife and I live in Vancouver and we went to Nova Scotia for a road trip holiday a decade ago. Got a sweet deal from WestJet for airfare at $650 each in late September. We spend three days in Halifax and went on a two week road trip through the Maritimes.

First stop after Halifax was Lunenberg, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was so nice we stayed an extra day. Maritime museum, afternoon sailing cruise, beautiful old housing and stately homes, and and food was terrific.

We toured through Nova Scotia, New Brunsick and PEI and spend over $100 on accommodations once. Highways were far quieter than B.C., and the people really are the friendliest we’ve met in all of our Canadian travels. The Cabot trail in Cape Breton is reckoned to be one of the top ten drives in North America, and I wouldn’t argue that.
Plenty of beautiful towns full of history, and Halifax is a nice size with plenty of watering holes and history. Great idea to move out that way.

#46 Basil Fawlty on 07.30.19 at 7:25 pm

Your new location sounds fabulous Garth. All the best out there.

#47 Flop... on 07.30.19 at 7:37 pm

Some people are just better at moving and adapting than others.

After living in 5 countries, I look back on most of my time there with fondness and I guess most people I encountered would have said I was a happy guy.

Mrs Flop is not so adaptive and that is part of the reason we still reside in Vancouver.

From my experience, some people can get a second wind or a different perspective with a change of scenery, but some people are just miserable and want to remain that way.

Is that a frown on your face, or are you just unhappy to see me…

M45BC

#48 Mike on 07.30.19 at 7:44 pm

BTW, health care sucks coast to coast.) – Garth

Ya, you’re right. Know why Garth? Because:

1) With socialized health care, NO ONE gets turned away, ever. On your 200th visit in less than a year? No worries, right this way!

2) The bureaucratic bloat of health care is extreme. Alberta has a sunshine list full of bureaucrats who piss our tax dollars away, because why not!

#49 Long-Time Lurker on 07.30.19 at 7:49 pm

#77 Danny Boy on 07.30.19 at 3:10 pm
Let’s get real. Bonds suck right now at 1.44%, 1.49% or 1.74% on the 5, 10 and 30 year Canada bonds.

The problem is there is too much government and central bank interference. They have overstepped their roles as stabilizers and are now legal thieves. Most people in Canada have no idea that a central bank is part of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

>This quote from The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Chapter Two, tells me everything I need to know about Communists:

“Undoubtedly,” it will be said, “religious, moral, philosophical and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change.”

“There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc. that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/61/pg61.txt

#50 Barb on 07.30.19 at 7:50 pm

What a great update, Mr. T.

You have the courage that many of us lack.
We cannot envision breaking the geographical shackles of family and job (yawn), and risk stepping into something that could be the same as we have, or God forbid, worse.

In my dreams, I “up sticks” as the Brits say, and relocate for a happy retirement in a sleepy burg. And then I wake up to commitments and ties.

What a lovely picture of your office. Bandit snoozing nearby is icing.

I look at young people today and shudder at what’s ahead for them. We were once keen go-getters; after 48 years of marriage and two businesses agree that we got through it relatively unscathed. But it’s been a battle in so many ways. Still one business to sell unfortunately…

Huge admiration for Dorothy.

#51 Deacon Santabel on 07.30.19 at 7:52 pm

It’s a great place until some in the town and province come in and screw it all up. Liberal, NDP, Green Party etc. lefties are called that because everyone will be left in shambles.

#52 JacqueShellacque on 07.30.19 at 8:02 pm

There’s a reason why not a lot of people live in those places, for all their charms. Jobs are harder to come by, and it’s not a given that locals in a smaller burg will be friendly. As someone who grew up in a town with no traffic lights in N Ontario and now lives in 905, I can say with absolute certainly that 95% of people who live where I grew up would be better off if they lived where I do now. Yes, city life can be a soul-sucking drudgefest, but one is more able to choose for it not to be.

#53 john m on 07.30.19 at 8:02 pm

Great post Garth my thoughts exactly.

#54 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 8:03 pm

#44 Smartalox on 07.30.19 at 7:23 pm
You mentioned that it was an ‘annual’ drive.

Does that mean you still commute back to the GTA for the winter? How are the winters in Nova Scotia, anyway?
——

I think they’re tough. We went to the East Coast for our honeymoon, and we came across an exhibit of a 100 + year old house. The info described how the house was built to take the beating of EC Winter storms. Multiple layers of planks at 90 degrees to each other. Built like a brick #### house. Simple and tough. Probably just like the people were back then.

I plan to head back there for another road trip, beautiful place. We stayed in sweet B+B’s, went whale watching, watched the tidal bore come up a creek, did the Cabot trail, drove over the big bridge to PEI and took the ferry back, went to Peggy’s cove, went to a museum that had stuff that washed up on shore from the Titanic after it sank, and ate loads of seafood!

I like a tough Winter, and seafood…

hmmm…

It snowed four times on the South Shore this past winter, I believe. Much less severe than GTA. – Garth

#55 Flop... on 07.30.19 at 8:11 pm

Probably as good as time as any to put this one up showing the difference between getting a leg up and being handicapped…

M45BC

“First-Time Home Buyer Map of America

Owning a home has long been a cornerstone of the American Dream. Before settling into a “dream home,” many first-time homebuyers look for a “starter home” instead. A starter home refers to a smaller, less expensive house that fulfills the buyer’s present needs, but that the buyer will probably outgrow over time. For example, a newly married couple may purchase a one-bedroom house as their starter home, but then sell it and purchase a four-bedroom house when they start a family. Our new visualization compares the median value of starter homes across the states, as well as how the median value of starter homes compares to the median values of all homes within the state.

The most expensive starter homes tend to be located in the Northeast and the West Coast.

The visualization does not take median wages, which also impact affordability, into consideration. For example, the annual median salaries in Oklahoma ($40,710) and West Virginia ($40,985) are similar, but the median value for a home is much more expensive in Oklahoma ($123,700) than in West Virginia ($97.300).

In some states, the gap between the median value for starter homes and the median values for all homes is also larger than in others. For example, the median value of a starter home in West Virginia or Michigan is less than half the median value of all homes in the state. By contrast, the median value of a starter home in Rhode Island is about three-quarters of the median value of all homes in the state.
Business Insider teamed up with Zillow to find the median value of starter homes and the median value of all homes in each state, which is the basis for our visualization. To use a standard definition of “starter homes,” Zillow used its data from March 2019 to determine the value of the lower one-third of all homes in each state.

In the visualization, each state is represented as a circle. The larger circles represent higher median home values and the smaller circles represent median home values. The shades of purple within the circle show the median value of starter homes, with darker purple representing more expensive homes. The blue outline of the circle represents the median value of all homes in the state. Thicker blue lines indicate that there is a greater difference between median starter home values and all median home values.

Top 5 States by Starter Home Value

1. Washington, D.C. – $335,700
2. Hawaii – $331,500
3. California – $305,300
4. Colorado – $247,600
5. Washington – $243,700

Bottom 5 States by Starter Home Value

1. West Virginia – $42,300
2. Oklahoma – $50,700
3. Arkansas – $56,800
4. Michigan – $58,000
5. Kansas – $61,200

With skyrocketing housing prices, some millennials are bypassing the typical starter home and conserving their funds until they can buy their “forever home.” In addition, buyers looking for a starter home are likely to face stiff competition from investors. While the concept of the “starter home” hasn’t completely disappeared, it may be worth weighing whether a starter home is the best option or if it’s better to keep saving for a lifelong home.”

9 July 2019

Visualization

https://howmuch.net/articles/the-price-of-the-starter-home-in-each-state

#56 Same as you on 07.30.19 at 8:12 pm

I hear ya. At 34 I had enough of the big city and all the stress. Moved to a ski town, but kept my high income IT job and bought a house with my wife and 2 kids. I’m home everyday when they leave and I’m still here when thry get back off the bus. I’m most definitely ‘in their lives’. I shred powder at lunchtime and still make the “all hands” company meetings. Even joined a few still in ski boots on the gondola :) In summer I swim and jog in the middle of the day when others are hiding the fact they are surfing Facebook at the company cube farm. Best thing I ever did. I really don’t miss the city all. I’m now 40 and fitter and happier than I’ve ever been. Welcome to the club Garth

#57 Boom on 07.30.19 at 8:22 pm

How’s the winters Garth?

Shoveled three times. Once it melted on its own. Way worse when I lived in 905. All the snow goes to New Brunswick, where they love it (weird people).- Garth

#58 acdel on 07.30.19 at 8:25 pm

Yeh Garth, Dorothy and Bandit; upon your other reflections; reflect on how many appreciate what you have done. We all (most) appreciate your humour, (yeah I have abs of steel) yeah right; especially your god d** stubbornness for not giving up on us. Ok, it is a suck up but I really want you to understand on how many lives you all have changed with your “FREE” blog!

Riding off into the sunset (if it the families choice) would be one respected by all of us. Thank you for all the great advice and patience!

#59 Yuus bin Haad on 07.30.19 at 8:27 pm

Everything happens at the right time.

#60 SoggyShorts on 07.30.19 at 8:28 pm

#23 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 6:05 pm
#80 MF on 07.30.19 at 3:27 pm
66 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 11:49 am

A white male in SE Asia goes up 2-3 points on the 1-10 scale instantly.

It’s basically the reverse of western beauty standards:
we often see someone with a tan and either consciously or not think “That person is wealthy enough to take vacations”
In SE Asia pale whiteness is seen as “That person is successful enough that they don’t have to work outdoors.” You’ll see 20x as many umbrellas on a sunny day in SE Asia than on a rainy one.

On top of that “short” westerners are still pretty tall over there so that’s another plus. A little bit of pudge doesn’t hurt as much over there either as it’s another sign of success. This isn’t to say that all of the women are gold diggers, far from it- success is simply attractive because of the positive traits that get you there (smart, dedicated, lucky-whatever)

So yes, there’s a significant chunk of guys who are 3s, and 4s back home who pick up 6s and 7s over there, but I’ve met quite a few decent guys (I’m told they would be 6s and 7s back home) and they ended up marrying 9s. These guys would have had no problems getting a girl back home, but when faced with an educated loving
supermodel…
Note: I bring sand to the beach, so it’s not a direct personal experience I’m talking from.

#61 SmarterSquirrel on 07.30.19 at 8:29 pm

Garth,

I grew up in a fishing village on the South Shore, then lived in Halifax for University, and then worked in one of the small coastal towns of NS for awhile. It was definitely lovely and tranquil. But after spending 26 years of my life there… I wanted less tranquility and since have lived in Ottawa, London (ON), Boston, Toronto, Beijing and Tokyo… perhaps one day I’ll want to live in tranquility again… but for now regular visits back home will suffice… and for me 26 years in one province was more than enough when there was an entire planet out there to be experienced.

Lunenburg is definitely one of the more beautiful and relaxing parts of the country and Canada is one of the best countries to live in from many measures of quality of life. I’m very glad I got to grow up in Nova Scotia… but so far, no regrets about saying farewell to Nova Scotia!

For those who want more of a taste of NS… I leave you with this classic that every Nova Scotian knows… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkLgGSG7PF8

For those who have never been to NS… you owe yourself a trip! Its everything Garth says it is!

#62 Bezengy on 07.30.19 at 8:42 pm

I just turned 56 last month. The day after, the wife sat me down and reminded me of all the promises I made to her years earlier when I worked like a madman with the hope of being able to retire early. I know she’s right, she always is, I guess it’s my time. It’s been quite a ride. I would like to tell you of all the smart things I did, and maybe share some wisdom, but honestly I don’t have any. Sure I worked hard, but who hasn’t? I’ve had my breaks and yes I took advantage of them, and I know not everyone has had them, maybe it’s just shit luck I can now live life on my terms, for now anyways. Thirteen days to go, but who’s counting? I may be your next visitor. What do you take in your coffee? I’m guessing black and a double-double for the Mrs., and a plain timbit for Bandit. Close?

#63 Brave New World! on 07.30.19 at 8:48 pm

Congratulations Mr. T, besides proofing hard work pays off you are also smart enough to open you’re eyes and look around. There’s life in many nice urban towns in Canada. It’s harder to connect the dots when you don’t have a like minded partner. Certainly this wasn’t an issue as seemingly noted from some others that have indicated. I think mostly it comes down to ceasing an opportunity. This in its self takes guts. Most people lack the courage. Selling at peek and capitalizing on the latest bubble of our recent housing ramp up was a gift. But its just one decision that is pail incomparision to having the guts to do something most only dream of. Time waits for no one, it all goes so fast. Enjoy you’re savery marrow and suck the last drop from every bit of this good life it allows you.

#64 Cottingham a bargain on 07.30.19 at 8:57 pm

Desperation among the Democratic hopefuls tonight has crossed into the land of crazy .

If this is the lineup trump faces next year he literally can shoot someone on the street and I would add not even bother to campaign and it’s term 2 for the orange skin silverback gorilla.

The left truly lives in La La land

#65 acdel on 07.30.19 at 8:58 pm

#60 SoggyShorts

Very interesting analogy from you. I am actually intrigued by it. Perhaps it is my age, but do you not find that kind of attitude so shallow?
Life is so short, ignore politics and find the beauty in a person, animal, flower, a child’s laugh, or whatever; just find it!

#66 Interstellar Old Yeller on 07.30.19 at 9:27 pm

Nice to hear you sounding so happy, Garth! And thanks for the pic of Bandit, clearly working very hard. :)

#67 will on 07.30.19 at 9:40 pm

i remember those days Garth. i saw you in Thunder Bay and saskatoon. My mother said Garth Turner is in town! Go see him! And I somehow won one of your books. I think I asked a stupid question about rrsps. Those were great talks! How come you’re not doing that anymore? Well I guess you are pretty busy living a cool life. But think about doing another tour man. Instead of showing charts you could be showing pictures of dogs! Why not?

#68 cowtown cowboy on 07.30.19 at 9:51 pm

150 yr old houses that sold 6yrs ago for $265k now asking almost $800k, yup real bargains to be had…

Looks like more than a few greed heads have followed you to the coast Garth….I hear northern Newfoundland is nice this time of year…

Actually that house (I know it) was gutted, entirely renovated and sits on a double lot with unobstructed harbour views. Worth the $785k now being asked – the price of a garage in Kits. – Garth

#69 Mr Canada on 07.30.19 at 9:53 pm

Great Post Garth. Brings back memories of my Doc telling me when I turned 50: You’re in great Health, 20 or 25 good summers left ! Geez…gets you thinking….money and time…tick tock…

#70 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 9:58 pm

#60 SoggyShorts on 07.30.19 at 8:28 pm
#23 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 6:05 pm
#80 MF on 07.30.19 at 3:27 pm
66 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 11:49 am

A white male in SE Asia goes up 2-3 points on the 1-10 scale instantly.
————

I watched a documentary on international dating a while back, the suitors were all British. One dude about 40 was marrying a rural late 20’s Thai Woman. Apparently these folks live on less than 2.00 pounds per day.

Imagine marrying a Western guy from that context, one who probably makes 60-80k. He married her, brought her home to the UK, she was euphoric looking thru his house and at all his stuff (normal house and things to us).

She gets to step out of poverty in one leap (with her son in a year) and live a lifestyle totally out of reach for her any other way. Her son will himself become another “rich Western dude” having been brought up in the uk. Her Mom gets a couple hundred pounds per month once she gets a job in the uk (ie Mom is now “rich”), hubby is footing the bill till then.

He gets an attractive young wife, a sex life, and some chores done.

I’m not surprised these guys gain big points over there!

#71 the Jaguar on 07.30.19 at 9:59 pm

“Technology, connectedness, digital infrastructure – these things have made geography moot, removing the shackles of location and the sacrifices big-city living demands. ”

It’s very true, but this same statement lends itself to consideration of where those digital platforms, resources (human and otherwise), should be allocated in order for a company to receive the highest shareholder value and returns. If you have a big financial company with offices in both Canada and the USA and costs are lower in the USA where do you consolidate those resources? Where is the main ‘hub’? Do you put the call or tech centre in Toronto or Nashville? Where do you get the most bang for your buck? The company that had a corporate profile that once reflected a ‘Canadian’ identity and a ‘US’ identity now only wants one ‘North American’ identity. Identity will no longer be tied to country. The brand is north american and global. Productivity and competitiveness becomes more important than ever. Keep that in mind Toronto, home to financial services empires….Large office towers are being built in the name of financial empires outside of their historical home countries….. it’s worth thinking about.

It’s interesting that Bandit prefers the cool flatness of the hardwood floors to the carpet. No doubt ‘his excellency’s’ fluffy fur coat acts as a feather bed of sorts. And with reduced hearing ability he can feel or hear the sound or vibration of feet coming and going signaling an outdoor walk or a loved one approaching with treats to greater advantage on the cool floors. No flies on Bandit.
I have not been to Lunenburg. The beauty and power of any ocean is unforgettable and haunting whenever I have been near it. Without ever having made the journey to Lunenburg, in my heart I know one can see the stars at night. How else can you wish upon a star?

#72 yvrmc on 07.30.19 at 10:02 pm

I lost my best buddy a few days back from a heart attack. He was 62. His wife and he were going to retire a year from now. They had it all planned out . Kids grown, saving and investing done. Just sell the house the cabin and her business. I kept saying to him why wait one more year ? Your pensions gonna be like $50 a month less , who cares. Take the retirement now. He never got to retire. If you can retire , then do it.!! No-one knows whats around the corner . I’m so freakin sad we will never meet up on all the RV trips we talked about……

#73 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.30.19 at 10:06 pm

My Gawd.
A motorhome in the streets of Lunenburg!
Who gets priority when they meet?
The horse drawn carriage or the motorhome?

#74 Blair on 07.30.19 at 10:17 pm

Enjoyed dropping by to say hello to you last summer.

We are maritimers living in Ottawa and miss the hospitality and warmth that you can only get east of the Quebec border!

#75 Glengarry Girl on 07.30.19 at 10:23 pm

Excellent post Garth, interesting to read the progression of you finally landing in your peaceful place. We too have had the long journey toward the pursuit of happiness. We reflect back and clearly see if we had done things differently, we would be so much closer to our goals. However, no regrets, it was all part of the amazing journey that makes us appreciate where we are. For us, the key is living Simply and rejecting traditional mantra of success. We are now in Australia, using my husbands soul sucking career to our advantage for several years now has made it worth while.

#76 50 YEARS OF MAPLE LEAF INCOMPETENCE! on 07.30.19 at 10:23 pm

Yes, Lunenburg is very quaint.

But Toronto KILLS IT!!

97 DAYS WITHOUT A LOSS!!!!!!!!!!

The Make Believes are AMAZING!!!!

You won’t find a team with such an amazing undefeated streak in small town Canada.

The GTA Rocks!

#77 Glengarry Girl on 07.30.19 at 10:30 pm

Interestingly enough, we also toured across Canada with our travel trailer last year and stopped by for a peek at your office in Nova Scotia. No surprise to me the loyalty of your readers, I am one of them. Thanks for your devotion and time. Your writing reflects something unique, decent, responsible and human that is not common in my other reading regarding Economics.

#78 Glengarry Girl on 07.30.19 at 10:34 pm

Interestingly enough, we also toured across Canada with our travel trailer last year and stopped by for a peek at your office in Nova Scotia. No surprise to me the loyalty of your readers, I am one of them. Thanks for your devotion and time. Your writing reflects something unique, decent, responsible and human that is not common in my other reading regarding Economics.

#79 DON on 07.30.19 at 10:38 pm

Garth – wicket post tonight. Great perspective. My intent is to leave the city and go home. Just a matter of time, only one traffic light there. Love the small towns and the 5-30 minute commutes.

Thanks for the change of topic and perspective.

#80 Ace Goodheart on 07.30.19 at 10:45 pm

Places like Lunenburg, N.S. are for folks who have already made it.

It is very difficult to make money there. But if you already have money, it is incredibly cheap (other than groceries and beer).

In other weird news, we are now officially the “Upper Junction”.

Which is dumb.

https://www.bungol.ca/map/43.671769&-79.483955&19?listing=26-criscoe-street-york-w4436054-3817301

Bully offers. On houses nowhere near the not yet completed Eglinton Crosstown LRT (this beauty is actually a 30 minute walk from the LRT station at Eglinton and Weston). The “professionally landscaped backyard” contains not a single plant. Not a daisy. Not a blade of grass. Not a grasshopper. There is nothing living back there.

This is what is happening up in my neighbourhood.

People who have no idea where the new LRT is actually located, are making bully offers on crap shacks located in the middle of nowhere. Oh well, at least they can walk to Walmart (and the LCBO, to drown their sorrows when they realise they are nowhere near the new LRT station).

#81 OffshoreObserver on 07.30.19 at 10:45 pm

Going on 10 years in Southeast Asia after exiting–not formally–YVR. Three years in Thailand and the rest in Da Nang, Vietnam.

That makes my “retirement date” 57 years old. However, first time to Thailand in 1989 in Phuket when I was 36 made me vacation in Phuket or Koh Samui nearly a month, annually, during Vancouver’s worst Winter months: November – April.

Now, if I could eliminate the irksome task of filing an Annual Canadian Tax return…

I asked a British friend of mine who has lived in Bangkok since 2001 and whom I met in Vancouver in the late 90’s if he had any regrets about retiring to Bangkok. “Yes, that I did not do it at 40!”

[Pictures of dogs later…] . I just introduced “Han,” my bitch to swimming in the Ocean, the South China Sea. She loved it after getting a trial run. Maybe therein lies a lesson….

#82 TRUMP on 07.30.19 at 10:59 pm

THANKS GARTH. You have sparked my DREAMS.

Been contemplating for awhile……..

Don’t want anymore regrets.

Selling my house, quiting my job, buying a motorhome and travelling N/A for the next decade.

Screw it – You only live once.

#83 Advisor coming to visit on 07.30.19 at 11:01 pm

Hey Garth,

You make great points again. As an advisor, I struggle with wanting to live elsewhere and being close to the big smoke which is near my my clients.

I am taking a road trip with my wife and 2 boys from Toronto dropping by Lunenburg.

I will pop by to say hi.

Thanks for the great content over the years.

#84 DON on 07.30.19 at 11:05 pm

#72 yvrmc on 07.30.19 at 10:02 pm

I lost my best buddy a few days back from a heart attack. He was 62. His wife and he were going to retire a year from now. They had it all planned out . Kids grown, saving and investing done. Just sell the house the cabin and her business. I kept saying to him why wait one more year ? Your pensions gonna be like $50 a month less , who cares. Take the retirement now. He never got to retire. If you can retire , then do it.!! No-one knows whats around the corner . I’m so freakin sad we will never meet up on all the RV trips we talked about……

***************

Thanks for sharing! Sorry for your loss.

#85 Ace Goodheart on 07.30.19 at 11:05 pm

So I was completely shocked the other day.

They have been building a new condo building down from our house, across from the Walmart, up the street from the LCBO. In the mid 400’s for badly designed one bedroom plus den units, with no parking, walk-ups with no elevators. I thought to myself, no one is going to buy these things.

Man, was I wrong. They are almost sold out. Selling like cold beers on a hot summer day (in any Province other than Ontario, where that would be illegal).

I recently found out why. Spent some time with a local millennial couple. Found out, they bought a unit. So did a number of their friends. And their friends friends also. Apparently very popular.

I questioned them. One bedroom plus den? Are you not planning on children? The den is literally a cut out in the hallway wall. You would be hard pressed to fit a kitchen chair in that space. The legs would stick out. And what about parking? Do you not have a car? Where will you put it?

I received bemused laughter in response. I am so silly. They are not planning on actually living there. It is an investment, stupid. Yes, there are two bedroom units. But they cost too much. And yes, you can get parking, but it is $40,000.00. Why get an extra bedroom and a parking spot, when you aren’t going to live there anyway? I am so dumb to even ask these questions!

These things are on the fourth floor. There is no elevator. It is an outdoor walk up. Is this really practical? There are a lot of stairs. In the winter, this will be a bit of a mountain climbing exercise. Again, gee wizz I am just a big silly. They aren’t going to ever climb those stairs themselves. This is just an investment. They will probably “flip it” before closing anyway. I need to “get with the program” .

Their friends apparently have similar ideas. Buying these houses, with no intention of ever living in them. Poorly designed one bedroom units, without basic conveniences like a parking spot, or an elevator. Which means nothing to them, because none of them intend to ever live in them anyway.

They are just investments.

If anyone ever wondered why so many condos being built in Toronto are one bedroom units with no parking…..

……..

…………..well, now you know!

#86 cramar on 07.30.19 at 11:11 pm

One of my favourite posts. Why, indeed.

Why can’t Millennials understand that living in a super-expensive 500 sq ft condo with millions of others in Toronto is not the greatest joy in the world? Moving to a smaller community improves ones life considerably. Housing costs a fraction and life itself is more relaxing. You have time to smell the salt air (like Garth) or enjoy the endless visitation of butterflies in the garden (me).

Like Garth says, don’t wait for retirement age to clue in. With careers carved online today, there is no excuse.

#87 Sail Away on 07.30.19 at 11:36 pm

Well, nobody gets out alive, so may as well enjoy your time here. Try to reach your dotage with as few regrets as possible. Stay fit, stay curious, explore your interests, and simplify, simplify.

#88 Ponzius Pilatus on 07.31.19 at 12:03 am

#70 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 9:58 pm
#60 SoggyShorts on 07.30.19 at 8:28 pm
#23 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 6:05 pm
#80 MF on 07.30.19 at 3:27 pm
66 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 11:49 am

A white male in SE Asia goes up 2-3 points on the 1-10 scale instantly.
————

I watched a documentary on international dating a while back, the suitors were all British. One dude about 40 was marrying a rural late 20’s Thai Woman. Apparently these folks live on less than 2.00 pounds per day.

Imagine marrying a Western guy from that context, one who probably makes 60-80k. He married her, brought her home to the UK, she was euphoric looking thru his house and at all his stuff (normal house and things to us).

She gets to step out of poverty in one leap (with her son in a year) and live a lifestyle totally out of reach for her any other way. Her son will himself become another “rich Western dude” having been brought up in the uk. Her Mom gets a couple hundred pounds per month once she gets a job in the uk (ie Mom is now “rich”), hubby is footing the bill till then.

He gets an attractive young wife, a sex life, and some chores done.

I’m not surprised these guys gain big points over there!
————–
Jeez,
Garth,
Delete this pervert.

#89 Diversified in Oakville on 07.31.19 at 12:09 am

Garth,
I am lucky enough that I travel to Nova Scotia for work a few times a year. Took my wife on my last trip earlier this month and did a side trip to Lunenburg. Just amazing! Even took a pic of your amazingly renovated B of M. Never know when I need “suck up capital”!
To anyone who has never been to Nova Scotia, just go. It is truly the gem of Canada.

#90 Vampire Studies (doctoral thesis) on 07.31.19 at 12:27 am

32 Robbie – was there on the weekend. Seems busier each time I visit, but beautiful.

I’ll take the “big island” with a little more room to
wander.

Not sure about Lunenberg. Those NS taxes are like $4k pa more. And all Family is out here except for SIL in Edmonton.

#91 Smoking Man on 07.31.19 at 12:33 am

Just figured out how mad max can win.
Only took 40oz of truth from an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

Anyone got his contact info. I’m fair minded.
Hey liberals you can outbid him.

I’m an evil capitalist after all. Zero loyalty.

Who knew..

Amazing Polly.. I got this. Hook me up.

Dr Smoking Man
PhD Herdonomics

Already have the script for the debates.

#92 TrumpIsLeavingSoon on 07.31.19 at 12:38 am

Maybe some people actually like living in Toronto.

#93 Rusty Winchester on 07.31.19 at 12:42 am

Hey Garth, just want to say thanks for addressing my question a couple of days ago about the place of bonds in ones portfolio, and for that matter all the rest of the information you dish out on the regular. Been a number of years I’ve been reading you now and I still come back every day. I’ve learned a lot, but there’s always more to go.

#94 Jon B on 07.31.19 at 12:42 am

It’s really nice to hear about these nice small towns that offer so much that the major population centers lack, but let’s be clear, when November rolls around, are they still that attractive?

#95 gfd on 07.31.19 at 1:18 am

Canada due for big drop in home prices, according to housing bubble index

https://www.thestar.com/business/2019/07/30/canada-due-for-big-drop-in-home-prices-according-to-housing-bubble-index.html

#96 Cici on 07.31.19 at 1:30 am

Love tonight’s post and love Lunenburg…even though I haven’t been there yet.

Your place looks AMAZING…and that’s coming from a house-frigid lousy housewife (I’d just rather be outside playing than piddling around with interior decorating, laundry or polishing stainless and granite).

Wishing you, Dorothy and Bandit many, many happy years in your gorgeous, happy abode.

#97 gfd on 07.31.19 at 1:33 am

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9528257-canada-due-for-big-drop-in-home-prices-according-to-housing-bubble-index/

#98 gfd on 07.31.19 at 1:35 am

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/so-where-is-the-next-house-price-bubble-brewing-1.1294261

#99 Smoking Man on 07.31.19 at 1:46 am

When you lose

https://youtu.be/avyZ5V2YjwI

#100 yorkville renter on 07.31.19 at 4:10 am

life is full of choices, the trick is to have the flexibility to choose your own path… writing this from Europe, with my wife and two young kids, and working as necessary for our month away.

This is our choice, and we’re happy we could make it

#101 Hamsterwheelie on 07.31.19 at 4:56 am

Left Toronto 9 years ago 9 at the age of 40. Tried convincing friends to step outside that burning ring o 416 fire, to no avail.
It’s been great for us, financially and for our quality of life. No hamster wheel & we had zero expectations so every waterfront trail, retro theatre, free concert and waterfall has been a bonus.
Life is short – start enjoying it now. Next stop, the ocean.

#102 Captain Uppa on 07.31.19 at 6:50 am

Ah yes, the ol’ “Toronto sucks” monster rears its ugly head once more.

Personally, I love the East Coast and always enjoy my time there. Looking forward to many more vacations, especially to Newfoundland!

Now as for me living in the GTA, I am neither stressed nor depressed nor longing for some kind of missing community. I am happy and love the community I live in, people are actually very nice.

I don’t live anywhere near downtown so I can’t speak to that.

Happiness comes in many locales, enough with bashing where people other than you live, no matter where that is. And if you had a bad experience somewhere, doesn’t mean everyone is.

Good grief. Can we get back to calling for the housing apocalypse that is never coming?!

#103 MF on 07.31.19 at 7:03 am

#94 Jon B on 07.31.19 at 12:42 am

That’s a good point. Part of the reason why Toronto is as huge as it is is because the winter is not as harsh as other places in Canada.

Other places in Canada also seem to celebrate winter more (example winterliscious in Ottawa).

Here in Toronto winter is just an annoyance to get out of the way.

MF

You must not have been in town last winter. Big snow. Polar vortex. Do you live in the subway? – Garth

#104 Howard on 07.31.19 at 7:21 am

But most Boomer bosses don’t want to allow their employees to work remotely. They like the ego boost of having people to order around (doing so via phone, email, or instant message just isn’t the same) and attend to their every whim.

#105 MF on 07.31.19 at 7:21 am

#23 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 6:05 pm

I agree with you almost completely. It needs to be known that the relationship is basically a business transaction more than anything. You can see these types of pairings all over Toronto. Usually the younger foreign girl is staring at all her more suitable mates even while with her spouse.

I differ in believing that guys making 40k/year are viewed as losers though. On the contrary, many of the attractive girls I know seem to settle with men below them. Guys who cannot attract a mate here usually have more issues going on than just their income. Just my thoughts.

“Western relationships have a lot to offer a Woman in these situations – even if the guy looks like Shrek.”

-Lol an accurate description more often than not!

MF

#106 Howard on 07.31.19 at 7:22 am

#94 Jon B on 07.31.19 at 12:42 am
It’s really nice to hear about these nice small towns that offer so much that the major population centers lack, but let’s be clear, when November rolls around, are they still that attractive?

——————————————

Probably not but then neither is any Canadian city in November.

#107 maxx on 07.31.19 at 7:48 am

When you’re younger, you tend to believe that the status quo is pretty well all there is and more money will buy you time.

Money does buy you time. It doesn’t buy MORE time, it buys you your life’s time.

We started our own business 7 years ago after “retiring” and are having enormous fun – the money is simply the icing on the cake. The work is portable anywhere in the world, what with the marvel of the internet. We’ve worked from cruise ships, an internet trailer run by an expat Marsellais in the Marquesas and the Caribbean.

What a winning lottery ticket of life we all have.

#108 dharma bum on 07.31.19 at 7:52 am

All the snow goes to New Brunswick, where they love it (weird people).- Garth
——————————————————————–
Ha Ha Ha! Too funny.
I did a stint for a company as a regional manager in New Brunswick. What a freak show.
After 2 years, I wanted to hang myself.
So I just got another job instead.
It was a marginally more acceptable form of corporate wage slavery, so I opted to do the FIRE thing shortly thereafter.
Should have taken that route way earlier.
Corporate slavery sucks.
Cities suck.
I guess in hindsight they provided a means to an end.
The payment of dues. Working. Saving. Investing.
Cashing out and enjoying freedom from terrible jobs and the soul crushing stench of big city living is priceless.
It’s all good now.
Love your Lunenburg epiphany.
You’re preaching to the choir with this guy.

#109 Catalyst on 07.31.19 at 7:58 am

Glad you and your family have escaped the rat race and are enjoying the beautiful east coast. What I admire most about you is that you wanted to work remotely so you built yourself an office and made your dream come true. So many looking for a handout and your entrepreneurial spirit is what we need more of in Canada.

#110 CHRIS FULLER on 07.31.19 at 8:24 am

Great post..makes me appreciate where I live even more. We live in Wolfville Nova Scotia. Have a sister in law who lives in Lunenberg . Both are beautiful. My wife just retired and the older we get posts like this make us enjoy all we have here. Enjoy our great province.

#111 IHCTD9 on 07.31.19 at 8:53 am

#88 Ponzius Pilatus on 07.31.19 at 12:03 am
#70 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 9:58 pm
#60 SoggyShorts on 07.30.19 at 8:28 pm
#23 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 6:05 pm
#80 MF on 07.30.19 at 3:27 pm
66 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 11:49 am

Jeez,
Garth,
Delete this pervert.
____

A little repressed Ponzie?

Arrangements like this have been made since the beginning of freaking time for crying out loud.

IMHO, SHE’s the one getting the better deal.

She offered all the same things to a local Thai guy who then proceeded to get her pregnant as a teen, and promptly took off. So much for that. She lived with her Mom and Son in poverty. Her Dad did the same thing to her Mom.

The British dude was gift for her, now as a British Citizen, her interests as a mother and a Woman are protected by the State. She has access to so much more than she ever would have back home. Life for her (and son) will be 10X better.

She hit the jackpot Ponzie – obvious.

#112 IHCTD9 on 07.31.19 at 9:02 am

#54 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 8:03 pm

It snowed four times on the South Shore this past winter, I believe. Much less severe than GTA. – Garth
___

Nice, that house we looked at may have been built for taking lots of wind perhaps. It was bunker like, so I paid particularly close attention to the details…

The climate of 100 years ago is apparently not the climate of today. Who would have thought… – Garth

#113 Lisa on 07.31.19 at 9:48 am

Hi, Garth. You’ve been rockin’ my world for a long time now and I was hoping you could do me a solid and share with us lowly blog dogs your knowledge of banks vs credit unions. My Bank (RBC) told me last week that my credit is ‘phenomenal’ and then offered me a LOC (unsecured) for 9%. Also offered me a credit card for 8.99%. I’m confused and annoyed and thinking of switching to a Credit Union. Any of your most sage advise/knowledge would be most appreciated! Hope you and the fam jam are having a great summer in beautiful Nova Scotia!

#114 Jesse on 07.31.19 at 10:12 am

It’s amazing how sweet people can be when you suck the road rage, shopping malls, competition, and financial stress from their souls.

***************************

Truer words have never been spoken. All I think about is leaving the rat race, what’s a millennial to do? Ever hear about *bullshit jobs*, it’s a sad fact that corporate jobs are becoming more and more administrative, paperwork, work process oriented, **fake** – rather than real, thoughtful or artisan work (think trades or engineering). I think subconsciously we all know our jobs are *bullshit jobs*, and it drags us down into dark pits of nihilism and depression after 10+ years. What’s the cure? Meaningful work doesn’t really exist, and neither does real work apparently.

#115 oh bouy on 07.31.19 at 10:16 am

careful pumping lunenburg garth.
vagrants like ‘smokingman’ and ’50 years’ could become your neighbours one day

#116 Penny Henny on 07.31.19 at 10:16 am

#112 IHCTD9 on 07.31.19 at 9:02 am
#54 IHCTD9 on 07.30.19 at 8:03 pm

It snowed four times on the South Shore this past winter, I believe. Much less severe than GTA. – Garth
___

Nice, that house we looked at may have been built for taking lots of wind perhaps. It was bunker like, so I paid particularly close attention to the details…

The climate of 100 years ago is apparently not the climate of today. Who would have thought… – Garth
///////////////

So Garth,
seeing that you took advantage of this ‘climate change’, does this mean you are in favour of ‘climate change’ ;)

#117 Islandgirl on 07.31.19 at 10:19 am

That’s totally the way to go, we moved from the praires to the island on the west coast, mostly because I wasn’t excited about the snow on the east coast, but it is so very beautiful out there. Working from home means that none of my time is wasted commuting (although I commute some for the kids now). Getting back to the quieter side has been wonderful. I’d never move back into the core of a big city again!

#118 dosouth on 07.31.19 at 10:19 am

…..and like Bandit. Home is where you make it. Well done you and Dorothy.

#119 Mattl on 07.31.19 at 10:28 am

Good post Garth.

We left YVR a few years ago and can’t believe we didn’t make the move sooner. I am fortunate to be able to work remote, for a progressive corporate employer that trusts us to do our jobs. I have employee’s across the US and Canada…. Webex is my best friend M-F.

I do miss the office environment but can scratch that itch by getting to TO every few months.

Lunenburg sounds amazing, my kind of place. Walking to a boat tied up in the harbour and getting on the water 5 days a week would be paradise.

#120 David Hawke on 07.31.19 at 10:28 am

#7 Stan Brooks, Spot on, on all counts!

(BTW, health care sucks coast to coast.) – Garth

Also, spot on plus the majority of Doctors are merely pill-pushing Quactors for BigPharma!

Plus the weather sucks!

That’s the reason I chose to retire to a country in the tropics with “Free” health care to all with the option of extra perks which one can pay for at modest cost provided be knowledgable Doctors, where the cost of living is way less and the weather is great with NO snow ever!

#121 Axehead on 07.31.19 at 10:38 am

One of the best blog entries ever. Thanks Garth.

On healthcare: it does suck, coast to coast, better in Alberta and attrocious in BC. Most of the problem can be traced to user abuse.

On weather. It’s Canada! Live with it. Buy a Skidoo! Specially if you move to Newfoundland.

#122 entropy on 07.31.19 at 10:45 am

If you can make Toronto money on the East coast, you’re laughing.

#Goals

#123 Axehead on 07.31.19 at 10:53 am

Oh, and another thing.

I saw Garth in person at one of those roadshows he used to do along time ago. Coulda swore there was a shadow of rippling washboard abs pressing tightly against that smartly pressed shirt he was wearing.
Not kidding.

#124 n1tro on 07.31.19 at 11:00 am

Garth,

Before I make the move, tell if there are any bubble tea or pho places in Lunenburg?

#125 Tina Spanozola on 07.31.19 at 11:21 am

Lisa, most people don’t get it. This is why they don’t want you to save money and why they pay little interest on your savings. The problem is that most people say why bother saving and have savings or GIC’s at low rates.

The reason why is you don’t want to pay them 8.99% or 9% or 18% to 30% on credits cards, worse payday loans 300% to 500% a year. This is the oldest trick in the book. Real estate is illiquid and you have between 7% to 10% in fees, costs when you sell each time. They got you coming and going.

As for credit unions, yes they do usually have lower mortgage and credit card, loan rates at 2% to 2.5%, but others at 4.5% to 6% but is still high as where rates on savings, GIC’s are.

#126 NoName on 07.31.19 at 11:21 am

@ihcdt9 and pozny and farts (farts are Yorkshireman????)

Now that Englishman and woman are mentioned. I am not saying or insinuating anything. Just press play.

This is funny… Before I watched their YouTube channel than I forgot about it, that it popped up on my twitter feed.

Now that is steaming hot outside, this one is more appropriate,but definitely check out, large pizza, or bread slices video.
Temperature video.
https://youtu.be/4AlsXZvDTHg

And bonus who is dis dog?
https://imgur.com/a/PeHNIvI

And just in case 8 video.
https://youtu.be/Fkqg6HE888A

I don’t know how she does it with strait face…

#127 noice on 07.31.19 at 11:29 am

east coast is most definitely a nice place to visit.
can’t beat the rugged beauty of the coast newfoundland.

#128 IHCTD9 on 07.31.19 at 11:52 am

#124 n1tro on 07.31.19 at 11:00 am
Garth,

Before I make the move, tell if there are any bubble tea or pho places in Lunenburg?
____

Who cares?

They’ve got lobster and fish coming out their wazoos.

Next question. :)

#129 n1tro on 07.31.19 at 1:33 pm

#128 IHCTD9 on 07.31.19 at 11:52 am
#124 n1tro on 07.31.19 at 11:00 am
Garth,

Before I make the move, tell if there are any bubble tea or pho places in Lunenburg?
____

Who cares?

They’ve got lobster and fish coming out their wazoos.

Next question. :)
—————————–
It wouldn’t be for me to consume but to sell. Bubble tea = $1 of cost, $5-$6 of profit. :)

#130 N on 07.31.19 at 1:35 pm

Well, actually, it has happened: In some of the northern European countries with negative interest rates, some people with variable-rate mortgages have found themselves being paid for their mortgage, instead of paying interest to the lender.

And ― perhaps insanely, perhaps in a sign that our whole financial system is on the brink of technocratic madness ― this could actually become policy.

Canada’s economy has become so dependent on the housing market that it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where, in an economic downturn, the Bank of Canada props up house prices by following other central banks into negative territory and setting its key rate at, let’s say, minus-1 per cent.
For every $100 it lends, it pays the borrower $1 for borrowing the money. After a year, the borrower has $101.

Now let’s say the BoC lends this money to a commercial bank, which lends it out in the form of a mortgage at minus-0.5 per cent. It pays the mortgage borrower 50 cents for every $100 they borrow, but it gets $1 from the BoC for that same money. Thus the bank turns a profit of 50 cents by lending that money at a negative interest rate.

In a competitive mortgage market, if a bank can make money offering a negative interest rate to borrowers, it will. And bingo ― here’s your model for juicing the economy right into bizarro world.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/negative-interest-rates_ca_5d3dc8dee4b0c31569eca2a8

Delusional. – Garth

#131 JB on 07.31.19 at 1:38 pm

#91 Smoking Man on 07.31.19 at 12:33 am

Just figured out how mad max can win.
Only took 40oz of truth from an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

Anyone got his contact info. I’m fair minded.
Hey liberals you can outbid him.
I’m an evil capitalist after all. Zero loyalty.
Who knew..
Amazing Polly.. I got this. Hook me up.
Dr Smoking Man
PhD Herdonomics

Already have the script for the debates.
………………………………….
Is this what happened after you drank 40 ounces of whisky Smoking guy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apTL1adEV7g

#132 MF on 07.31.19 at 1:44 pm

You must not have been in town last winter. Big snow. Polar vortex. Do you live in the subway? – Garth

Ever noticed the faint urine smell in the far corners of the subway stations?

That’s some of my best work.

MF

#133 Jesse on 07.31.19 at 2:09 pm

#56 Same as you on 07.30.19 at 8:12 pm

I hear ya. At 34 I had enough of the big city and all the stress. Moved to a ski town, but kept my high income IT job and bought a house with my wife and 2 kids. I’m home everyday when they leave and I’m still here when thry get back off the bus. I’m most definitely ‘in their lives’. I shred powder at lunchtime and still make the “all hands” company meetings. Even joined a few still in ski boots on the gondola :) In summer I swim and jog in the middle of the day when others are hiding the fact they are surfing Facebook at the company cube farm. Best thing I ever did. I really don’t miss the city all. I’m now 40 and fitter and happier than I’ve ever been. Welcome to the club Garth
***************************

Teach me your ways!! I need to get out of here, tired of cubicle life.

#134 IHCTD9 on 07.31.19 at 2:27 pm

#129 n1tro on 07.31.19 at 1:33 pm
#128 IHCTD9 on 07.31.19 at 11:52 am
#124 n1tro on 07.31.19 at 11:00 am
Garth,

Before I make the move, tell if there are any bubble tea or pho places in Lunenburg?
____

Who cares?

They’ve got lobster and fish coming out their wazoos.

Next question. :)
—————————–

It wouldn’t be for me to consume but to sell. Bubble tea = $1 of cost, $5-$6 of profit. :)
___

My apologies – please carry on!

#135 mike from mtl on 07.31.19 at 2:36 pm

#133 Jesse on 07.31.19 at 2:09 pm
….
Teach me your ways!! I need to get out of here, tired of cubicle life.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Easier said than done, first is find a paying full time job that offers this, good luck there.

Most of those who do this either:

1. Owners or management like Garth, so they make the rules.
2. 6-12 month Contractors so depends on client, zero stability, constant hustle.
3. Very experienced untouchable furniture, happens a lot with Gov and quasi-Gov corps like Bell, CN, etc.
4. Liars – this is the Internet.
5. Actual understanding work place that allows even days & weeks without physically being ‘in the office’. Yea right.

It’s not impossible, but not common at all, and certainly not something you just apply to on Indeed.

#136 Ustabe on 07.31.19 at 3:24 pm

….I wish you could convince my wife to move to your neck of the woods, I certainly can not.

If you could, might be a couple of new customers for you….

Careful, Garth, accepting a bribe is almost as troublesome as offering a bribe.

On healthcare: it does suck, coast to coast, better in Alberta and attrocious in BC. Most of the problem can be traced to user abuse.

As someone who has had both family and business in Alberta for decades but resides in BC…for decades, I’ll agree on Alberta but strongly disagree on BC.

I’m of an age where it seems everyone is dying or coming down with something that requires hospital care and they all are treated promptly and well.

Healthcare isn’t a cudgel to bash neigbouring provinces with either.

Just as I advocate for the Patch and Pipeline despite all our local boys returning with a diesel pickup and a coke habit, so could Albertans lose the chip about poor downtrodden BC.

#137 AGuyInVancouver on 07.31.19 at 6:39 pm

#41 IHCTD9

..All forms of outdoor entertainment are right at your doorstep. ATVing, fishing, hunting, you name it. ..
_ _ _
Yawn. Rather than killing things, how’s the professional sports team? The symphony? The museums? The restaurants?

There’s a reason people are flocking back to cities.

#138 will on 07.31.19 at 7:49 pm

#130

“Delusional. – Garth”

Well then, how the hell do negative rates work? I am asking. Negative rates weren’t covered when I took business 101.

#139 meslippery on 07.31.19 at 10:22 pm

14 greyhound on 07.30.19 at 5:25 pm

Lunenburg is glorious. If you’re still young. But old folks need medical care. NS has the lowest physician salaries in the country. 10% of the population has no primary care doctor. Due to a doctor shortage, hospital emergency rooms in Cape Breton and elsewhere are now closed some weeks because they can’t find staff. Locals have to drive an additional 100 km or more to get emergency care.
I’ve summered in Nova Scotia for more than 30 years and had thought we would retire there. But the medical situation is just too scary. Maybe Garth can run for premier and get something done…

Lunenburg contains 2,100 people and has its own full-service hospital. Compare that with BC or Ontario. (BTW, health care sucks coast to coast.) – Garth

—————–
Yes there in lies the problem if your old like me.
I,am one hour from Toronto in the middle of the night dry roads. So like Garth it looks good and cheap but for a reason.

#140 Scott Bryer on 08.01.19 at 1:43 pm

Trump is imposing more tariffs on Chinese good. This is great because those that invested in China like former Liberals like Chretien and Martin will have to take it on the chin.

Congratulations on winning the Moron Cup for today. – Garth

#141 Moh on 08.01.19 at 1:53 pm

Garth I have been working from home for the past year. I support three clients and am probably in Canada’s top 1 percent in salary. I would recommend a career in technology so you can take advantage of working from home.

#142 SERGEY ORLOV on 08.03.19 at 1:38 pm

This is absolutely great! Thank you!