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Raising urban children

For more than half a century couples across North America have, by default, moved to the suburbs when it came time to raise a family. But with shifting attitudes towards downtown living, soaring house prices and Toronto's epic condo boom, this city's urban dwellers are now faced with a dilemma: do they do what their parents did and move to the ‘burbs for family time, or stay downtown and raise a family in a condo?

To some, the latter option is nearly unheard of. They easily wonder why anyone would give up the space and freedom of a suburban sprawling home for a cramped life in a downtown condo. But to others, moving out of the city would be like banishing themselves to suburban hell. No chic restaurants, no good shopping, and you might even have to shop at Cosco.

There are definitely more practical reasons that people choose to raise their families in one setting or the other. For example, suburbanites may think that a home with a front and back yard gives them more bang for their buck when it comes to space, but an urbanite might think that the extra costs associated with living downtown can replace the costs of a car. And who needs all that space with the whole city as your backyard?

As it turns out, downtown neighbourhoods are not the crime-ridden cesspools that suburbanites fear after all. Downtown living provides the best of all worlds. There are daycares, schools, and extracurricular activities for the kids, and the adults get to stay in their urban playground while living close to work, keeping the same gym, the same hair stylist, and everything else that made you fall in love with the downtown lifestyle in the first place.

So, what keeps you downtown?

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