Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Missing Ontario? - Really?

Well no not really, but after a recent visit realizing some things I do miss. I haven't even been in Edmonon a year but it's been busy and quite the whirlwind, from the move, the new position, spending nearly every weekend traveling to the mountains, and now on the verge of starting a new business venture at the end of the November it's been exciting to say the least. Anyone who would asked what I thought about if I made the right move always received the same answer of undoubtedly. Usually followed with the only thing I ever miss is the great friends whom still live there. Last weekend one of those great friends brought me back to Ontario to stand in his wedding. (Which on a side note was an amazing wedding, intimate, surrounded by love, and an amazing group of friends and family that reflected how special the bride and groom are). But aside from the opportunity to catch up with many great friends I also had to opportunity to realize some of the beauty of Southern Ontario that many of it's residence take for granted and obviously I did as well needing to go back to appreciate it.

After flying in on the red eye the first sign I missed some of Ontario was waking up at Dave's in the morning to one of the most brilliantly red trees I've ever seen outside the window. It was nearly glowing every morning with the sun breaking through an over cast sky, which couldn't help but put a smile on my face every morning while I was there. Falls in Ontario where always my favorite time of the year. I may have fooled my self into thinking it was the start of each mountain bike race season but truly it was the long falls. Firstly Ontario temperatures, and moisture bless it with a beautiful fall colors year after year, brilliant and soothing. Secondly the fall always seemed like such a peaceful time as there was no more pressures of racing or training and it was time to do what love for the reasons you loved it. And if you where brave enough to go out in the -5 t o+ 5 weather you where always rewarded with less people and a feeling of being in nature not taking advantage of it. I'd even argue Mountain Biking through Durham forest with tacky trail and fall colors at the south end and snow covered tracks on the north could fit with any Epic on anyones list.

What really put this into perspective was Sunday, after the wedding on my way to catch up with some university friends in Hamilton I decided to take the backroads through the Halton region and go for a walk around Rattlesnake Point, one of my old running spots. The 10 or 12KM hike we did blew me away with it's beauty looking over the escarpment into the valley of fall colors dotted by farmland as well as the vibrant colors from the trees, mixed in with the dark colors of the fallen leaves and contrasted again by the bright greens still alive in the moss. I'd have the say beauty and the feeling of calmness rivals what I've done in the rockies this summer. Sure the hike was nowhere near as difficult or challenging. Nor is the opportunity to feel like you escaped society as you are lost in the wilderness, but the ease of completing it is one of the things I appreciate on a relaxing fall day. And the region Halton has many more of these areas to explore.

Secondly what I missed is the quaint communities from more of a settling time. Everyone things of Southern Ontario for it's cookie cutter homes, big box stores and millions upon millions residents. However, the area is also surrounded by some quaint communities dating back 150 to 200 years such as Dundas, Lowville, Waterdown, Flamborough, Guelph and Kingston who have embraced the history and maintained these cores, with their old brick buildings, narrower streets that are pedestrian friendly. Lined with store fronts and cafes creating some genuine oasis from the Southern Ontario we all see on the news and many live daily without realizing the escapes around them. Now if only we could move one of these communities to the border of the Rockies I could have the best of both worlds.

Would I move back, nope what Western Canada has offered me so far is much more in line with my lifestyle, hobbies, and dreams of where I want to be. However I strongly encourage the many Ontarians who don't take advantage of some of the areas mentioned above or even worst complain about to get out and realize what they do have.

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