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Explore the people and places that make downtown a great place to visit, live and work.

My View: Anne
Posted: May 29, 2013

My husband, Chris and I are downtowners as much by chance as by choice. When we sold our house in Tyandaga, we planned to rent for a year while we looked for a bungalow near Chris’s office in north Burlington. As luck would have it, we found a lovely townhouse to rent in the downtown core and decided to give urban living a whirl while we focused on house hunting.

We cherished the leafy serenity of our Tyandaga neighbourhood and fully intended to move back there, so no one was more surprised than us to find that we absolutely LOVED living downtown – so much so that, just a few months later, we bought a downtown townhouse of our own.

So what, you may ask, compelled us to abandon our carefully thought out life plan and embrace the downtown lifestyle?

In a nutshell, it’s the people. There’s a wonderful sense of community and connection that’s unique to the downtown.  Chris and I start many mornings with a brisk walk by the lake and, despite the early hour, we share smiles and cheery greetings with everyone we meet.  When we stroll down Brant Street or go to a local restaurant, we often run into people we know and find ourselves spending a few minutes, a few hours or an entire evening catching up on the news.

Life in downtown Burlington has all the sociability of a small town, with the amenities and sophistication of a large city. It’s vibrant, vital and alive and the vibe is addictive!

Spontaneity is the hallmark our new downtown life. No more getting in the car and fighting traffic from here to there. Everything we need is just a walk away and we plan our weekends as the mood strikes us.

If we feel like a treat, we’ll walk over to Tamp Coffee Co., where Chris enjoys a custom-blend expresso and I revel in a scrumptious hot chocolate.

On the way home, we’ll browse through the flower-filled courtyard of Centro Garden or pop into the store to see the latest décor items from local and global designers. In the summer, Centro hosts a small organic market featuring artisanal vendors and fresh, healthy food– we always leave with an armful of delicious goodies!

And if we don’t feel like cooking, we’ll wander over to Celli’s Osteria, an Italian restaurant with a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere. From the open kitchen and comfortable bar to the rustic dishes prepared with contemporary flair and locally-sourced ingredients, everything about Celli’s invites you to relax and stay a while, which we’re always happy to do!

And I can’t talk about downtown living without mentioning the thriving cultural scene, from the live music in local restaurants to the summer concerts in Civic Square to the annual Sound of Music Festival. We’re passionate supporters of the new Burlington Performing Arts Centre and have enjoyed many stellar performances there with friends and family. Listening to Matt Dusk in the intimate setting of the Community Studio Theatre was a highlight of this year’s season, as was the Classically Yours brunch series.

Last year, we were deeply moved by The Last 15 Seconds, a compelling play featuring Burlington’s own Trevor Copp that easily rivaled anything we’ve seen in the GTA – at half the price and without the stressful drive!  If you haven’t been to BPAC yet, I urge you to give it a try.

Do we sometimes miss the peaceful privacy of our Tyandaga house? Of course we do. But we sure don’t miss the upkeep and the endless to-do list! We’re downtowners through and through now and we love our new life in the vibrant heart of Burlington.


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