Canada, urbanism, etc.

Several years ago, shortly after my 2009 trip to Toronto and several months before I got my current position, Mark and I applied for Canadian residence. This is not a simple process; it consumes significant amounts of time and money and it takes forever. Mark did most of the work, but I participated as well, and when our number came up, I decided that I would not let the events of the past eighteen months or so spoil my chance to establish residency and make Canada a future option. To do so after all that effort and expense seemed a colossal waste. So that’s the “super secret” reason why I had to make a quick trip across the border last week. It was for purposes of “landing” as a Canadian immigrant. Which I have now successfully done.

Does this mean I’m moving to Canada? Probably not, at least for now. I basically have nearly three years to decide, and I imagine that my ultimate decision will be that my job prospects are insufficiently promising north of the border. Of course, if I don’t make reappointment next year (the first step toward tenure) my perspective may be somewhat different and I may find myself packing lots of warm clothes.

All things being equal and employment not being a factor, I think I’d enjoy living in Toronto. It’s a city that I love every much in a country that in many ways makes more sense than the U.S. Seven years after fleeing San Francisco, I’ve realized that I probably would enjoy a slightly more urban setting than the one I landed in. Sarah and I discussed this last week; she commented that her last few years in San Francisco turned her against urban living in general. I used to think that was the case for me too, but I’ve come to realize that it mainly just put me off ever wanting to live in San Francisco again.

But it helps to keep the following in mind:

  • I’ve never spent any time in Toronto in the winter. Or commuting.
  • I’m only willing to trade off so much quality of life in order to be there (read “I won’t live in a hovel”).
  • I have a very good and relatively secure job here that I love very much.

Honestly, I don’t dislike where I’m living right now although I’ll allow that it might not be my first choice if I were given carte blanche. I need to keep in mind that my depression has made me very much inclined toward escapism of late. Family issues are likely to make the next few years here rather unpleasant for me and that makes just about anyplace else seem appealing on some level. But I’ve got some personal stuff to deal with before a big geographic shift would be a wise move–assuming it ever would.

Anyhow, I’m not moving anytime soon, if ever. But the big bonus is that I can if I choose to. Which will give me some ammunition to shut up the whiny people who will be threatening to do so (but wouldn’t really ever even consider it) after the November election.