Lexi McKenna’s work day now includes breaks to help her mother-in-law plant vegetables, which wasn’t possible when she was running her wedding business at breakneck speed out of her Toronto studio.
McKenna and husband Jeff Richards had been intrigued for years by a slower-paced life outside of the city. But it wasn’t until COVID-19 brought their respective businesses — Richards is a chef — to a halt that the two moved from Toronto to the town of Grand Valley to live with his parents.
“We’ve kind of fallen in love with this small-town vibe,” McKenna said. “It’s a really lovely community. There’s a nice sense of security, and then honestly, the pace of life — I’m still getting work done here, but I just don’t have this sense of urgency in everything I do that I do when I’m in Toronto.”
Since the global pandemic first forced Canadians into their homes in late-March, our houses have become our offices, our schools and our recreation centres. And we suddenly see our homes’ shortcomings, and crave more beautiful scenery and space to roam.
That allure, along with the high cost of city living, and the new knowledge that many Canadians can work from home, has more people shopping for homes outside the city.
“In the last 10 days, we have seen an overwhelming migration of people up here,” Chris Keleher, a Royal LePage realtor who specializes in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains, said on Friday.
“The increase in buyer activity has been massive, and 95 per cent of the buyers my team is working with are families where the pandemic has finally been the straw that broke the camel’s back, and they are moving out of the city.”