Mirrorface and Places to Live and Play in Canada
by Karla ° Thursday, February 8, 2007
Munchkin Magoo has recently discovered what a handsome little devil he is and beams with the most guffaw-inducing toothless grin anytime a mirror is placed in front of his face, despite a recent development of cradle cap crustiness on his scalp and an outbreak of hormonal baby acne on his cheeks. Even more entertaining is watching him perfect his mirrorface lip pucker for future encounters with the ladies or a spread in GQ.

Speaking of new developments, for those of you who live in Vancouver or Ottawa, I could really use your help. The balls are definitely in motion for a big move in the near future if a kick ass opportunity doesn’t happen upon our Toronto doorstep anytime soon, and Mark has gotten quite a few hits of interest on his skill set for jobs in the Nation’s Capital or Vancouver. If we take the plunge, what area’s do you most recommend that we explore setting down some roots in that are within a two hour (round trip) commute of the downtown core where one can afford to live in a house with a backyard – because my big yellow dog told me he likes to potty too much and the buttons on the condo elevators are too hard to work without an opposable thumb.

Millions of thanks!


Mom to a burgeoning ladies man.

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Your young Nate gets more dashing by the moment! Aren't babies adorable when they discover mirrors? Dogs/puppies for that matter, as well!

If you do happen to make the move to Vancouver, please do keep me informed, since I'm a mere 2 hour drive from that area, and I just recieved my passport, so my world is my oyster!! =)

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 08, 2007

In Vancouver I'd recommend Langley, specifically Walnut Grove as a decent place to live, especially with small children.
Good luck!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 08, 2007

I've never been to Vancouver but I have lived in Ottawa and I think it's a beautiful place to live. They don't really have that many condos honestly. And even if you live close to downtown, you can have a big house with a big yard - and it's more affordable than Toronto. I lived near the experimental farms off Merivale Rd. There is a newer housing development there. It's a clean, safe city and everyone is polite and happy.


I miss it there!
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 08, 2007

Are you talking about the Nations capital like D.C.? Just curious, b/c if that's the case I can suggest away, if not...then disregard :)
Posted by Anonymous Jessica :  February 08, 2007

Opps. That would be Canada's Capital City Jessica.
Posted by Blogger Karla :  February 08, 2007

Babies and mirrors are such fun!

Everyone keeps telling me I'm going to have to keep the girls away from Mr. P with a baseball bat, so maybe we can join forces!
Posted by Blogger Gina :  February 08, 2007

I live in Vancouver's East side in the Knight & 41st area. We bought last year when my daugther was about 10 months old. Our house needs a fair amount of updating but it was totally livable and I like the proximity to all the good stuff that Vancouver has to offer. The frenzy has slowed here and I have noticed some homes in my neighbourhood have been on the market for a few weeks now. The commute from downtown is about 30 minutes. I live a five minute walk from a great community centre with affordable programing and a preschool and a ten minute drive in either direction takes me to a mall, grocery stores, libraries. Lots of parks, mountain views, easy drive or bus ride to great shopping. Thirty minutes to UBC and all that it has to offer (beaches, trails, etc.). The only problem is your place won't be a showhome, most places in this neighbourhood are owned by seniors and need a fair amount of updating.

For newer, modern, housing I recommend Burnaby. The commute to downtown is about the same and the prices will be better.

In both areas you are seeing a lot of young families moving in. I don't recommend moving much further out than that if you can avoid it or you will spend so much time commuting.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 08, 2007

Wow, good luck on the move. As someone who has only been to Niagara on the Lake in Canada, I would a horrible source of information on anything Canadian.

As for Lost -- I did see last night's episode. Just posted about it. Would love to know your thoughts.
Posted by Blogger Kate :  February 08, 2007

I live in the National Capital Region and it's wonderful. When I first moved here I was a renter so I stayed in Ottawa but when the time came that I was ready to buy I did what a lot of people do in this area. I moved across the river to Quebec. For what I spent on a large 4 bedroom house with a big front and back yard in Aylmer, I would have had a condo or something half the size in Ottawa.
Now, thats not to say that you can't find a great place in Ottawa because you can. Westboro is a wonderful area that is blossoming with young hip families, great shops, boutiques and restaurants. It just that you will get more for your money if you cross the river. Aylmer is a really nice village that is equally as anglo as it is french. I am unilingual english and I've never encountered a problem with someone not speaking my language.
There is a very welcoming feeling here and a real sense of community.
Honestly, I can't say enough for the Ottawa area. It is a beautiful, healthy, active and very family oriented place to live. You have all the perks of a big city and all the perks of small town too.
If I want to go downtown Ottawa it takes me about 10 minutes from my doorstep to get there. If I want to go to the country or on a beautiful hike in Gatineau Park its the same...10 minutes.
You should send me an email and I will continue to gush about Ottawa and all it has to offer.

Posted by Anonymous Carrie :  February 08, 2007

Ottawa is a fantastic place to live and raise a family. I live in the West end of the city, about a 20-25 minute drive from downtown (sans rush hour traffic), and the cost of living out here is pretty reasonable. It depends on your budget and requirements, but the cost of living out here is much less than TO.

We are thinking of moving to the East end to be closer to friends and family. The cost of living is about the same out there, and it's about the same distance from downtown.

Ottawa is pretty good for having suburbs close to the core. And it's full of parks and great schools.

I moved here from a VERY small town 1.5 hour outside of TO to go to University, and never left. I have been here for 12 years now. It has a "
small-town city" feel about it that I love.

If you want more info or have a specific questions, please feel free to email me:


Good luck with your quest for info!!!
Posted by Blogger Cate :  February 08, 2007

If you move to Vancouver then get a place in Abbottsford. It's only about 30minutes away via freeway.
Vancouver will be dropping into the ocean in a year or two because of global warming so Abbottsford will be the new Vancouver soon..


you can't leave us ...!


T and N
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  February 08, 2007

HI Karla,

We just recently moved out of Vancouver because I took a job in Victoria. But we really enjoyed living in Vancouver. I would suggest not moving to somewhere that you have to commute over a bridge (like Surrey or Langley, or even Richmond). Unless you have the opportunity to choose unconventional hours, the commute across the port mann can be hellish.

I'd go for burnaby or even port moody (you can take the west coast express in similar to the go). We rented a basement in east vancouver (hastings sunrise) that was a lovely 10 minute commute to downtown. I have seen houses for rent in the area that include nice backyards. There seemed to be a lot of young families in the area. Great services and groceries too!

Coming from the snow belt like you guys, I really appreciate that "cold" in vancouver generally means -5 at its worst and "massive snowfall" means a couple of centimetres. That said, winter is pretty grey so anyone sensitive to low levels of sunlight seems to have a problem.

Just a couple of things to consider, good luck with this exciting opportunity!
Posted by Anonymous karma :  February 09, 2007

I would not recommend Abbotsford or Chilliwack/Sardis due to high crime. Yes, even more crime per capita than Vancouver. I saw statistics yesterday or the day before that theft from cars went down in every jurisdiction in the lower mainland EXCEPT for Abby and the Wack. And that's just one point of argument.

I live in Van and if you can buy something here then do (I can't...I rent). I agree re the lack of sunlight thing though. It does get depressing sometimes, but it bothers some a lot more than others. And the weather is super mild.

Most people that I know absolutely love Vancouver and one of the big reasons is the mild climate, but then there's the ocean and the mountains and it's a nice city. Skiing Cypress and looking out on the ocean is unbelievable!

I also agree about bridges. Wherever Mark would work, you would be wise to get a place from which he doesn't have to cross a bridge to reach it. The bridges are the bottlenecks and really screw up your commute.

Keep us posted on your prospects, I"m sure we can provide lots more info.

See how famous you are? Everyone wants you to move where they are!
Posted by Blogger cinnalily :  February 09, 2007

I forgot the most important part of my argument...the rate went UP in both Abby and the Wack...A LOT.
Posted by Blogger cinnalily :  February 09, 2007

this is totally unrelated but it's been forever since i left a comment. congrats on your preciously adorable little guy.
Posted by Blogger k8 :  February 09, 2007

Ottawa.. I could go on all day. It is such a great place to live with lots of fun things to do all the time.... and alot are free! As for areas. I live close to the expiremental farm and its a great area with lots of young families. But Westboro would be great too, it is still very close to downtown (like a bike ride if you are into that sort of thing) if you have a love for older areas the glebe is very nice... but a bit pricy, hoping not to step on anyones toes here... but I would not recommend orleans...but thats just me.. We are currently moving to Halifax this fall and are excited about it.. but very sad to leave this great city! Hope he lands a great job and you guys get a new adventure!
Posted by Anonymous Amy :  February 09, 2007

I know nothing about that area but would love for you to come to Philadelphia and I can give you all the information you want. As far as Nate of course he is a ladies man just like his Daddy!

Now Karla I do expect pictures with these updates!

Oh and remember the baby gift I still have it must get to the post office. I suck at the post office I promise I will mail it soon! I totally suck! Sorry!

Again Karla PICTURES, Please! ;)
Posted by Blogger TBG :  February 09, 2007

Karla, I have not been to Vancouver but have had many family members who have lived there and some that are there as we speak.
I hear that it is the nicest place to live.
Ottawa, I have been many times and I love it.
I don't think this has helped you at all.
I would probably say Ottawa because that would be closer to your family.
Posted by Blogger Tammy :  February 09, 2007

BOO CANADA!!! Please send me Mark's resume, and I will promptly find him a job here.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  February 10, 2007

I just stumbled onto this site and Ava's site. Definitely made me cry and smile. Little Nate is adorable and I'm so glad he's doing well! Congrats.

I love reading your posts about how happy you guys are with your perfect little family :-) My heart smiles for you guys :-)
Posted by Blogger Arlene :  February 11, 2007


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