My last move in Guelph plopped me on the very West side of Guelph, in the section we Realtors call Imperial South. I was moving into a house that the former owners of 20+ years were downsizing out of. The neighbours on either side of me were also long-term homeowners on my street and I’m fairly certain when they realized a single guy in his early twenties was moving into the house next to them, they cringed at the thought of the 24 hour partying and noise complaints that would surely come with it. Fortunately for my neighbours that was never my plan.
To me, the decision to move out of my parent’s house and into my own represented freedom and independence. A colossal shift was about to take place in my life and I’m not sure I really even knew it yet. I wanted to be a grown up and start doing grown up things and buying a house certainly felt like a step in the right direction. I also knew finding one in the right location was essential.
Despite being the new kid on the block, my neighbours welcomed me as one of their own. Today, some neighbours have changed. The older couples across the street moved out and in came a younger crowd. Despite the younger generations having filtered in over the years, I still get to experience children out on the street playing ball hockey just down from me, shaded by the mature trees of the neighbourhood planted some 30+ years ago.
Living in Imperial South lends to interesting and exciting walks around the block! Now that I’ve found the love of my life and we’re living together, I also have someone to enjoy those walks with. It might not sound overly enthralling, but to us taking the time to go for an evening walk lends to us the attention to detail of our neighbourhood’s character and charm, something I just can’t fully appreciate driving by. With nearly every home being a detached, each house is different and unique meaning there’s lots of variety to be admired. Everyone has their gardens designed in their own little way and each house adds a different flavour than the last.
I also love the convenience factor! Just down the road there is shopping – lots and lots of shopping! With everything from “big box” to small shops, families from all over Guelph and surrounding areas travel many miles just to experience the splendours of what essentially is in our very own backyard. Proximity to the Hanlon and neighbouring cities like Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo is just an added bonus for when I do have to travel outside of Guelph.
Today, I love my neighbourhood more than ever. Cristin and I laugh at how much we’ve become the “white picket fence” couple you can find on TV when we’re watering our gardens and people on the street stop to strike up casual conversations with us, or if we help our neighbours clear snow from their driveways and several weeks later find gift packages on our front porch with thank you notes on them. Oh, and those long-term neighbours living on either side of me when I first moved in? Yep, still there. Our hearts and our lives are deeply rooted in this land and to us Imperial South is where we choose to call “Home”. We truly couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world!