My husband Jeff and I moved to Chatham Kent in July of 2021. We both grew up in Brampton and had been working in and commuting to Toronto since we graduated from university. We moved closer to my workplace in 2017, but Jeff (who works in the skilled trades) was still commuting downtown which took at least two hours a day.
We never considered leaving the city until the pandemic and multiple lockdowns made us examine our current living situation. We decided that the best thing for our family was to try to purchase a home. However, our mortgage application kept being denied based on the current cost of housing in the GTA. It soon became evident that if we wanted to own a home, we would have to move much further outside of the city. Fortunately, my employer had an office in Chatham and agreed to allow me to transfer there. My husband was able to find a new position as Course Facilitator for CLAC. Once we changed the location of our search, we were approved for a mortgage quickly, and found a house on the North side that we fell in love with. We wrote a heartfelt letter to the owner explaining our situation, and she accepted our offer!
Moving to Chatham has made achieving our dream of home ownership possible. As a result, we were also able to grow our family and welcomed our baby boy this past June.
It wasn't easy at first to adjust to a completely new place away from our family and friends, but we soon found that our neighbours, and many locals who crossed our paths were and continue to be incredibly warm and welcoming. Moving in the summer was also great timing, as we soon discovered the fresh produce available and orchards that let you pick your own fruit. The availability of farm fresh produce has made it so easy for us to eat and support local as much as possible. Picking our own peaches and making jam was a highlight of our summer last year.
Chatham-Kent also has a lot to offer as far as proximity to amazing outdoor recreation. We frequently visit the beautiful public beaches which are under 30 minutes away from our home. We were amazed to find that they are always clean and never crowded. Visiting the local trails and national and provincial parks nearby has also been a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
What I also love about Chatham is that everything in town is only 5-10 minutes away, and since people move at a slower pace, they have time to stop and have a chat with you. If anyone was considering moving to Chatham Kent, I would absolutely recommend it! The city is growing and more and more young families like us have made the move. The lifestyle is more relaxed, and the locals are so friendly.
With the wonderful people, warm weather, and seasonal offerings, we have been surprised to discover how easy it was to feel like Chatham was our home!