Where to settle down?

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wisetraveler's picture
wisetraveler
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Joined: Mar 24 2012
Posts: 15
Where to settle down?

The big question running through my mind at this point is where I should settle down for the next ten to twenty years. I put a time limit in place because it could be that the climate will have changed so much by then that I may be forced to move regardless of where I am. I currently live with the majority of family in Winnipeg, MB, which is smack dab in the middle of a massive flood plain fed by the Red River and Assiniboine River basins. The city has a floodway built around its boundary, much like a moat, that helps to mitigate the damage of all but the worst floods. My concern is how well that infratstructure will hold up over the coming decades. There is also the small matter of the bitterly cold winters we get. I think that could be mostly mitigated by building a home suitable to the climate; that would most likely require living outside the city limits due to unconventional housing being frowned upon by most people. I can only imagine how my family, who are home builders by trade, would react to my wanting to build a sod-house half-buried in the ground!

I love my family dearly, and would like to stay close to them during the difficult times, but I am not against moving to a more suitable location to ride out the decline. I've been thinking that if I can establish myself in another region, it will give my family an option to bug out of Winnipeg if things really do get bad there. They could come join me where I'd already have a community established, and as we all know, a solid community is key to doing well.

Has anyone any personal experiences or opinions to share on the matter of relocation?

Tim

sfmc's picture
sfmc
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Joined: Oct 13 2012
Posts: 3
relocation

If your family are builders, why wouldn't they be interested in alternative building technologies?  After you build your house, maybe they will see the value of it and add that knowledge to what they do now.  It might decrease the cost of alternative homes for the un-handy among us.

We are also planning on moving (from Southern California- hot, dry and crowded) and although we want a family "compound", the relatives at this point do not want to chip in financially.  That is kind of you to want to help with the family bug-out.  For us, trying to buy a place that will welcome the relatives in the future is challenging.

Your decision is harder in light of the fact that we do not know what the future holds- will Winnipeg get colder, dryer, wetter? It sounds like you would be wise to move to higher drier ground if you question the infrastructure.  The plains in the States have been hard-hit by massive flooding in the last few years, beyond what anyone expected.

The other issue you have is the emotional one of the impact of leaving the family.  Is anyone willing to relocate with you?  Maybe a brother or two if you have them-

Shannon

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John Lemieux
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Posts: 224
Hi Wisetraveller, I'm from

Hi Wisetraveller,

I'm from Canada and I have also  travelled around some and have lived in several regions of the country.

There are so many things to consider in regards to choosing were to settle that unless you are more specific about your goals, background, finances, health, age and an whole host of other factors that come into play it's pointless to suggest any specific place you should choose to settle.

But as far as climate change goes I think that Canada will likey be one of the most favored places on the planet to be living. We also get along pretty well here so I personally would not risk leaving the country. And I understand the during the great depression people that farmed on the praries got through it pretty well. But I also understand why some people would like to move to a place like Costa Rica. It is easy to do your own internet research if you are considering moving abroad, but you have to have a substancial amount of money to consider re-locating outside the country.

If things get difficult people have to get together to help each other and so if you have family nearby I think that is very important. Making a magor move and finding communty requires research, knowing who you are and there are many unknown factors will come into play.

I am currently working as a house framer in the foothills region of Southern Alberta. I choose to come here because the summers are not too hot and humid for working and the wages are very good right now. And the work keeps me strong.  I don't have a family, but this region has a vibrant music and artistic community that I am able to be part of and that is a very important factor for me. I am also an avid outdoors person and I so I am able to quickly intergrate and make new freinds in the white water paddling and back country skiing community here. But I know that I am vulnarable here as the land  is lousy for growing food and it is also a very dry climate.

I grew up in Southern Ontario and the region has fantastic soil and climate. I really like Guelph Ont.and I have lived in the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia where the soil and climate is also great for growing fruits and vegitables. So I may go back to NS because it doesn't take a lot of money to buy a place there. But the timing of possible world events will of course be a magor factor in what I choose or am able to do.

wisetraveler's picture
wisetraveler
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 24 2012
Posts: 15
uncertainty

sfmc and John, thank you for your replies. Yesterday I realized that when I posted this thread, I was basically asking permission from knowledgeable strangers to move away from my friends and family. I am at a point in my life where I have maximum flexibility in my options. I'm young-ish (32, with only a few gray hairs wink), an IT job that can be done remotely, and no debts or liabilities tying me down to any particular place. I've been mulling over this decision to move, specifically to British Columbia, for a couple of years now. The future is unknowable, and I've come to realize that remaining flexible will make adaptation that much easier. Within the framework of staying fluid, all I need to decide for myself is what I want from life over the short term and to go for it. In the immortal words of Gandalf the Gray: "All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."

sfmc - I've spoken to my parents before about building ecologically focused homes before. I really think it could be a growth industry if they position themselves in the right place at the right time. All those McMansions are going to be awfully expensive to heat in the future.

John - I would prefer to remain in Canada. It has a lot going for it, as you say. I've lived in Prince George and Kelowna, and overall I have a lot of love for that beautiful province. I've lived in Winnipeg most of my life. I'm headed to Cargill, ON for a weekend blacksmithing course, and I'm interested to see what that part of the country is like. The Ottawa region is also very lovely.

John Lemieux's picture
John Lemieux
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Posts: 224
Hey Wisetraveller

I have never been to Cargill Ont. But if it is in Bruce County, that is a wonderful area in my opinion. The Bruce Pennisula and Georgian Bay are two of my favorite places. But I left Ontario because I found the summers to be getting too hot and humid. And I also suffer from seasonal allergies especially in the fall while living there.

I had a twenty acre property that I bought in 1993 when I was about your age just outside of Perth Ont. That is one hour west of Ottawa and I would recommend that area very highly. The only downside is that the land is not nearly as good as Southern Ont. for growing fruits and vegitables. But there are beautiful lakes and rivers all around and in the Perth area especially. And there are many folks around Perth that are aware of the three E crises and they are working together to prepare for the coming changes. 

And property is still very reasonably priced in that region considering it's excellent location in terms of it's proximately to Ottawa and Kingston. I moved there in 91 to attend the Heritage Carpentry and Milwork progam at the college in Perth. And the campus has since greatly expanded and it has become an important facility in Canada to learn  traditional carpentry and stonework. There are also advanced programs in heritage building restoration.The region also has a lively art and music scene and it is a prime retirement destination as well.

Aside from our age difference, I'm in a similiar situation as you are I think. But I sold my place in 2009 and eliminated all my debt and sold most of my possessions as well. I now have a small suv and a little trailer so I could keep my tools, musical instruments and my canoe and camping/outdoors stuff. I spent a lot of time exploring the country over the past few years working in the Maritimes, Ontario and now Alberta. I have camped for free in the summer and I just find an inexpensive place to share in the winter. I think that I will go further West into BC eventually to check it out as well. 

For me the most important thing is to stay healthy and fit and to keep doing the things that I love to do. And as far as the money thing goes I made the choice before finding out about the crash course to simly buy precious metals when you have the dough and then just forget about it. I have tried to pursuade a few other people to look into what's happening as well but so far I haven't had much luck.  Anyway, I hope my story helps a you a bit and if you have the chance I would certainly recommend that you visit Guelph and the Ottawa region as well if possible. J.

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