Bigger isn’t always better
Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 10:28 am
Is Bigger always Better?
Why exactly do people move from a large city, say Calgary, to smaller centers such as Okotoks, High River, or Turner Valley? Yes, lower real estate prices certainly play a part considering an average home price differential of approximately four per cent, but then you also have to add fifteen minutes to your commute - each way.
This recognized, why do people enjoy living in Okotoks? Could it be that small town attitude; you know the friendly way people greet one another as they pass on the street. Perhaps they relate to and consider themselves an important part of the town’s fabric and its heritage? Maybe it’s “Light up Okotoks” or our annual parade and children’s festival and other activities? It could be that they can travel nearly to or from anywhere in town in only ten minutes by car without the road rage so common in Calgary?
Now ask someone who has moved to Okotoks from Calgary or another large center if they’d move back and you consistently get the same answer: never! Why is this? Perhaps it’s the traffic snarls, crime, crowds, and that generally unpleasant “overheated, too rushed” atmosphere that pervades so many areas of the city. For example, there’s another smaller center just north of Calgary that used to enjoy the same atmosphere as Okotoks does today: Airdrie. Alas no longer, not after having doubled its population over each of the last two decades. Take a Sunday drive if you’d like a preview of what Okotoks will resemble once the rich developers get through erecting cookie cutter homes on tiny postage size lots.
(My apology to anyone living in that city and reading my letter; but as an example goes it’s simply too apropos.)
Remember a place is special not because of its size, but because of its people, its traditions, and the comfortable ebb and flow of life within the community. Let’s keep our small town atmosphere and not trade it for smog, traffic jams and anonymity among our fellow citizens. Let’s make sure our politicians recognize and appreciate the value of what the citizens of Okotoks currently enjoy as well as the reasons why we call it home.