I never thought I would leave Toronto – but couldn’t be happier that I did.
I moved to London with my pregnant wife in early 2020. The grass is truly greener in London, and we can afford to have more of it! The traffic is so much better than in Toronto; nothing is more than a 20-minute drive from our North London home.
The people here make a big difference. Everyone is friendly and has time for us. When my son was born in February 2020, all my colleagues invited my wife and baby out to lunch to meet him. That would never have happened in Toronto. Spending more time at home due to COVID, we became close with our neighbours, who help us with our gardening and look out for us.
Yes, there is no Bathurst Street, no one area for Jewish life here. You connect in other ways.
We made an effort to get involved within the Jewish community and have made many new friends. My wife, Dr. Hayley Faulkner, joined Hadassah-WIZO and has met lots of wonderful women. I play weekly pickup hockey with the husbands.
The community is small, but strong. Even with COVID, the community is there for us. We have attended outdoor family events at the Beth Tefilah Orthodox shul: skating at Hannukah, lighting the hanukkiah at City Hall and hearing the shofar at the playground. Or Shalom, the Conservative shul, has Tot Shabbats where we have met some friends and attended the Purim Megillah reading. I know shul is a meeting place, but the London community takes the word literally. We have attended events at all three shuls and were welcomed by all three.
The JCC has monthly family programming, so it has been nice to have the opportunity to attend. Program Director Eric Robinson is an amazing resource who connected us with other new, young London families. The JCC has been super helpful with its daycare and babysitting options for our 2-year-old son, Graham. We are excited to have him start Gan Gani preschool next year, run by the fantastic Morah Basie, who also organizes children’s programs in the community. Another benefit of coming to London is our son can attend Hebrew day school, rare in a small community.
After thinking the whole world revolved around the city of Toronto, I am very happy I moved to London. It’s a wonderful city and offers a wonderful environment to raise our family.