Friday, April 18, 2008

Who's my Ottawa?

That's right, I'm hooked into Richard Florida again.

He's the author of the Rise of the Creative Class, an amazing reflection on the shape and character of society.
Now he's living in Toronto, and his newest book, Who's your city? dares to defy the notion that place is dead.
He argues that life is basically made up of three questions:
What do you want to do?
Who do you want to do it with?
and ... Where do you want to do it?

Now that I seem to have answered the first two questions, I'm pondering Ottawa.

Through lists and graphs, indexes and anecdotes, Florida suggests that certain cities are good for certain demographics. Boulder, Colorado is a good small town for singles. Washington, DC is a great city for families. Young professionals looking for a mid-size locale should check out Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Unfortunately, Canadian cities aren't listed.
And while I loooved Ottawa as a student, and continue to appreciate it as a young professional, I don't quite see myself raising children here.
In Ottawa, as in many urban centres, children are sort of treated as lepers. Don't touch them -- you'll be considered a pedophile. Don't look to closely at my toddler -- I'll keep my eye on you to make sure you're not some kind of sicko.
Worst of all, kids have to learn not to talk to strangers. How do you teach them this while maintaining that society isn't made up of whackos, that humanity is still, on the whole, good?

By moving to the country?
That's what I'm thinking.

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