I’m back home in Toronto after a 3-week artist residency at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in southern California. It ...
It was a little under 24 years ago when I left my childhood nest in Ottawa and moved to the hustle and bustle of Toronto. Having lived in Toronto for this many years now, I definitely think of the city as my “hometown”. But there’s a draw that keeps pulling me back to Ottawa. For one, my parents still call it their home. And, it seems that I constantly have something going on there musically.
Even this week, I’m back performing 2 concerts at the Music & Beyond Festival. And over the years, I’ve performed many other concerts, had my compositions performed by others based there, collaborated with Ottawa musicians, recording sessions, adjudicated at music festivals, presented student workshops and master classes, and on and on.
I shouldn’t be surprised as Ottawa does have quite a vibrant arts and culture community, considering it’s size. And having grown up there, I still maintain a lot of great connections. Despite all this though, it feels a bit strange that I’m always being pulled back.
So it got me thinking, since I always have so much going on there, maybe I should consider moving back?? As much as I’ve always enjoyed living in Toronto, Ottawa does have a lot to offer. It has beautiful green space and lot’s of parks. People are quite friendly. Depending where you live, you can be car-free. It’s becoming more and more cosmopolitan with residents coming from all parts of the world. It’s got everything that other large cities have to offer, yet it still maintains it’s quaint nature. And, as I mentioned, the arts and culture community is quite active with a lot of venues, festivals and events.
I’m also an only child. And as my parents get older, I often wonder who will look out for them in their later years? Living in the same city would certainly be more convenient for my everyday life in that respect.
All these reasons seem logical as to why I should start packing now. But don’t book the U-Haul for me just yet:)! My heart still loves being in Toronto. Not sure why…I guess it’s just a familiarity thing. But, never say never, Ottawa. If you keep inviting me back like this, you just might win me over.