It was a little under 24 years ago when I left my childhood nest in Ottawa and moved to the ...
Big news this past week is that my wife and I sold our car. Even bigger news is we’re not replacing it! The idea of going carless has been bandied about for some time. But the decision was finally made a couple of months ago.
We had a Toyota Prius, a hybrid that’s pretty darn fuel-efficient. Despite this, hanging on to it just didn’t seem worthwhile anymore. We were using it once per week (at most) for the past year. We would often use public transit to get around traffic-infested and parking-sparse Toronto and leave the car at home.
Not wanting to wear out the car, we’ve basically been leading the no-car-ownership life the past couple of months, and it has been great! Foot is our number one way to get around, we shop mostly at businesses that are in our general vicinity. Otherwise, we’ve been using more public transit: TTC to get around Toronto and GO Transit to get out to the suburbs. We also signed up to ZipCar to get to places that are harder to get to with public transit. And there’s an inexpensive car rental place close by in case we need a car for a number of days. It’s on our things to do list to buy bikes – lot’s of great paths joining different parts of the city and more bike lanes on the streets coming soon.
Car ownership seems to be one of those things in our society that you simply just do without question. Yet it can provide so much stress. I know that I have this huge weight lifted off my shoulders – no more car payments, service, insurance and gas. Not having that responsibility means I can devote more attention to the important things in my life, especially making music. The $ savings doesn’t hurt either!
I encourage all the car owners out there to give it a try! Spend a month leaving the car parked in it’s spot and pretend like you don’t have a car. Can you still get around? I realize that some urban areas are not conducive to such a lifestyle because of a lack of public transit. Well, then we need to work harder to improve that.
In the meantime, I’ll see you on the sidewalk!!