As a real estate agent I’ve been in the business of moving people for over a decade, but in late December 2015 I had moved my family from the familiar town I grew up in to start from scratch here in Oakville.
For the first time in my life I was starting over in a new town, and I quickly realized that I wasn’t the only one.
From Toronto, to Europe, to South Africa and around again, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many women and families who’ve recently moved here and started new. Here are some of ways I found most useful to navigating my way around Oakville:
Check out the library. I love libraries. One snowy day in January three years ago I walked in to my old library and met another new mom with two kids the same age as mine. We ended up talking that day for two hours and she quickly became one of my cloesest friends. The Children’s section in the Central Library in Downtown Oakville is a great place for the kids to play and parents to connect. For more info about Oakville Public Libraries and the programs they offer visit: opl.on.ca.
Get Social (Media). Full disclosure I am very active on Instagram and Twitter (@daniellaquattro). But you don’t have to be active to reap the benefits of the various platforms. I have many friends who only use social media to connect with local business and services. It was through Instagram I found The Oakville Parent, my favourite bakery (Black Forest Pastry Shop @bfpastryshop) and my favourite new take out place (Maro’s Bistro @maros_bistro). If you’re a Twitter user I suggest following The Town of Oakville (@townofoakville) for the latest town news. If you’re an Instagram or Facebook fan, I follow the town’s active BIAs– Bronte (@bronteevents), Downtown Oakville (@oakvilledowntown), for info on upcoming events.
Google is your friend. Google was my first friend when I moved to Oakville. I relied heavily on Google Maps when I first moved here to get me around town. Best butcher? Google will tell me. Best organic market? Google knows. Best gym I will join but never use? Let me just Google it.
Talk to others. This is the scariest one. I met the most wonderful parents and staff at my kids daycare. And in those first few months I boldly took their smiles and hellos as invitations to make new friendships. I met a new mom who I quickly connected with, and a friendship between our families grew. Through her I’ve met a group of women who I now regularly hang out with. It was scary to put myself out there, and would have been so much easier to hide behind my kids, but I’m so glad I didn’t.
All this makes it sound like it has been a breeze to move to a new town and I’ve loved every minute of it. In truth, the move was the most challenging thing we faced as a family and the last year might have been the hardest year I’ve ever had in my life. There were a lot of sleepless nights, tough talks, and cranky kids.
But as I learned long ago, there is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone. As we come into 2017, and I see my children flourishing and the personal growth I have experienced, I am now more than ever certain that this move was a good one.
Whether you’re a new comer or a long time Oakville resident,