housing in Canada

Toronto, 2014.03.12

The house where my family lived from the time I was nine through eighteen was sold this year. The selling price was just about six times what my parents paid in 1981. And this isn't in either of Canada's two bubble markets, Toronto or Vancouver. This is in Calgary, where sprawl is the order of the day and new housing tracts come on the market constantly.

So I went over to the mortgage calculator on the website of my bank, and sure enough: I wouldn't be able to afford the place where I grew up.

humble home in Calgaryhumble home in Calgary

But that's okay. There was a time, in my mid-twenties, when I was living a life that would have led to mortgages and whatnot. But then I started to encounter a body of literature that inspired a different sort of life. Passages like "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world" nudged me off the track.

So I moved to Australia. And then BC and Nova Scotia and then Japan. I married well, and I study. I work hard. But I am not my job.

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