“You pay HOW MUCH for rent!?” is a question I frequently receive when talking homes with friends from bigger cities. And it’s easy to fathom their surprise; the cost of renting (let alone buying) in Vancouver and other cities is skyrocketing, with no indication that this trend will cease. I recently found myself on the hunt for an apartment after a three-year stint of alternating between touring and living in my van Flo (more on that here) as well as house-sitting. I didn’t quite know what the market would be like, but to my surprise (and relief!) I was able to find a beautiful affordable apartment near the heart of the city within my artist’s budget.
Near the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser Rivers, my new neighbourhood, South Fort George, offers affordable housing with a view. Just a short walk to several parks (including Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park), the trail space afforded to me in my new location is plentiful. Being in the downtown area of Prince George (also known as ‘The Bowl’) means that I am a short drive or bike ride to many of the parks that sit within our city’s limits.
With the downtown core being just a twenty minute walk away, I look forward to the commute to my centrally-located workplace. The walk takes me on a scenic route past the Hudson’s Bay Wetland and several delightful coffee shops along the way (my favourite lately has been Ritual Coffee Bar, they offer a decadent brew and sell boutique coffee from all over British Columbia). It’s a perfect commute for clearing my mind before and after work, and the money I save on gas allows me to have a little more fun on the weekends.
My proximity to most of Prince George’s restaurants and bars allows me the freedom to indulge in an after work beverage or two at Crossroads or Nancy O’s without having to worry about where to park my vehicle. This sentiment resonates also when I find myself strolling to the Prince George Legion for a Saturday night show. While the Legion may bring thoughts of meat draws and square dancing to mind, the Prince George Legion (affectionately referred to as the Peege Leege) opens their stage to local and touring musicians on Saturday nights, booked by Mad Loon Entertainment.
In a lot of cities, finding an affordable place to rent can be a challenge, let alone a home close to downtown amenities and recreational green space. Living in Prince George means this is not only possible but readily available for those seeking a good work-life balance.