Comment 64285

By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted May 31, 2011 at 08:32:54

And we're left with a real problem...

It doesn't matter whether you live in Toronto or Hamilton - the commute time is nearly the same.

I have the kind of job that tends to only materialize in downtown Toronto. We like to have a 3+1 bedroom house with a yard as our preferred accommodation - that's what suits our family of 5. Here's a selection of options from where we've lived over the last decade:

Living at Bathurst and Lawrence - commute was 20 minutes walking, 45 minutes on a subway standing, 10 minutes walking - door to door in 75 minutes. Cost of housing 3x Hamilton, cost of transit ~$100. Call it $3100/month.

Living in Mississauga (what a mistake) - commute was 15 minutes driving or 45 minutes on Mississauga Transit, 50 minutes on GO Train, 10 minutes walking - door to door in 75 to 120 minutes. Cost of housing 2x Hamilton, cost of transit only option ~$300, you can figure out the cost of adding a car to save 30 minutes a day. Without a car, call it $2300/month. Then be realistic and realize you need a car to live in Mississauga and add another (insurance and fuel only - we'll let you drive a winter beater to the GO station, although nearly no one does) $500 a month bringing you up to $2800/month.

Living in The Hammer - commute is 15 minutes on HSR, 65 minutes on GO Train, 10 minutes walking - door to door in 90 minutes. Cost of housing 1x Hamilton, cost of transit ~$300. That's going to cost out at $1300/month.

The only way to really reduce the commute is to change the type of housing that we're willing to put our family into... live much closer to the core and deal with the fact that we'll have a 3 bedroom apartment which monthly costs about what we spend on housing every 4-5 months in Hamilton... and that will drop my commute to around 30 minutes with ~$100 in transit. That's (round figures) $5000/month plus the costs of not being in preferred housing.

The real benefit of commuting - especially in a single income family like ours with my weird kind of job that simply doesn't exist in Hamilton - is not just the raw cost of living closer - it's that a couple of hours a day of my life can be converted into thousands of dollars in recouped income - when I'm sitting on the GO train, I'm making between $84 ((5000-1300)/44) and $34 ((2800-1300)/44) an hour. That's pretty decent wages.

Like every working parent throughout time - my job is to provide for my family through the slow attrition of my own capability and health. That's been the deal for thousands of years, I don't see why that should change for me beyond selfishness.

We live in the Hammer because we believe in doing the right thing long-term -- living in a city not a _suburb_, having monetary options for recreation, reducing our impact in balance with our financial capabilities, doing the best we can as parents for our children.

Yeah, I hate commuting, but I'd rather live here and commute to Toronto than live in Toronto and commute to Toronto.

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