Goodbye King & Ottawa!

I’ve been writing this blog post in my head for at least a couple of months. I have an official announcement to make.

I am announcing that we’re moving!

You may already know that news if you follow me on Twitter or we’re friends on Facebook. While it hasn’t been a secret, I felt it important to write a post to officially spread the word to people who follow this blog.

Why?

Since we moved into our home 6 1/2 years ago, I believed that it was a starter home for us. I expected that once we had kids and they were in school that we’d  prefer to have more space and a different layout. When we were still unpacking boxes my wife disagreed, but she came to the same conclusion eventually.

We’ve love our neighbourhood. Our decision to move was not to move out of the neighbourhood–just to move to a home that better suited our family. We looked at several homes in the immediate area but never found the right fit over the period when we started thinking about moving to when we got serious.

We’ll miss being a short walk away from City Cafe and being steps to the great King Fish & Chips. I’ll miss the short walk to frequent GRT service on King E. and being a couple minutes from the iXpress that moves me easily along the spine of Waterloo Region. We’ve spent many hours at Knollwood Park and have always appreciated the proximity of the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. We’ll also miss many of the other gems of east downtown Kitchener.

Hello Central Frederick!

We’re not going far and we’re staying downtown. Our new home is in Kitchener’s Central Frederick neighbourhood.

While we’re only moving just over a kilometre away, we’re moving closer to where I grew up on Merner. I’ve frequently described my parents’ home as the site of my personal centre of gravity. Everywhere that I have lived in Kitchener as an adult has been within a walkable distance of it. This time, I’ll be the closest yet and raising my kids just blocks away.

I look forward to being even closer to the downtown core and an easy walk to the Centre in the Square and the Kitchener Public Library. The Kitchener Market is even closer and the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium is still a reasonable walk. I’ll need to walk a bit further to catch the LRT but it’ll still be nearby. The walk to Holy Guacamole or Breadheads will help me burn off some calories.

And we’ll be in the midst of the Frederick Art Walk!

What does the move mean east downtown Kitchener?

Many of the topics that I have written about over the past few years involve issues near King and Ottawa and the future of east downtown Kitchener. I plan on staying involved in those issues and being and advocate for east downtown. For example, I’ve continued to be active pushing for the best transportation and parking solutions at the expanded Auditorium even though I was moving.

I continue to firmly believe that King and Ottawa should be the next King and Victoria.

I believe that east downtown Kitchener requires a  Community Improvement Plan and that we need to actively plan the future of the industrial area in east downtown.

I want to be involved in helping this area evolve for the better.

What does the move mean for my blog?

On the other hand, my blog has never been about King and Ottawa nor the neighbourhoods around it.

I named it “Perspectives from King and Ottawa” as I explained in my first post because they were my perspectives from where I live. I see the content of my blog as how to make the world a better place. I organize it into a series of concentric circles with my home and my neighbourhood in the middle, the next circle is Kitchener. The circles keep widening to include all of Waterloo Region, all of Ontario, all of Canada and global concerns.

I share my perspectives through my progressive world view that has a social justice bias. At the same time, I am a pragmatic centrist open to the best ideas that will make our community and our world better.

I solicited some feedback from an old friend recently about my blog and Twitter activity. The advice was to focus on one, two or three areas. Good advice considering he mentioned a long list of topics that I blog about: transit, development, poverty, parking, heritage, public spaces, crime prevention, downtown Kitchener, federal/provincial politics etc. Quite the list! And one that I’m proud to have associated with my name.

Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that I do write about a small number of core topics:

  1. Kitchener
  2. Waterloo Region
  3. Progressive change with a social justice bias

Or in other words, what I said above when rambling on about concentric circles. And that’s exactly what I continue to write about.

Will my perspectives change with the move? Overall, my big picture approach will remain consistent. On a micro level they might since just as some issues that caught my interest by living near King and Ottawa, I expect others closer to our new home will too.  But some affect both neighbourhoods.

New blog & twitter names

When word started to get out that a move was imminent, the most frequently asked question was whether my twitter handle @kingandottawa would change and what it would be.

If you follow me on Twitter, you likely know that I’ve already switched to @jamesN2H . The first part is obvious. The second may not be. N2H refers to the area of Kitchener with that as the first half of its postal code. I’ve lived the vast majority of my life with an N2H address. I’ve had one Kitchener address that was N2B but even that was steps away from the Frederick Street Mall. So I think it fits me.

For the blog, there isn’t a nearby intersection that works as well. But even if there was, they are my perspectives and I own them so I’ve put my name on them.

Parting words

King & Ottawa will always be very special to me. That’s a big part of why I’ll continue to be active in this area’s issues.

But as often happens in life, it’s time to move on to the next chapter.

 

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