While many young Canadians prefer the hustle and bustle of city living, small-town life has a quaint nature that nothing quite compares to. It may not be as convenient as a condo in the heart of downtown Toronto but the community and opportunity are equal in many ways.
For Stratford, Ontario, there seems to be something missing in the makeup of the community and that's young people.
Dan Matheson, the mayor of Stratford, spoke to CBC news and shared that the small town is now aiming at bringing in a millennial demographic, as the median age of the population is 45. While the median age in Toronto is 39, other cities nearby like Kitchener have a median of 38 and London sits at a median age of 40.
During the interview, Matheson boasted about the city and said to all the young people thinking of moving, "There's an abundance of opportunities. It's a high quality of life. It has the highest parkland per capita of anywhere in the country."
He continued with, "We have great cultural institutions and opportunities. You are 40 minutes out of K-W and London. You're close to the action if you need it. And if you really got to get to Toronto, we're an hour and a half away. It's a great place to lay roots and start a family."
Those cultural institutions go beyond local pop-star Justin Bieber. The town is home to the world-renowned Stratford Festival Theatre, while also hosting its own museum and art gallery. The museum is even known for their Bieber exhibit which showcases how the Stratfordite (yes, that is what they're called) got his start!
The downtown core stretches along the Avon River, which is known for homing multiple swans that were a gift from the royal family. Every spring the city celebrates by hosting a quirky parade where locals literally watch the swans walk from their winter habitat to the river (they even wear paper swan crowns).
Downtown is equipped with tons of independent restaurants, bars, shops, which could inspire a new business venture. Take the Black Swan Brewery for example, which two local teachers started out of a beer hobby!
Not only is it close to major cities, it's also close to major beaches. Grand Bend strip is less than an hour away because Stratford is so ideally located between Lake Huron and Lake Ontario.
The mayor stressed that the need for millennials is necessary to maintain the economy and job market of the city.
If you're looking for a break from city living maybe the greenery, community and culture in Stratford will have you packing your bags.