Live in a happy place

According to Jetpac City Guides, I live in the happiest city in Canada, Kingston, Ontario.

Child smiling in Kingston
My youngest daughter Clare is all smiles after a day in downtown Kingston

Jetpac makes travel apps, and they looked at over a million Instagram photos to count and size the smiles on people’s faces. We’re a university town so there’s a high likelihood the reason we ranked high on this very unscientific study is because we have lots of university students who use Instagram, but Kingston regularly places high in the annual studies of the best places to work and live in Canada.

It’s been almost 20 years since we moved to the Kingston area and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions we ever made. I love going back to Toronto, I love the city, but we would never ever have been able to enjoy the quality of life we enjoy now.

And here’s the rub: this just didn’t fall into our laps. It was a conscious decision; we had a goal and a plan. We targeted five regions in Ontario. We could have wound up in Sault St. Marie, northern Ontario (the snow!), or Muskoka, but we landed in beautiful Eastern Ontario, and we have come to love and consider this community our home

So this week’s Happy Act is to ask yourself, am I happy where I live? Do I feel part of my community? Do I love my home? Hopefully your answer will be yes, but if the answer is no, what changes can you make to be happy where you live? Maybe you could get more involved in your community, or maybe it’s just a simple change to your home (when we first moved to our house, the lack of sunlight drove me crazy, but we have a beautiful sunroom now). True, happiness comes from within, but living in a happy place can only help.

4 thoughts on “Live in a happy place

  1. Hey, that kid is all smiles all the time!! Not hard to get a smiley photo of her!

    I moved from a community that I loved (Georgetown in Halton Hills) to a community that I like a lot (Burlington) but I moved so I could live with the love of my life. So it’s a bit of a trade-off for me and I have definitely had to work at loving my community, even though there are lots of really good things about Burlington:
    – top of the list: Gary & I have created a comfortable home for ourselves where we hang out with our kitty Yoyo
    – less snow & ice than Georgetown
    – great yoga studio (
    – can walk along the promenade at Spencer Smith Park
    – Sound of Music : free festival in June
    – easier to join groups like the Oakville Symphony Orchestra (not so much driving to practices)
    – etc. etc.

    Will we live here forever? Who knows? But for now it’s workin’ out ok.

  2. Laurie, like you, we made the conscious decision to make the Kingston and area our “final destination”. I originally moved here in 1996 from the Niagara area for college, but fell in love with Kingston while living here. I loved that we could travel 20 minutes north of the city and be “in the country”. I loved all the water we had around. I loved how it smelled. I met my husband in 2000, we married in 2004. In 2008, while pregnant with my second son, we had to make the sacrifice to leave the area in order for my husband to gain seniority in his career. After 4 very difficult years of living in Orangeville, we were finally able to gain enough seniority to allow us to move back. We could have gone anywhere we liked, but Kingston area in Eastern Ontario is where we chose. The life we live now is the life we envisioned for ourselves and our family way back in the early stages of our relationship – in the dreamy stages. Well, our dreams have come true. And we’re here to stay!

    1. I’m with you Stephanie, I think we live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country that offers an incredible array of opportunities and work-life balance. I love the fact we are only 3 hours from Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and the Adirondacks, and most of all, being a water baby, I love the fact that on my lunch hour I can sit and eat my lunch while listening to music in the park and look at Lake Ontario and come home to my beautiful lake at night. We are very lucky and blessed to live where we live.

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