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Leaving The Hustle: Making A Home in Belleville

Amanda Keenan Life in Belleville

To be honest, I wasn’t so sure about moving to Belleville initially. We were living in such an exciting community in Toronto, and we were in a good groove – the excitement of living in a big city never wore off. It certainly had a lot to offer – may be too much in some cases. (As it turns out, I don’t need five independent coffee shops within walking distance.) But the city was also missing some things too…

Amanda Keenan Making A Home in Belleville

We got to a time in our lives when it just wasn’t sustainable for our family of four to live in Toronto anymore. It was also impossible to find childcare for our second little guy. I had already taken an extra leave at my job to take care of him. I needed to work if we were going to stay there, and I needed to find the right place for my children to be taken care of while my husband and I were working. It wasn’t going to happen.

Also, as a little side note: childcare costs about as much as two conventional Belleville mortgages (for one child). So the prospect of two kiddos in childcare plus a regular TO mortgage – we didn’t want that hustle.

Now we were torn. Our parents are in the Cambridge area (which as a teenager I started calling Lamebridge). I hadn’t found a spark there that I enjoyed and so we looked east, to where my husband’s sister lives. Belleville looked like a sweet spot for her family, which included my two nephews, who are just about the same age as our two little ones. Plus, we looooove the area: the County is an obvious perk for anyone coming from Toronto: it’s got just enough “Toronto” in it with all the charm of a quiet town.

Amanda Keenan home in BellevilleSo, we decided to move. I think it was a Tuesday. Within two weeks we fell in love with a house in Belleville and sold our adorable home in Toronto. It was quick… maybe a little too quick. This is where the reluctance comes in – but it doesn’t have anything to do with how beautiful Belleville is or what it has to offer.

That little home in Toronto was where we brought home both our boys for the first time, it’s where they took their first steps, and where we were part of an amazingly vibrant community. I also loved rolling out of bed, stumbling across the street and getting the most delicious coffee, without getting in my car.

Amanda Keenan Home in BellevilleThat was it, I had to find my new coffee place; before we moved I did a little digging and I was relieved to find The Brake Room. Oh good! A place to get Pilot coffee. I know this seems silly, but I knew if I just had a place to get a good coffee, to be able to sit and relax in, to get a little work done… that would be all I’d need to make this transition a little easier.

In the two years that we’ve been here, we’ve discovered many more perks and surprises about being in here in Belleville… more than just coffee. We’re really starting to grow new roots here for our family.

Keep an eye out for future blog segments from Amanda on what it was like moving her family and her business from Toronto to Belleville.

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Bay of Quinte Region is an alliance of interdependent communities, bound together by a common history, shared economy, and the water that surrounds and defines us. We hope to welcome you soon.

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Bay of Quinte Region is an alliance of interdependent communities, bound together by a common history, shared economy, and the water that surrounds and defines us. We hope to welcome you soon.