Whispers from the Westside: getting the hell out
A while back I wrote a post about how some Westside preschools were having to close down due to lack of enrolment. Whether this is because of a need for more full-time childcare or because there simply aren’t enough children in the neighbourhood to fill them up remains to be seen. I did, however, receive a very interesting e-mail from a reader (wishing to remain anonymous). Read below:
I managed a bank on Dunbar street for 2 years and we lived on the Westside for 7 years! Only four years ago I begged, pleaded and smoozed to get my son into pre school. we finally went private at OLPH (Our Lady of Perpetual Help). Fast forward 2 years it’s my daughter’s turn and opposite problem…barely any (pre)schools left because families are leaving the area too fast to imagine.
At the bank I financed mortgages (which) I cringed at because it was foreign money and the neighborhood was emptying. I help(ed) extend credit lines of pre school teachers who were now out of work! It was the worst feeling. We lived in a house and two different apartments on the Westside, my bank sponsored many St. George’s (school) events. As a parent, I sent my kid to Queen Mary (I stood in line for kindy registration) and actually applied to three diff school because enrollment was tiiiight.
Last fall we decided to move. Housing prices and the crushing pressure of my morals not being aligned with the business I was in won and we packed up our perfect (expensive!!!!) condo by the beach And moved back to Alberta. I never thought I’d be THAT family. It was the right decision for us, it literally was wrecking our finances to stay put and we had great jobs! Our kids were some of the few English speaking kids in their classroom and pre strike my son came out of gr.1 way behind academically because the classroom was a cultural melting pot, which we tried to embrace but turns out the good boy with the English skills was left to his own devices to manage to read and write while the new kids had aids and support to learn English.
My heart loves the Westside. We lived worked and lived our community. Raised our babies at Westside family place, and had the beach for the backyard. We are educated and successful career people and STILL we had to make the decision for the future to go while we could still dig out of the whole.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts and to know if you have experienced anything similar in your neighbourhood. It seems such a shame that good families like the one above are having to pack up an leave because they simply cannot see a future for themselves here.