Never give up on what you love! That was the motto my husband and I reminded ourselves of when we struggled to find a new home for our family in the downtown area just a few years ago.
My husband and I both own our own companies and we have lived in the Grandin/Oliver area downtown for over a decade. In 2014 we were forced out of our condo (we were renting it at the time) when the condo President discovered I was pregnant. After many negotiations, the condo board granted us 4 months after our son was born to move out of the building.
This condo tower was located directly across the street from Grandin Elementary school and we later discovered that most buildings/condos on the street (and in the neighbourhood!) don’t allow children – which is absolutely ridiculous and does not promote families to stay in the core easily!
After having no luck finding a place to live in the neighbourhood that we loved, we got creative and made postcards promoting ourselves and placed them in the mailboxes of the only row of townhouses in the neighbourhood. Luckily, we received a phone call from one of the owners thinking of selling. It then took us almost a year of meeting with the owners and building a relationship with them to convince them to sell to us. We had no other plan B option and really didn’t want to leave the neighbourhood that we loved and had invested so much time in. Luckily, just days before our son was born, we signed the paperwork to purchase the townhouse.
Grandin is an amazing neighbourhood to raise kids and we would love to see more housing (like townhouses!) built to support and encourage families to stay.
I have heard so many unfortunate stories of other families being forced to sell their condo’s because the condo board evicted them due to kids, or couples deciding not to have kids because they didn’t want to leave the building (and home!) that they love. This is absolutely heartbreaking and needs to change.
We know first hand how challenging and frustrating it is to find a home for your family downtown, but it is possible and we encourage people to not give up! The more families that fight to stay in the core, the more families that challenge condo board bylaws and the more we voice our challenges, the more demand there will be for family housing, parks, schools and services downtown.
We LOVE living in downtown #yeg and we’re here to stay!
Caitlin and her husband Scott live in the Grandin neighbourhood, where many of the buildings are adult-only, despite the close proximity of one of the few elementary schools operating in downtown Edmonton.