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How To Get Settled In The County

How To Get Settled In The County
Tips for Newcomers & Visitors

Settling in The CountyIn the Old Days, when you moved to the County, you knew exactly what kind of neighbour you were going to get: a friendly, overly-helpful one, who wants to help you get settled, and get properly introduced to the community. In those days, neighbours were expected to rifle through your mailbox to determine your character, plus how much you pay for your mortgage, hydro and property taxes. This is so they can be more helpful to you in the future, when you actually meet.

Also, while you’re preoccupied reading Reader’s Digest in the Can, they will enter your house and search for other ways to help, like checking the expiry date on the items in your fridge, doing mental calculations on the value of the clothing in your closet, and jotting down recommendations for better cleaning products.

This has always been the polite, non-intrusive way for your neighbours to ‘get to know you’. Also, in the Old Days, you would have been on a telephone ‘party line’, which would allow neighbours to learn everything about you, from the comfort and privacy of their own homes, just by listening in on all your calls.

Unfortunately, times have changed, and the silly Privacy Act now makes it difficult for neighbours to walk in and reorganize your underwear drawer while you’re in the shower. The ban on phone-tapping alone has had a major impact on the prime news-gathering source in the communities, and has led many a seasoned gossip to fabricate stories, based on what they can see from their living rooms, through their telescopes.

Though it’s much more difficult now, you can rest assured that, by the time you start moving in, the neighbours will know everything about you, including your past history, your estimated worth, and whether or not you should consider bran to be a regular part of your diet.

Don’t be alarmed.

You’re just not used to it.

In the city, you lived at 431 Maple Avenue.

When you told other people in the city you lived at 431 Maple Avenue, they would go: “Oh, yes, I know that house.”

What they really mean is that they have a pretty good idea it’s between 429 Maple Avenue and 433 Maple Avenue, and it’s roughly across from 432 Maple Avenue. They know what the house looks like, because every house within 18 square miles looks exactly the same. Except for the guy who had to go to court because he painted his front door red, and refused to pave his driveway.

It doesn’t work that way in the County.

When people say, “I know that house,” they know that house.

“Oh, you moved into the Cole house.”

“No, we bought it from a man named Smith.”

“Yes, that’s right. The Smiths bought the Cole house about a year before they sold it to you. And the Johnsons had the Cole house before that.”

City people despair over this, because they consider it their house, and they wonder how long it will take before the locals start calling it by their name. The answer is: two centuries, give or take a decade.

You can speed things up by doing something really important in the community, like running for council, rescuing no less than seven children from a house fire, or buying a ‘round for the whole house on me’ at the Royal Hotel.

The best thing to do is to buy a copy of The Settler’s Dream, find your house in it, and speak proudly of the fact that the guy who ran the blacksmith shop in Milford in 1824 used to own your house. You can also claim to be his great-great-great-grandchild, but you’d better have a damn fine counterfeit family tree in your pocket before you try it.

Steve Campbell in The County Handbook

The County HandbookPick up your copy of The County Handbook and other County books, Breakaway Magazine, and The County Magazine at:

County Magazine
County Magazine
257 Main Street, Bloomfield
Tel: 613-393-3355
Toll Free: 1-877-645-8205
or visit them online at www.countymagazine.ca

Thanks to The Frere Brothers for the use of their song “We’re Movin to the County”.
Visit the Frere Brother online at http://www.myspace.com/thefrerebrothers


About Steve Campbell

Steve is the publisher of COUNTY MAGAZINE, a quarterly feature magazine about the people, places and history of Prince Edward County. It contains bright, entertaining, in-depth stories with lots of great photos by a group of volunteer writers who consider the magazine to be a "Labour of Love". Find Steve at countymagazine.ca

Comments (9)

  1. would love to move to prince edward county and possibly open a small business. if you have any info it would be much appreciated.

  2. Greetings all,
    My wife and I have sold our home in the big city and have plans on purchasing a home in Prince Edward County.
    We’ve been driving down every weekend for several weekends now and I believe we are zeroing in on the one. Time will tell. lol
    Looking forward to living in the county and hope to meet, greet and make many new friends.

  3. Our youngest is now off to university. We would love to learn more about Prince Edward County with the idea of some day retiring in the area. Time to explore – what events coming up in the fall? What weekend packages are available?

  4. I’ve lived In Prince Edward County Ontario all my life and there is no place I’ve been that makes me want to stay there like Prince Edward County does. I was born in Picton in 1990, there is so much more here than the Sandbanks, that’s just the summer spot.

  5. Hi there – my parents might be moving to the county and I was wondering about seniors’ discounts? Can you advise if there are any for the different shows/performances at the Regent Theatre?
    Thanks – Natalie

  6. Lynne Ross @ The Regent Theatre

    Hi Natalie,
    That’s exciting news about your parents possible move. The County is a wonderful place to be. We do not have seniors/childrens/student rates for movies, however our movie prices are lower than major cities ($9.00 Monday to Friday) with Sat/Sun being our 777 feature ($7.00 admission/7:00 pm start time and $7.00 will buy you 1 large popcorn and 2 pop). Your parents may want to consider taking out a Regent membership which would give them a discount on selected events. Thanks for contacting us… Cheers!

  7. OMG! What a fun well-written article to read!! Makes me want to move there 🙂
    Which I am considering for next summer.
    I don’t know a soul so moving to a small friendly community is
    what I’m looking for. I presently live in a suburb of Ottawa.
    Very faceless here.
    I’m a realtor and would be looking to add myself eventually
    to the realtor community.
    Any suggestions of good groups to join to get to know people?
    Are there singles or mingling groups?

  8. We moved here (from the UK) last year and love it – why not treat yourself to a few weekends here in the summer to check it out? Plenty going on, friendly people and a decent climate!

  9. Konrad & Carell

    Deciding on where to live in Canada when money allows was a multi-year process for us. From Vancouver Island to the East Coast, we MLS’ed and vacationed at many of the finalists. Value, beauty, lifestyle, environmental and cultural factors were all considered.

    And the winner is: The County.

    See you there.

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