Have you ever sat in your car, frustrated, furious, and frantic as you try to trek through rush hour traffic? Have you ever felt overwhelmed, anxious, and stretched thin wishing you could escape to a slower pace while still enjoying success in your career? What if you could live a more relaxed lifestyle, own a beautiful home, enjoy more safety, and still be ahead financially? What if you could live and work in an atmosphere of close knit community and connection with nature and still have a career that served people all over the world? You can. And it’s all waiting for you in Arborg, Manitoba.
Let’s begin with cost savings. Owning your own home in Arborg will cost you 34% less than doing so in Winnipeg, 48% less than in Edmonton, 69% less than in Calgary, and 81% less than in Vancouver. This means that you can build or purchase your dream home for less than half of what it would cost you elsewhere in Canada. The monthly average for renting a 900 square foot apartment in a normal area in Winnipeg is $1,189, whereas in Arborg it is only $730. Not only can you own your own home for less but you can get someone to clean it for you for less too! Hourly rates for cleaning help in Winnipeg is $22/hour, the average cost in Arborg is $17.
Arborg also offers a slower pace of living with a focus on family values and relaxed lifestyles. Most residents enjoy camping in the summer and weekends at the lake just 15 to 30 minutes from town. Tourists spend hundreds coming to hunting and fishing lodges in the area that could literally be your back yard! Certain times of year you can even fish from the river that runs right through the middle of town. Backyards even right in town are large compared to yards in most cities, which allows for large gardens and room to enjoy green space right outside your door.
Multiple studies have shown that living in the city increases stress and anxiety as well as decreases your ability to deal with stressors compared to living in a small town. After spending some time in both it will be easy for you to see why. In a small town like Arborg, one of the first things you may notice is the quiet. You won’t be hearing sirens blaring at all hours of the night and day, a reminder that crime is considerably lower. You’ll see and hear more children playing outside as yards are typically unfenced and children are free to ride their bikes or walk down the streets without concerns about speeding traffic or strangers. You will find it is safe to leave your bike unchained outside the coffee shop or to leave your car windows open on a hot day in the summer. This is the type of community where you will know your neighbor and the families of your kid’s friends from school. You will see your children’s teachers in the grocery store or the local coffee shop.
With fewer residents and a small town you can drive across from end-to-end in 5 minutes, commuting is a cinch. Which means you can cut out all that commuting stress and road rage! You don’t even need to drive. You'll save time and gas money, and if you're a runner or biker, you'll enjoy not having to jostle for space among heavy traffic. We have beautiful trails along the river that you can run or walk every day. Another side effect of less cars on the road is overall cleaner air, which is great because we love the outdoors! It is easy to live a healthier lifestyle with more exercise and fresh air.
Once you have lived in a small town for a while, you kind of become allergic to traffic, as the only traffic you will encounter is a herd of school children walking home at 3:30 or someone on their lawn tractor driving down Main Street.
When is the last time you looked at the stars? Do you remember that they shine for you? If you think back to your childhood, when life was not quite as chaotic, perhaps to a camping trip or a bonfire, you may be lucky enough to remember a wide open sky with a carpet of stars. In Arborg, you get to have that every single night of your life. Leave the light pollution of the city behind. You will sleep better because it’s darker and quieter at night and whenever you want you can step outside and enjoy your very own real life planetarium.
Another factor known to lower stress is close knit community. This is a town where people have your back. You might not remember the show “Cheers” but you probably remember the theme song. Sometimes it’s great to go where everybody knows your name. You may not be best friends with the whole town, but when there is a crisis, like a fire or an illness, you’ll be amazed at how the community rallies together to get their neighbors the help they need. When a refugee family moved to the community the entire community came together to outfit their house and offer them support. When someone suffers a tragic loss the community always rallies around to help out.
Plus, it’s easy to get involved. Fewer people in a small town means there are always lots of opportunities to lend a hand and most community organizations are run on volunteer effort. You won’t likely be turned away if you offer to help. Everywhere from the community center to the seniors housing facilities to the schools always welcome volunteers.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well all this sounds great, but also kind of boring. What about all the things to do?” People often say they don’t want to move to a small town because they will miss out on the things to do on a Friday night and the extracurricular activities for kids. While Arborg may not boast hundreds of restaurants, museums, and theatres it does offer more culture than you might think. The real beauty is that you can have all the benefits of a small town while being just one hour away (the time it often takes to commute somewhere in a big city) from Winnipeg and all of those options. It’s a quick, straight drive in to all the shopping and nightlife you could want. Going to “the city” now becomes a great night out or a fun weekend and you probably won’t do any less of those fun things, like concerts or plays, than when you lived in a city but you’ll probably save money (and be healthier) because you are eating out less!
Arborg also offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Our high school has school plays, choir, jazz band, orchestra, track, and more. Both our elementary school and our junior high/elementary school offer multiple sports teams and clubs, from basketball and badminton to curling and running club. In our junior high and elementary school a significant emphasis is put on philanthropy and the children have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various causes across the globe. For middle years and up our schools offer extra courses such cooking, sewing, gardening, art, woods, metals, shops, outdoor education, and band as supplements to the regular provincial programming.
Our parks and rec department has hockey, baseball, curling, and soccer for all ages. Figure skating and gymnastics are offered from beginner to competitive levels. Our Arts Council brings professional musicians out for concerts on an almost monthly basis, provides yoga and art classes regularly, and brings out professional theatre as well. The community also offers competitive dance teams in 4 styles of dance. Art appreciation is significant and you will find craft shows throughout the year and farmers markets weekly throughout the summer. The Arts Council hosts an arts gala with wine and cheese and local art on auction in the fall. An active Gardening Club ensures a colourful array of plantings throughout the town.
Arborg has a tremendous amount of community pride and we love our community traditions. Each summer we host a large weekend rodeo with all of the summer rodeo fun. From horse racing to quilt shows, lemonade and mini donuts to tractor pulls. In August each year we host a Street Festival in which all of Main Street is shut down so we can enjoy stage shows, street hockey, and fun activities along the street. Almost every Saturday from January through June there will be a social at the community hall. If you are not familiar with the tradition of a social you will find it is a fantastic community building tradition where the town comes together at the local hall to drink, dance, and enjoy time together.
Arborg boasts an incredible outdoor water park in the summer that includes 4 water slides, swimming lanes, beach entry, a lazy river, and a splash park area. You can bring in your picnic lunch and enjoy a picnic lunch pool side! There are swimming lessons for all ages and abilities offered throughout the summer.
The community has a youth drop in center to provide a safe and fun environment for teens to hang out in. Adult staff are always on site to mentor students and the building boasts pool tables, ping pong, foosball, air hockey, arcade games, a canteen, TV’s, video game consoles, free music lessons, and more.
Our town library is set in the old CPR Railway station in a beautiful little park right on Main Street. We have a community clinic, hospital, pharmacy, dentist, eye doctor, and physiotherapy clinic right in town.
Just on the outskirt of town is a beautiful heritage village. The Village hosts historic homes, a church, hall, school and full service campground. Buildings have been beautifully restored to their original charm and tours are conducted throughout the summer.
If you are seeking a church home you will find that Arborg has churches in 7 different denominations and the smaller church size means more intimacy and more opportunity to develop that sense of close knit community with the people you worship with on a regular basis.
So to sum up, Arborg offers the opportunity to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, own a beautiful home, and be further ahead financially while still being close enough to the city to pop in for the extras. What are you waiting for? Come home to Arborg!