When cars trump public transit in the city

We live in a neighbourhood where almost everything we need is within walking distance.

We also have access to a major highway that connects us with the rest of the city and its surrounding area less than 15 min away from here.

This is perfect for a young family.

One would think, with all this perfection, that a second car is optional. That one could manage just fine with just one car. Because one of us is not in dire need of having access to a vehicle on a daily basis.

Especially since we are also steps away from a streetcar stop, or a bus stop that connects us directly to a major subway line.

Only this is just not the case.

Allow me to elaborate:

Last night we were in a suburb of our great city, about 25 mins away by car. We were visiting my parents in the town where I went to primary and high school. Only thing is, we went in separate cars. The boys went east first to attend a birthday party, and us girls went west to my parents’ place in the other (old) car.

Lucky, because the old car decided to break down in my parents’ driveway at 6pm.

How this happened I am not sure. I had just used that car prior to supper to do some grocery shopping, and it was parked there for a few hours. I had everything packed in, the almost asleep girlchild securely fastened in her carseat, and as I’m ready to pull out of the driveway I see DH get in the other car ready to do the same.

Only my gear shift won’t move.

I can’t move at all.

Long story short, DH ends up staying behind to deal with CAA (the equivalent of AAA in the USA), and I unpack and repack his car, transfer the now sleeping child as well, and make my way home.

Today, I’m car-less.

I was planning on working on my photo gig. I had visions of getting four hours of uninterrupted work done this morning because I left the boy at the grandparents, and the girl was supposed to be at her Montessori school till 1 pm.

Only how to get to her school without a car? The distance is too far to walk, but it’s doable by bike and trailer. Takes about 25 minutes.

Except, I had just spent two days ago (2DAYSAGO) an afternoon of rearranging our garage/shed thing. I put the bikes and bike trailer and gardening equipment to the back, and the snow shovels and winter stuff to the front.

Given that the car broke down at night and I arrived at night and Sonja’s school begins at 8:30 am at which point it’s still somewhat dark, I would have had to rearrange the stuff in the garage in the dark. There is no light in that garage (the house was built in 1949 and the garage is original).

So that was no option.

But we’re on the subway line! Why didn’t I think of that…

Quick check online to see what the schedule is like, and it appears that it would take me about 3x as long by streetcar to get to her school than it would by car. So…walk to the stop will take 10 minutes, the trip to her school 45ish minutes, then I would have to return to my house in order to…what, have a coffee, only to turn around again to go pick her up.


So Sonja and I are home together today. Because this city is not designed for people to be without cars.

And that is my beef for the day.


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