Many stories about Vancouver’s affordability crisis focus on the bigger picture of what it might mean for the demographics of the city.
What they don’t focus on, however, are the stories of people who are being pushed out every single day.
Emelia Symington Fedy, theatre artist and soon to be ex-Vancouverite, is one of those people.
She spoke to Steele & Drex on Friday about why she’s leaving Vancouver for the much more affordable market of Halifax.
Fedy has already managed to make living in Vancouver work for over two decades, so what has changed to make the city that much less affordable? Children, for one.
She says she was okay with living paycheck to paycheck when she was only supporting herself, but having kids has changed all that.
Trying to afford to be a parent, Fedy says, is taking away from her time actually being a parent.
“I am now working to put them in the daycare, so I can work. I don’t get to spend time with my kids because I’m working so someone else can parent them.”
That daycare, which costs $2,500 a month, encompasses her entire monthly income.
Another issue Fedy points to is housing. In order to afford rent, she and her husband had to settle for a sub-standard rental.
They spent a month and $4,000 making it, as she calls it, “adequately livable.”
“So now it’s this beautiful home that we love, that we’ve put our heart and soul into,” Fedy says. “And when we leave, the landlords will probably triple the rent.”
She says that lack of affordability is a huge issue, particularly for the artistic community in Vancouver.
“Let’s make this affordable for the people in Vancouver who are making it a cultural hub. All these artists can’t afford it.”
After looking into housing, Fedy found that the best place to relocate would be Halifax.
It met all the criteria she and her husband were looking for – affordability, job prospects and most of all a solid place to raise the kids.
“That’s what made the decision. This is the only place in Canada that we could try to have a backyard for our two growing boys.”
And even though she loves Vancouver, at the end of the day she feels the city doesn’t love her back.
The feeling that Vancouver is the place falls away a little bit, and you realize that having quality of life [is worth it.]”