Goodbye City Magazine is a digital publication and is not intended to be disrespectful to cities or the people who call them home. Rather, it is meant to be an honest and sometimes humorous commentary on the transition from city living to country life from the people who’ve made the leap of faith.
After years of grinding it out in Toronto's rat race, we decided to sell our lakeside bungalow in Long Branch and buy a farm in a town we'd never heard of just under 2 hours northwest of the city in a place called Flesherton.
All my footwear, for the most part, is knee-high and designed specifically to move my body through mud, snow, and horse poo.
I have one pair of shoes and I wear them once a month. They're made of leather and go nicely with the tuxedo I wear to Lodge.
We thought dog food was expensive. Then we got horses!
Keeping our newly acquired livestock fed and healthy has been a labour of love. Emphasis on LABOUR. I have to work 5 times as hard to keep up with their hay habit.
In truth, my wife does all the work. I just watch and offer advice like an armchair quarterback.
She loves it when I do that.
One of the first orders of business after leaving the city in search of a quieter, more peaceful existence was to buy a tractor.
Not for the fun of it (although driving it is super-fun!), but because we need it to move hay bales to our horses, relocate piles of poo, and blow snow.
Yes - blow snow. So much snow!
No offence to those who drive cars (I only ever drove them while living in the city), but pick-up trucks are way cooler!
They haul loads of hay, magazine boxes, and horse feed. You can put your kids' hockey bags and sticks in them and even dress your birds on the tailgate after a successful hunt.
Yes, I hunt now.
The only thing they don't do well is parallel park.
Gone are the days of fishing in Lake Ontario or the Credit River. Now, we just walk out the door with rod and tackle box in hand and head to our spring-fed pond. It's stocked with trout and oh, so many frogs.
We don't catch many fish, however, but the simple act of casting and reeling in your lure on your own land brings peace to the heart.
Plus, we can practice our lab's retrieval skills!
Our boys went from riding bikes on the sidewalk to rippin' around on dirt bikes at our local Motopark.
My wife even went so far as to put a track for them in our back field, aka: The Back 40.
We had a pretty sizeable backyard in the city, but nothing compared to the acreage in our back field now referred to as The Back 40.
It's well travelled...
...by deer, wild turkeys, horses, dogs, and our very own farm boys.
That just sounds wrong.
You know what I mean, though, right?!
Living in the country, specifically in Grey County, means you don't have to go far to chase waterfalls.
Which was great during the pandemic when haircuts weren't a thing!
I grew up in the 70's and 80's so I had a Big Wheel (remember those?).
This is WAY COOLER!
No traffic, no honking horns, no sirens...just cows mooing, goats bleating, roosters crowing, horses calling, and sunsets for days.
I would have given my left foot (no reference to Daniel Day Lewis) to grow up like this.
Although, that would have made jumping over our creek a bit tricky.
We're huge fans of the Rodeo so it's fitting we ended up moving to the country where the Rodeo comes to our neck of the woods once a year.
When you're 3, however, sometimes the most fun happens outside the actual Rodeo.
I'm convinced that this is a blessing from God...
...right before He takes away the leaves and replaces them with snow - oh, so much snow!
Growing up in the city, I didn't learn how to tie my own shoes until I was 13.
Our boys will have a big head start on their old man.
Can't have these in the city.
Goats are funny animals.
They look funny and smell funny, too.
And they poo everywhere!
Moving to the country was the best thing we could have done for our family and it's afforded my wife the opportunity to live her dream of riding horses and competing as an Eventer.
Probably my favourite picture of all time.
Yep. And Farmers all seem to have at least 2 other jobs. Talk about work ethic.
NOTE: the tractor in the previous photo belongs to this fella - my friend, Farmer John.
Toronto has Moose.
Grey-Bruce has Big Bruce!
When in Rome.
Beats skyscrapers and highway traffic any day.
We bred our mare, Reign. This is Ollie, our Foal.
What did you think I meant?
Gotta love when you pop in to see a client and he's wearing one of your Hoodies!
Trips to the City are few and far between.
But when I do go down, I can't wait to come home.
Like something straight out of a Toby Keith song:
"Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses."
Growing up on a farm is teaching our kids the value of hard work.
Gotta mix in a little time for play after you're done feeding the horses and mucking their stalls.
Gotta love the way these guys roll!
Wondering if they're eating in or taking out.