Frugal Living in Newfoundland
by Rhys Toogood
Frugal living in Newfoundland
Newfoundland is a beautiful province of Canada. It also offers very frugal retirement living.Its scenery is very similar to the Highlands of Scotland and Norway. Heavily fjorded and heavily wooded with mostly Balsam Pine and Birch.
There are countless lakes, or there would be if the local people did not refer to them as ponds, great big lakes it would take a whole day to circumnavigate are still called ponds by the local population.
The Island of Newfoundland is roughly a triangle with sides of 250 miles each. Most of the population, of about 400,000 people live along the coast, at least a quarter within commuting distance of the capital St. Johns.
The area around St. Johns is similar to any other metropolis but small scale, property prices by Newfoundland standards are quite high, motor vehicle traffic density is relatively dense.
Out of commuting range of St. Johns and the other big population centre Corner Brook population density and traffic density, and property prices are ultra low. This is the pert of Newfoundland I am recommending.
Basically the rural population of Newfoundland live in several hundred picturesque small fishing villages strong out all along the coast. The population is in decline, with fishing quotas and low prices, the fishermen can barely make a living, there is a massive exodus of people to Alberta to take high paying jobs on the oil fields, similar to the people of Oklahoma moving to California in
For those not needing a job, it gives us the opportunity to buy a house with a million dollar ocean view very cheaply. The lowest price I have seen was below $5,000 in the very picturesque community of Belloram.
Beautiful as it is Belloram is very isolated, about 200 miles from the nearest Walmart, quite a long way to go for a pair of Jeans. There are communities even more isolated only connected to the outside by a ferry service.
We did our selection scientifically, made a spread sheet, where we entered various parameters, cost, view of the ocean, distance to church, distance to an optician and so on. We gave each parameter a weighting as to how important it was. Properties where entered and scores obtained. This prevented us from falling for the quaint little house we had fallen in love with, but which was otherwise completely unsuitable.
We selected the Trinity Bay area for our house. Arguably the prettiest part of Newfoundland, used to as the location for three movies. Trinity itself has a theatre, but that was not a parameter in out spreadsheet. I guess a little anecdote will explain the view I enjoy.
One hot Friday in August, I was up the ladder painting the front of the house. I counted 40 cars stopped outside, they admired the view, then reversed up the driveway to turn around. I think I am fortunate in having a view, that other people drive to see.