When You’re That Friend Who Moved to Toronto


There are many things we nutshellers love about blogging: a creative outlet, networking opportunities, unique experiences, some nifty free swag—yep, we have it pretty good.

But, there’s one special thing that outweighs the rest, and that is when we have the chance to inspire.

Yesterday, a good friend to the blog, Hannah Jamieson, wrote a hilarious account of what it’s like to live in Ottawa and experience friend after friend move to Toronto.

Preaching to the choir over here, the Ottawa nuts have definitely felt our fair share of heartbreak over that very fact. But, as Hannah’s post made its rounds through social media, another reader felt compelled to share her own story. Except, this time, on the flip side. 

Today, guest blogger Kara Carnduff tells her tale about being “that friend who moved to Toronto“.


It was October of 2011, I—to this day—believe I held the only Government of Canada job with no French requirement, lived in a 1,200 square foot apartment in Westboro with my roommate for $645 each/month, went to the gym every day and often spent my weekday evenings with my roommate sipping wine, or on the beach with a green tea.

All was relaxing, all was pleasant, all was perfect.

It was around this time I decided to shake things up, pack-up and move back to Toronto where I grew up.

I up and left my home and my roommate/best friend, my job, my amazing colleagues, and my… ok, I had zero boyfriend prospects, but I left my gym which was a big deal, I guess.

And my gosh, it was overwhelming.

My parents live in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, so I bunked with them for the first few months of my new life while I found a place downtown. During this time, I desperately tried to connect with anyone and everyone I knew in the city—once, my parents even offered me beer money to fund a downtown adventure, which I promptly returned once I found out my only social lead for the evening was having a “boys night” to which I was not invited.

“It’s Ok,” I thought. “So you’re used to every Saturday night out with the girls, things will pick up. You’ll make new friends in Toronto.”

… which, of course, I did.

I remember the first time a colleague invited me to a Friday night out. “Really? Um, yea I don’t think I have any plans,” I said, not-so-smoothly. Then I remembered—having just moved downtown, close to all of the action, I had some added responsibilities to attend to.

“How about I meet you there? I need to run home and feed my cat.”

Things picked up from there, don’t you worry. I found new favourite restaurants (all of which have cheap wine options).

Colleagues kept calling (ok, so I invited myself to the next few occasions, but soon won them over).

I even joined eHarmony and met a guy who still lets me hang out with him every day (to my constant amazement).

And I still visit Ottawa on a semi-regular basis to see friends as they get married and have babies, for Bluesfest, or just to catch-up. I still FaceTime, Skype, call and text my friends. I still obsess over them on Facebook and hang off of their every post. I still talk to old colleagues, celebrate their promotions, their engagements, their milestones. I still feel, in so many ways, like Ottawa is my second home.

However, slowly but surely, things started to pick up in Toronto. I got more and more comfortable with my job and my longer hours, my budget to handle the crazy-high cost of living, my new location with all of its new quirks.

But, the real reason, years ago, I started to feel so at home? The real reason I had girlfriends, best friends, to hang out with and a more happening social schedule? The real reason I settled in and thought, “Yea, I can do this”?

The shift is easy to pinpoint – it’s because so many of my Ottawa friends moved to Toronto, too.

Who might this guest be?


Kara Carnduff is a digital marketer by day and a wine-guzzler by night, though the timelines tend to overlap. She lives in downtown Toronto with her boyfriend Mike and their cat Buttons, and spends her days looking forward to the next new Game of Thrones episode. She’s on Twitter at @kcarnduff


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