Spread the word about living in Amherst
Nova Scotia is seeing a growing interest in a new kind of migration; this time it’s moving west to east, not east to west as we’ve seen in the last 200 years.
Perhaps it’s because workplace dynamics are changing.
Many are tiring of the big city’s fast pace and long for slower, more meaningful experiences.
People with children want a safer place to raise their kids, a town where the cost of a roof over your head doesn’t leave them staggering under a lifetime of debt, and retirees want smaller homes with fewer chores.
Everywhere I go, I hear about people from other parts of Canada “moving east”.
Many have chosen to live in older homes, homes with character and a history, homes like those Amherst has so many of.
Off the top of my head, I can think of at least ten newcomers to Amherst who are buying, renovating or repurposing old buildings.
Halifax writer, Haley Ryan, referenced a New York Times front page article from December 27, 2017, that describes a house on Halifax’s Young Avenue offered for sale at $2.99 million dollars Canadian.
Amherst has many heritage buildings, large or small. Clearly, multimillion dollar real estate sales are not likely here but what does begins to look possible is a significant increase of in-migration numbers to take advantage of our central Maritime location, our small town life style and our inventory of beautiful homes.
We have so much to offer right here on the edge of the Tantramar, and people from all sorts of backgrounds might just be starting to figure it out.
The company houses that line Amherst’s streets are wonderful examples of a different world that offers lovely lots, great renovation opportunities, smaller footprints…… and all for a tiny fraction of that $2.99 million Halifax mansion.
Some of our larger homes are elegant enough for a centre-fold in Architectural Digest.
They too have potential and a reasonable purchase price that might just start calling more people back to their roots.
Who doesn’t know someone in the “returnee” category?
Returnees are those who moved away 30+ years ago and are now back home, or at least considering it.
Then, there are all those “newly arrived folks”, people from across Canada, Belgium, the United States, Costa Rica, Korea, India, Lebanon, and China, not to mention the several Syrian families who have chosen Amherst.
They all have residences, dollars to spend, and are all looking for a comfortable life.
More people here mean more vitality, more innovation, more entrepreneurs, more youth… and soon more jobs to serve these folks.
And don’t forget the commercial buildings that are being given a new lease on life.
Right now, there are at least seven early 20th century refurbished industrial properties that are bringing people and dollars to Amherst: Atlantic Wholesale (formerly Amherst Piano) has become Greasy Groove, a successful international supplier to the music world; Amherst Boot and Shoe stands proud and tall on Station Street: Margolian’s is now Dayle’s Grand Market, home to four new local businesses; the Customs House, Amherst’s iconic trademark, is now Mrs. Pugsley’s, a destination for quilters. And, of course, don’t forget the recently remodeled Mansour’s Menswear that has provided clients with quality and personal care since 1915. Add in Deanne Fitzpatrick’s yarn, fibre and women’s clothing and we’ve got some good things here, right now!
What’s the next step?
Be proud of Amherst. Talk positively about it often.
Find out how our new citizens found Amherst, what made choose this town.
Talk to them. Get to know them so they feel comfortable and “at home” here.
They can be our best ambassadors.
Nothing’s beats “word of mouth”.
Encourage our local leaders to get the word out through more official channels: TV news features, magazine articles, active posting on other websites and pages about our homes and life styles, newspaper coverage about our sporting activities and amenities.