Toledo isn’t just a great place to get married, it’s one of the most underrated places to live and raise your family. Let me tell you why:
1) The Toledo area is a place of deep natural beauty
As I say that some people might cough a little bit as they think about the underdeveloped riverfront or the refinery smack in the middle of East Toledo. Its true, there’s been some planning mishaps that leave the natural opportunity presented by our gorgeous environment underdeveloped. But the potential is here, and its starting to be realized.
Toledo has some incredibly rare and diverse wild places: Oak Openings and the Lake Erie shores are unique the world over. People travel across continents to witness rare bird species that annually visit our city. The Lake Erie fishery was once the largest producer of fresh water fish in the world. Finally, there are places on the Maumee River south of the city, where, when you stand on the shore looking north, the riffles, rapids, and relative isolation can make you feel like you’re on a pristine river in Alaska. In Toledo, we have a problem with caretaking, not with raw potential. It’s a great place to be part of a solution.
2) The Toledo economy presents good value and opportunites for young families
I hear some coughs again, but hear me out. Economic health is not just about how much you can earn, but also how much you have to spend. Friends of ours living in cities with higher wages and “more opportunities,” can’t afford to live like we live in Toledo. Even in the era of rapidly rising housing prices, prices in the Toledo area remain relatively accessible.
Secondly, many of the most highly-qualified graduates and employees leave the Toledo area to go to a bigger city to chase what they think will be better opportunities. This leaves space for young people here to jump into the workforce early and develop their potential. Young people can often jump into positions of greater responsibility earlier in their careers. This can help them maximize growth potential for their futures.
3) Toledo area’s close-knit communities
The Midwest is renowned throughout the country for its culture of friendliness and warm hospitality. The Toledo area has some very close-knit communities. It’s not difficult to get your family involved in school activities and local sports to make friends. Our community life centers around active participation in the lives of our children through school and sports.
Some of the smaller towns surrounding the city are within commuting distance to Toledo for work and events, but offer a more intimate setting for raising children. In many larger cities, suburban sprawl has swallowed up these smaller towns. This drives housing prices upward, increases traffic, and balloons community populations to intimidating levels. Not so in Toledo. Our small towns are healthy and vibrant and still largely independent of the city.
Toledo is not the best place to take a chance on achieving glamor, fame, or wealth. But it has something better: all the ingredients necessary to have a happy, healthy life and family.