(but How is it Spent?)

In 2001, I relocated from Mississauga to Peterborough County and had the dreaded task of completing a change of address on my Health Card and Drivers Licence. A task that was going to eat up my time, sitting in a Government building waiting for my number to be called.. I hate days like this..

It was all coming back to me – flashbacks of the last time I renewed my id’s in Mississauga. Picture it, the Westdale Mall on Dundas St West. It was 1pm on a weekday. I walked in the door, lined up to take my number, and was informed by the receptionist “the office closes at 5pm today, you’ll have to come back tomorrow”. I didn’t say a word. If that receptionist could have heard my thoughts, I’m sure she would have called security. A four-hour window was not enough time? That’s straight up cray cray. Realizing my afternoon off work was all for nothing, I decided to make use of the fishing gear in my trunk in nearby Port Credit. Sweet, atleast I’m going fishing. The following morning with another half day lost as I went back to Westdale Mall. I, along with many other 905’ers, was there before opening time to ensure I got what I came for.

Now as I prepared to renew my cards again, the memory of last time’s annoying sequence of events was at the forefront of my mind.

I made my way to the OHIP office on Water St in downtown Peterborough. I took my best crack at parallel parking and paid my dollar for one hour right out front of the entrance. As I dropped in a loonie I wondered how many times I’d have to return to feed the meter before this task was complete. Much to my surprise as I walked in, I was sent straight to an open wicket. The lady asked for the required documents and then informed me that I had to change the address on my Drivers Licence first before they’d make the change on my OHIP. She gave me directions to the drivers licencing office and I was off. A moment later (no traffic) I was at the licencing office. Nice! It’s free parking here. I was in and out within minutes, new paper licence in hand and heading back to the Water Street office. Wouldn’t you know, my spot right out front wasn’t taken yet! I pulled in and realized my original dollar had time left on this meter. I head back inside and straight up to the same wicket. She made the change and I was on my way. Back at the car, I had a look at the meter and couldn’t help but smile and laugh. The entire ordeal, including three trips in two offices in two locations, I still 21 minutes left on the original meter! Let that sink in for a moment. The whole ordeal was 39 minutes. And, since this time they’ve made that process even easier now with both offices now combined in to one Service Ontario location. Back in Mississauga, I’d have been lucky to get across the City in that amount of time.

It was at that moment I realized something. Even though my primary motivations for moving away from a big city was to save money, gain space and leave the go-go-go mentality behind, the sum of my gains was much more than that. I had gained the most important thing of all: time. It’s not infinite and it’s flying by. I could never go back to living in a city after life like this.

If you are considering relocating to Peterborough and the Kawarthas, I can help. 705-868-4582

Jeff Park