Simply Living
2012

Sundridge, Ontario. This small town is located in northern Ontario, and only a 3 hour drive away from Toronto. Living in the city, there is very little to do in the winter months. Everything and everyone just seems to be as frigid as the air itself. That completely changes when you travel to a place like Sundridge, where the snow and intensely cold temperatures are actually embraced. Even on days where the snow is 4 feet high and it is -20C outside, everyone there is still happy to be outside an active. The people have an appreciation for life that is simply not found in the city.



 The area in which Sundridge is located would be deemed as “cottage country” to most. However, when talking to the locals about their lives, it is literally as if they are living a cottage getaway every single day of their lives. They make enough money to live comfortably, and most of all, simply. They take advantage of the nature that surrounds them, no matter what the season. Even though they are constantly surrounded by it, they do not for one second take it for granted.

  


The photos within my series capture this deep appreciation for the environment, and how the people of Sundridge interact with nature in a season that most people would rather stay indoors – the winter. Even though the lake, located in the heart of the town, is frozen over, the townspeople still make use of it through ice-fishing and ice skating. It becomes just another way for the community to get together and embrace everything they have. One fellow, who has been ice-fishing on the lake every winter for over 25 years, said that he really only does so every year to socialize and experience the comradory that happens in the “ice-hut villages”, the groupings of ice-huts that build on the lake. Another activity that happens is dog-sledding. Races and events are organized so people can come together and watch.  The townspeople really do make a strong effort to emphasise the importance of community by coming together and participating in these activities.

  


I have included landscapes of the town to show why these people love living so far from any major city. There is a very romantic sense to having these beautiful natural scenes in your own backyard.  When the snow has freshly fallen on the pine trees there, it looks like something out of a fairy tale.

 


This way of life really is dwindling when it comes to our mindset in modern day society. Many people think the only way to be successful in life is to make a huge amount of money just so they can buy a gigantic house and other useless things to measure their wealth with. There is now something admirable about people who choose to live modestly, in a smaller house, with simply the necessities. And instead of gadgets and objects to keep them busy, they have their family and friends to spend their time with, and need nothing more than that to be happy with their lives.


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