Last week, a social media user posted that Kemptville has “no nightlife”. Whether the post was a joke, I’m unsure. Whether it was meant to stir up entertaining debate, we may never know. Whether there is any truth to the statement is… well… less ambiguous.
Kemptville doesn’t have a city nightlife, and nor could it or should it. Kemptville is a hospitable place, but it is time for newcomers to stop believing that Kemptville is the home of “ask and you shall receive”. Kemptville is an inclusive, rapidly growing community, but inclusivity should not mean that everyone gets to demand every individual convenience and amenity that meets their desires while simultaneously getting upset every time the town grows by a few dozen residential units.
I often say that Kemptville is charming for its balance. It has essential amenities while retaining a small town feel. Kemptville is many things, but it is not the Hogwarts Room of Requirement, magically granting all that is needed to meet each visitor’s needs. There is no town of 4,000 people anywhere in the world, I’d wager, that can offer a proper “nightlife” with clubs and theatres and abundant public transit to take you from place to place. Luckily, North Grenville does boast one advantage that many small communities do not – it borders the nation’s capital city!
Why do people move to Kemptville? Undoubtedly for its quaint charm. Moving to Kemptville for its small town appeal and then complaining openly on a public forum that there is “no nightlife” is akin to walking into Canadian Tire and complaining that they don’t have any hams in stock. As social media users have been quick to point out, Kemptville does offer evening entertainment – bars and restaurants (often with live music), hockey games, scenic walks, and more.
Absolutely everyone who wants to call Kemptville home is allowed to do so. Discrimination is not tolerated here. But those looking for things that Kemptville doesn’t offer should feel no pressure to stay. Ottawa has a wonderful downtown – my wife and I spend a couple of nights there every year without the kids, just to feel young again. That said, we wouldn’t want it as our home. We are more than happy to go to the nightlife, rather than believing the nightlife should come to us.
When I want to take my kids to the movies, part of me may wish that we had a theatre right in Kemptville, but it’s not a serious wish. I choose to live where I live, and I am more than willing to drive to Ottawa to take in a movie. This same logic goes for any facility or amenity that Kemptville doesn’t have. Entitlement is not a good look on anyone. Live where you’re happy, instead of demanding that the happy be brought to you. There are plenty of people for whom “the happy” refers to North Grenville just the way it is.
We sacrifice certain “city amenities” when we choose small town living. Those who simply can’t live without these amenities should move to a large city. Those of us who are happy with where we live know that the “sacrifice” is not a sacrifice at all, but rather all part of the amazing experience of living where tractors sometimes outnumber cars, and everybody knows everybody.