The best things in (country) life are free

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The views

Costs a minimum of $40 to ascend the dizzy heights of the CN tower for a hazy view that most people have seen plenty of times from the window of an airplane descending over Toronto.  Yet the staggering views offered in the countryside on trails, open farmland, ski slopes and lakes cost nothing more than an afternoon with a thermos of coffee or a packed picnic lunch.

 

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Food

It's possible to pay a small fortune for a quart of blackberries and a bag of mushrooms from a grocery store, but in the country they are up for grabs.  Depending on the season, you can take your pick of Nature's bounty from the countryside or visit a local farm market for fresh, locally grown produce.

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Exercise

The sedentary lives of city dwellers can lead them to spend hours (and significant amounts of money) in the gym pumping iron and strutting their stuff in the front of a Spandex-swathed fitness instructor.  The reason that gyms are as rare as almond milk in the country is because by the time you've walked the dog, fed the chickens, dug over some rose beds and stacked some logs, you'll be far too exhausted for anything quite as grim as the gym.

photo cred: peoplesimages/istock

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Swimming in summer

In town, you usually have to pay for the pleasure of a few lengths in a heavily chlorinated pool.  But in the country, the bracing waters of lakes, rivers and beaches offer a far more wholesome experience.

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The night sky

Planetarium? Heaven's, no! In the absence of light pollution, the night sky in many parts of the countryside reveals celestial wonders.

photo cred: www.simcoe.com

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Wildlife and Birds

You need to spend at least $25 plus parking to reach the cages at the Toronto Zoo, but elsewhere, the joys of birdsong and free roaming wildlife are on the house.  The only investment you might like to consider is an app that identifies the critters and their tracks or calls.  Soon, you'll be working it like a pro!

photo cred: ontario.ca

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Parking

It can cost $10-$20 per hour to leave your car anywhere in the city but in the country you can generally park anywhere you like as long as it's not in anyone's way.

photo cred: stocksy.com/Victor Torres

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Flowers

Daisies and daffodils might not combine the scent and sophistication of roses and peonies, but they have a capacity to evoke the pleasures of our ever-changing seasons.  Better still, rather than costing $20 a bunch, they are free to anyone with a pair of pruning shears happy to spend a few hours browsing fields and trails - but be aware of which are protected and don't take too many. 

photo cred: Eerik/Getty Images

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Children's entertainment

Who needs enclosed monkey bars and fenced backyards when you have a world of adventure at your doorstep? The manifest joys of climbing trees, jumping in puddles, vast open fields and forests to explore, tobogganing, fishing, and scraped knees - all await children moving to the country. 

Photo cred: Getty Images

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Fragrant greenery

Have you ever wondered why your country cousins have houses that look and smell so wonderful?  Well, it has nothing to do with the fact that they invested in some help from the local florist (whose expensive services tend to be seen as an indulgence in the country) or industrial qualities of Sage and Pine candles.  No, it's because they raided their forested properties for armfuls of pine and cedar sprays and natural pinecones to place on their tabletops and mantles.

Photo cred: Countryliving.com

Article Source: Country Life Magazine