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Old 11-30-2009, 09:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,866 times
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Hi folks! My husband is considering applying for a job in Belleville, ON (we currently live in BC). We've done some web research, but I'm still trying to get a clear impression of what Belleville would be like to live in, so I'm very interested in any opinions on the city that anyone might have.

I'm especially interested in any views on what the general vibe is in Belleville - for example, does it feel like a growing, prosperous community, or one that might be struggling a bit? Is it tidy and attractive? What are the people like? Do you find them quite conservative, or a bit more open-minded? Does it have a blue-collar feel, or is it more middle- or upper-class? Is there lots to do?

ANY information on Belleville would be tremendously appreciated!!

PS. Some info about us, in case you're curious! We're a professional couple in our 40s (no kids, two dogs). We've been living in small-town Canada for the last few years, but we prefer urban life, things like a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, movies, shopping. We'd also prefer a city that's got a relatively relaxed pace (it's all about quality of life for us).
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:05 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 10,371,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennx68 View Post
Hi folks! My husband is considering applying for a job in Belleville, ON (we currently live in BC). We've done some web research, but I'm still trying to get a clear impression of what Belleville would be like to live in, so I'm very interested in any opinions on the city that anyone might have.

I'm especially interested in any views on what the general vibe is in Belleville - for example, does it feel like a growing, prosperous community, or one that might be struggling a bit? Is it tidy and attractive? What are the people like? Do you find them quite conservative, or a bit more open-minded? Does it have a blue-collar feel, or is it more middle- or upper-class? Is there lots to do?

ANY information on Belleville would be tremendously appreciated!!

PS. Some info about us, in case you're curious! We're a professional couple in our 40s (no kids, two dogs). We've been living in small-town Canada for the last few years, but we prefer urban life, things like a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, movies, shopping. We'd also prefer a city that's got a relatively relaxed pace (it's all about quality of life for us).
Well, if you've been living in small-town Canada for the last few years, you've had a taste of what Belleville is largely like.

You're looking at a small city of about 35,000 located on the shores of the Bay of Quinte and adjacent to what has become one of the more popular summer tourist destinations in southern Ontario.

It has a good, mid-level hospital, one large mall, a variety of other chain stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Office Depot, etc), an eight-plex movie theatre, and a variety of mid-level dining options. The facilities (except for the hospital) named so far are largely congregated on the recently developed northern edge of the city.

There are plenty of grocery stores located throughout the city and the public transit system is fairly extensive for a city of this size.

Belleville, like many other towns in North America, has been a victim of the box store boom. The mom and pop businesses which made the historic downtown core have struggled to maintain their market share as chains like WalMart locate in areas outside the downtown.

A concerted effort on the part of local government to revitalize the downtown core has seen mixed success. There is a thriving farmers' market downtown several days a week and the restored Empire Theatre draws some surprisingly good acts. There has also been some quite attractive ventures in revitalizing some of the older downtown housing.

The Quinte area in general has never been a hotbed of economic activity, but Belleville has probably weathered the economic downturn better than many other small towns. If your husband already has a job arranged, so much the better.

The population is a three-part mix.

The largest portion is comprised on the native-born Bellevillians who plan on staying in the community until their dying day. Loyalist College is located on the western outskirts of the city and draws a goodly number of younger folks into the community. In recent years, developers have been building a series of new subdivisions in the north-east corner of the city and marketing the units to the growing number of Toronto-area retirees looking to get away from the big city.

From an aesthetic point of view, Belleville has a large number of century homes which are quite attractive, but more modest working-class neighbourhoods can also be found if you look.

This area of Ontario has historically been conservative in its political outlook, but the changing population demographic is beginning to change that.

From an activity standpoint, Belleville and area certainly offers more in the summer than it does in the winter. The city has established a waterfront trail along the shore of the Bay of Quinte which culminates at Zwick's Island Park. Prince Edward County to the south makes a variety of beaches, vineyards, galleries, and antique shops available with a 20 minute drive. Fishing, golfing and hunting opportunities are readily accessed in season.

Dining in Belleville is mid-level. Choices range from McDonald's to Montana's to Swiss Chalet in the chain restaurant category. You can also find very acceptable Chinese, Italian, Indian, and British cuisine at individual restaurants. The selection is not overwhelming, but it's workable.

One of the largest attractions for Toronto retirees is the geographical location of the city. Belleville is 1:45 from Toronto, so it's quite feasible to access the airport, major theatre, professional sports, etc. ViaRail has several trains a day stopping in Belleville, so your transport options aren't limited to driving to get to the Big Smoke (Toronto).

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask, either here or through the Direct Message system.


.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:00 PM
 
21 posts, read 61,364 times
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Here is the city profile for Belleville, which you may find interesting:
Belleville, Ontario - Detailed City Profile

Also, to answer one of your questions, it looks like Belleville votes more towards the Conservative side (based on the last Federal election):

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Old 02-25-2010, 02:46 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,169 times
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For my point of view, I actually live in belleville, have for years now. and I love it, everyone is very kind, and helpful. Many of the people are open-minded. There are quite a few elderly people that are quite rude, same with teens, mostly all ages. I'd say it is a growing community. it is becoming more tidy and there aren't many vandalisms or anything like that.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:58 PM
Status: "Write the vision and make it plain" (set 29 days ago)
 
31,887 posts, read 37,849,021 times
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From what I've heard, it is a nice small city. We here in NY would here a lot about it when we would get CKWS 11 on TV(some still do).
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:13 AM
 
1,039 posts, read 1,946,105 times
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Belleville's population is closer to 50,000 now, the city is experiencing healthy growth in the form of new suburban subdivisions. Politically speaking, that pie chart shows that more people voted for the left of centre parties combined than voted for the conservative party, even if just slightly.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:10 AM
 
3,062 posts, read 4,226,422 times
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I've only been to Belleville once, but my impression was that it lived up to its English translation!
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,588 times
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Considering a move to Belleville spring '12. Curious to know which neighbourhoods are the "good" (safe) ones to live in. Would prefer to be close to hospital. Looking to rent but haven't ruled out possibility of purchasing a home. Any information would be helpful!
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:58 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,472 times
Reputation: 10
I had the great misfortune of living in Belleville for a few years. My experience was thAt it was best as a quick place to drive through. They have a Reid's dairy that is pretty good but that is surely the sweetest thing about that godforsaken city. If you have children who do not play sports Do anticipate that you may have a teen pregnancy on you case. On average the people are bitchy, unattractive , a little slow and have a lot of problems with drug & alcohol abuse.

The is one decent mall but there really isn't much to do. I have lived in b.c and I would most likely hang myself before leaving the beautiful province to live in the **** hole known as Belleville Ontario.

Ironically the city is named beautiful village en francais...what a joke
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:58 AM
 
20,334 posts, read 16,609,173 times
Reputation: 14432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennx68 View Post
Hi folks! My husband is considering applying for a job in Belleville, ON (we currently live in BC). We've done some web research, but I'm still trying to get a clear impression of what Belleville would be like to live in, so I'm very interested in any opinions on the city that anyone might have.

I'm especially interested in any views on what the general vibe is in Belleville - for example, does it feel like a growing, prosperous community, or one that might be struggling a bit? Is it tidy and attractive? What are the people like? Do you find them quite conservative, or a bit more open-minded? Does it have a blue-collar feel, or is it more middle- or upper-class? Is there lots to do?

ANY information on Belleville would be tremendously appreciated!!

PS. Some info about us, in case you're curious! We're a professional couple in our 40s (no kids, two dogs). We've been living in small-town Canada for the last few years, but we prefer urban life, things like a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, movies, shopping. We'd also prefer a city that's got a relatively relaxed pace (it's all about quality of life for us).
Was going to give my take on Belleville but noticed this was the op's only post and it was close to 3yrs ago so i guess we'll never know if she made it to Belleville and if she did what she thinks of the place..
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