Thinking about moving to Chicago?
Chicago is the third largest city in the U.S. The downtown ‘Loop’ area features magnificent skyscrapers, making for an iconic skyline. Lake Michigan is located to the east of the city with the more residential neighbourhoods stretching out to the far north, south and west. Ice cold winters see wind chills reaching as low as negative 40 degrees at times and the beautiful summers feature soaring temperatures, utilising that same wind chill to lessen humidity.
For those coming from both a big city or a smaller area, Chicago can be an easy place to navigate and learn the ropes of a new home. Affordable living costs and an extensive public transportation system boost Chicago above other major cities. On top of that, nature and recreation is also a big part of Chicago. The lakefront trail stretches 18.5 miles long and there are 600 parks. Residents can be spotted running, walking, biking and rollerblading in the summer sun on the lakeshore trial with the wind in their hair (excluding the icy winter months of course!). The neighborhoods and the downtown area dote buzzing restaurants and bars, comedy clubs, parks and beaches accounting for the social aspect of the city. As always with pros, there must be some cons. Chicago has one of the highest tax rates in the U.S.and areas with high crime rates and gun violence.
Chicago is the birthplace of skyscrapers, gospel music and improv comedy. The city was also first to recognize and honor the LGBTQ community and is ranked nationally as one of the top cities for sports, restaurants and biking.
The public transport system is very versatile making it extremely easy to get around town in a timely fashion and for only $3. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) features 8 train lines and 140 bus routes. The subway train line, known as the ‘L’, goes both underground and above the streets. Many of the train stations feature beautiful architecture and art installations. A nice, easy ride and being above ground allows for street and people watching. The downside to public transport is commuters often complain about long trips when having to transfer train lines or buses and the Red Line train doesn’t reach the Far South Side neighbourhoods.
Chicago, Illinois is located in the Midwest and locals are friendly and known for their niceness. Majority of the time, nobody is going to shove you out of the way if they’re in a hurry and you can always ask a local for directions.
Flat sidewalks and terrain make Chicago a city that’s easy to walk around in, and the street grid makes navigating around easy. The intersection of State Street and Madison Street is known as ‘Zero, Zero’ and everything is based off of that. Streets are labelled East or West based off of whether they fall East or West of State Street and North/South streets are labelled depending on their location relative to Madison Street. Address numbers increase depending on their distance in miles from ‘Zero, Zero’. Once you get it, it’s easy! Aside from sidewalks, there is plenty of other places to walk. Choose from one of the 600 parks here in Chicago, the Riverwalk, Lakefront Trail or the 606 Trail. Biking is also very popular here in the city and if you don’t have access to your own bike, the cities Divvy bike has many rental hubs scattered all over the city making it convenient for anyone to rent one. There are over 248 miles of bike lanes in the city and, again, the trails and 600 parks can accommodate cyclists as well.
While winter can be long with freezing temperatures, it also brings us beautiful powdery white snow fall – approx. – 36 inches a year. Despite the cold weather outside, the city is still buzzing during Chicago winters. There are many wintertime events like the Lincoln Park Zoo lights, the Christkindlmarket in the downtown Daley Plaza, a polar plunge in Lake Michigan – to name just a few. After a long winter here in Chicago, nobody takes the summer time for granted. T-shirt season begins in June no matter the weather. Hundreds of events can be seen throughout the city all summer long. There is outdoor movie events, concerts, sport and social leagues, bright evenings allowing for night time walks, beach days, boating, Cubs and Sox baseball season and endless streets fairs like Old Town Art Fair and Taste of Chicago. The beaches are constantly packed as is the Lakefront Trail featuring a constant flow of cyclists and runners.
There is also always something free to do – visit the Art Institute, the Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo. The park district also has tons of free events in every neighbourhood like outdoor movie screenings, nature walks and dance performances.
Chicago can also be a great place to get more bang for your buck when it comes to living here. The median rent for a 2 bedroom is $2160.
You don’t have to look far to find nature in the city due to the high amount of parks and bird sanctuaries. Chicago has a long history of being a green city and making sure every child is within 10 minutes walking distance of a park or playground. All over the city, old rail tracks are being converted into vibrant parks, for example the 606 trail. Parks also have bird sanctuaries, walking and biking paths, art installations, conservatories and you can even find outdoor pools.
Thinking of moving to Chicago? Let’s talk! Contact Ryan and learn about all the different neighborhoods you have to choose from