Telecommuting from Windsor to Toronto said to be growing trend

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

CBC News

Telecommuting from the comfort of an affordable Windsor home to places like an office in downtown Toronto is becoming more common, the local economic development corporation says.

"More and more people who are from outside of the region have set up in Windsor-Essex and are telecommuting into a different work place, either it be London, Toronto or even Detroit," said Sabrina Demarco of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation.

She said the corporation plans to launch an national campaign next year to attract more telecommuters to the area.

'Pure affordability'

Demarco and the corporation doesn't have to sell the region on Justine and Eric Janssen. They recently left Toronto and moved to LaSalle. They are executives for tech companies and telecommute from home daily.

The "pure affordability" of the Windsor-Essex lured the young, professional couple back to the area.

The two have lived in places like New York City, San Francisco and Dallas.

"The Great Lakes, the wine country we have here and just the pure affordability of the city are all really attractive to people like us, who are looking to make an investment in where they want to build roots and get involved in a community," Eric said.

Eric said being able to buy a house without a seven-figure price tag was a big factor in the decision to move.

"To be able to buy a home for the cost that we did here would be a teardown in Toronto, and it's a wonderful home that we're looking to raise a family in," he said.

According to Canadian Real Estate Association, the year-to-date average sale price of a home in Windsor was $197,061, an increase of 5.2 per cent from 2014. In Toronto, the sale price of a home was slightly higher than $600,000.

When it comes to work, the Janssens brought their jobs with them.

"It's down to the downstairs office after breakfast. We call it the bunker," Justine said.

Eric said they missed the area after growing up in Amherstburg and Chatham.

"We realized after living outside of Windsor for the better part of over a decade that we missed a lot of what home had to offer," he said. "We missed the ability to go see family and friends at a moment's notice. We missed a lot of the amenities that we were excited to have when we were growing up."

Justine said the city has a lot going for it, and it's not just the proximity to the Great Lakes and Detroit.

"There's lots of great, trendy craft breweries popping up. There's the night market. There's a lot of great new restaurants. There's definitely a surge of new amenities for young people that we appreciate," she said.