Got moving plans? Excellent! How about Toledo, Ohio? You see, every place on the map has its high points and low points, and Toledo is no exception. We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled the pros and cons of living in Toledo. Before packing your bags, read through and make your decision!
Pros of Living in Toledo, Ohio
A Growing Arts and Culture Scene
You may think of Toledo as just an old glass city, but it’s time to dust off those glasses and take a fresh look. The art scene here is not just growing, it’s positively leaping forward.
The Toledo Museum of Art, home to more than 30,000 works, is a highlight. And you don’t need a mountain of gold to experience it- entry to the general collection is free! Now, that’s a deal to relish.
Another powerhouse of creativity is the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. And there’s more! In fact, if you’re one for visual treats, the annual Old West End Art Festival will steal your heart. Local artist works, food, and a warm community crowd – it’s weekend joy redefined.
So, while you may not find the glitz and glamour of L.A or New York here, Toledo throws you headfirst into a warm, more personalized art and cultural scene that’s nothing short of uplifting.
Access to Outdoor Recreation
The city features a range of green spaces where you can stretch your legs and get a daily dose of fresh air. The city’s parks are perfect for walking, running, picnicking, and just soaking in the beauty of nature.
It wouldn’t be fair not to mention Toledo’s close proximity to Lake Erie. What’s big deal about it? Well, for boating, fishing and water sports enthusiasts, Lake Erie becomes your weekend hotspot. Time to dust off that old fishing rod or perhaps, unleash the jet ski beast within you.
The Toledo Zoo is another highlight, especially if you’ve got kids. Apart from seeing intriguing animals from around the world, you can also enjoy concerts and other family-friendly events.
Metro parks of Toledo, not one park but a series of them scattered around Toledo, offer you walking trails, birdwatching, and photography opportunities.
Friendly and Welcoming Community
You’re probably mulling over, “Will people be nice? Will I fit in?”. Wipe those worries off. The community is so welcoming. You can expect your neighbors to wave at you, maybe even invite you for a cup of coffee.
A survey found that over 70% of residents think Toledo folks are more neighborly than in other cities they’ve lived in. It’s just the way the folks here roll.
Convenient Location for Travel
Toledo offers points of interest and major cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland are just a short drive away. You’re right there in the middle of it all. You can catch a game, specialize in shopping, or go for some first-rate dining, all within a few hours of driving.
There’s also the handy Toledo Express Airport, which reaches many U.S. cities daily. Business or pleasure, traveling out of Toledo is a cinch. Don’t forget about the Amtrak station and Greyhound bus lines too. They’re all right here in Toledo. It’s like you have your hub of transportation.
Educational Opportunities for All Ages
It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 50 – Toledo has got you covered in terms of education options.
For the little ones, there’s a superb public school system. And that’s not all. There are also exciting private schools if you’re looking for a different learning environment. And let’s not forget the homeschooling community. They’re pretty big here as well.
If you are looking to expand your horizons, there are great adult education centers. You can even pick up that degree you’ve been thinking about. This city also plays host to the University of Toledo, a solid spot known for its engineering and business programs.
Toledo is also filled with awesome museums, libraries, and cultural institutions that offer learning opportunities.
The Affordable Cost of Living
From housing and groceries to gasoline and health care, it’s all cheaper than the national average. In 2023, the median home cost in Toledo was about $115,000, while standing at $412,000 nationally.
You can bet you’ll find a nice comfy home without breaking the bank. And let’s not forget the groceries. You’ll pay 4.7% less for groceries compared to the national average. That’s extra change for more cookies and chips!
Cons of Living in Toledo, Ohio
Limited Nightlife and Entertainment
You might find that Toledo isn’t exactly a hot spot for partygoers and many would say that it gets pretty quiet after dark. The nightlife may not be as exciting as you’d hope for. The options for pubs, bars and clubs are limited compared to bigger cities.
For your entertainment, you’ve got the Toledo Zoo and Museum of Art. But that’s pretty much it. You won’t find a lot of theatres, concert halls or comedy clubs here. If you’re an ardent clubber or an avid theater-goer, you might want to brace yourself for some culture shock. But on the bright side, there’s less distraction.
Crime Rates and Safety Concerns
The city has a bit of a reputation when it comes to crime. Data suggests that Toledo has a higher crime rate than 97% of the cities in Ohio.
The data primarily comprises of property crimes such as burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft. While violent crime does exist, it is significantly less than property crime. So if you’re thinking about moving to Toledo, it might be wise to invest in a top-notch security system for your digs.
Limited Public Transportation
Living in Toledo, Ohio might have you miss out on some of the luxuries of big cities, such as well-connected public transport. Now, don’t get us wrong – it’s not like the city is entirely void of public transit. There are buses, sure, but they might not be at your service just when you need them.
The public transportation system of Toledo, TARTA (Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority) does its job, but it could surely use some upgrades. It can be challenging if you need to reach a destination quickly or if you’re looking to discover off-the-beaten-path spots at odd hours. You may find yourself waiting longer than expected at a bus stop.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Toledo is a city that loves to showcase the extremes the weather can offer.
In the winter, expect the numbers to dip below zero with snow showers that’ll make you rethink your decision to live in the Midwest.
And summers? They can bring some intense heat. Temperatures climb high. Let’s not forget the occasional severe storms and tornado warnings!
Challenges in Finding Quality Healthcare
The city does have several hospitals, including the well-known ProMedica Toledo Hospital, but finding the right medical attention to fit your personal needs can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack.
While there is a broad range of health services on offer, some more specialized areas like geriatric care or advanced surgery might require you to make a trek outside the city limits.
Limited Shopping Options
You’ll want to double down on your online shopping skills because you might find yourself limited when it comes to retail here in Toledo. Not to paint a gloomy picture, but the fact is, Toledo isn’t exactly a shopper’s paradise.
If you prefer big name brands or swanky stores, well, Toledo might not have you jumping for joy. But, here’s a little secret; while it may seem like a bummer, if you’re a thrift shopper, or you’re into one-of-a-kind finds, Toledo is like a hidden treasure chest. It’s also home to some epic flea markets.
Is Toledo a Good Place to Live?
Toledo is as a great place to live, especially because of its affordability and relatively low crime rates. These factors make it a frequent choice on lists of top places to retire or raise a family.
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