You can envision rural communities in Ontario, Canada as a landscape of lush grass, sheep grazing in fields, and miles of farmland that extend out and beyond the horizon. You may imagine a rustic lifestyle that depends on long hours of work on the land, less traffic on the roads, and minimal screen time for children.
While rural areas might have a slower pace than urban cities and suburbs, these communities still use technology like the internet to connect to the rest of Canada and the world. People can still enjoy the rural lifestyle without sacrificing their jobs, education, and businesses. Here’s how the countryside is benefitting from linking up to the world wide web in rural Canada.
Programs helping spread the technology
One-third of the world uses the internet every day for connecting to work or simply social media. However, the internet was not always there for you to just jump onto to ask burning questions. It took almost half a decade for the net to “evolve” into what you use today, and there are still places that need faster and frequent connections.
Ontario’s rural areas are receiving the help they need thanks to rural high-speed internet companies. Far northern places such as Nunavut have programs that are donating computers which can help businesses connect to the rest of the world more efficiently. National programs can assist in fixing computers to deliver to schools and low-income families for little cost.
Good for business
Advertising for your business can benefit from technology, even (perhaps especially) when you live in a rural area.
For those who want your product, clicking on your website is easier than making the hour-long (or longer) trek to your store. Ads on television and huge billboards can be costly, but social media can help increase site traffic at large numbers, which can be difficult with just a brick and mortar store. Creating connections with customers not only adds that personal touch, but may lead to more sales in the future.
In 2016, Canada had 32 million internet users, in comparison to the United States the same year which stood at 287 million. In the last five years, there has been major growth in technology-related jobs in Canada’s rural areas. Those who are work remotely can still have the laid-back lifestyle rural communities have to offer. By bringing in modern internet technology, those who work (for example) online freelancing jobs can work in the countryside minus the hours worth of traffic.
Technology for all ages
Virtual or online classes have grown in popularity, and they’re much more convenient than they used to be. Since the 1980s, eLearning has connected students to classrooms across their own province and even the world.
Limited classes for students can be streamed to expand the schools’ courses to benefit students in the future. Students who complete high school in far-out areas aren’t signing up for college. But with internet access coming into rural areas, adults can continue or even begin their degree coursework.
Rural Canada is not just extending its hand to millennials and younger generations, it’s also reaching out to the boomer generation to commit or remain in a rural lifestyle. With podcasts and webinars available thanks to funded rural organizations, this older generation doesn’t have to sacrifice their way of life to participate in valuable technology.
Opportunities are being created for all ages in these communities. You don’t have to make your way back to the city to find living and work opportunities. Rural Canada is working on making it all happen, one connection at a time.