Small Town or Small City? Our Journey to Med Hat.
Updated: Jul 9
Our journey to Medicine Hat started a little over 7 years ago, on August 20, 2011. This was actually our wedding day, if you hadn't figured that out. I say this is the starting date because if Milessa and I had never gotten married it's almost certain neither of us would have landed here in The Hat.
It was mere months into our marriage that I realized I wanted to be a Chiropractor. I first saw how much my new wife was helped by Chiropractic, I then began to hear more stories about the benefits of Chiropractic from friends and family, and then I had my own experiences at clinics. Soon enough, I had a dream of owning my own clinic and being to help people with a natural and holistic method.
7 years after our wedding, after a total of 9 years of college and university, my wife and I found a place to call home- The Hat.
Our decision was not made by accident; we didn't happen to fall here on our way somewhere else, our car didn't break down on the way to beautiful BC, and it wasn't due to playing darts with a map of Canada either.
Having said that, I must also confess Medicine Hat was definitely never even on my top-10 list until earlier this year. The only thing I knew about Medicine Hat was that it had a rockin' Value Village right on the highway, a huge tee-pee, and a was a terrible thoroughfare on the way to BC with far too may stoplights for the Number 1 highway.
My sights were set on Okotoks, Alberta's largest 'town'. First, it had a great name. Second, you could see the mountains. Third... well really those were my only 2 reasons, and it was enough to solidify my desire. Milessa, on the other hand, desired to be a little closer to family in Saskatchewan. Enter Medicine Hat, and all the confused looks that come with telling your American friends Medicine Hat is a real place.
So we scouted out each city... sorry, 'town' for Okotoks... and spend time in each, visiting everyone we could meet and asking questions; We wanted to know the people. Ultimately, regardless of what beauty lie 50 miles from the city limits, we resonate first and foremost with people. We didn't just want to one day build a house, we wanted to build a home.
Weeks after our trip, I had to concede that Medicine Hat had won me over. Did we meet anyone in The Hat who didn't love the city, or who said we shouldn't move here? I don't think so. We never imagined we would take advice on where we wanted to live from a woman we had never met working at a fast-food restaurant, and yet she convinced us that Med Hat was the place for us. It wasn't what she said, it was the sincerity and the genuine heart that got us; she truly loved this city and knew we would too. She wasn't the only one we met like this. We met far too many good and genuine people in one weekend to be coincidence.
The 70,000 people in Medicine just had a little more small-town feel than the 28,000 in Okotoks, and it convinced us that The Hat was where we wanted to be, where we wanted build a home. In this small-town small-city.
Dr. Justin Gauthier