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Carney makes lifestyle leap


A look around Mark Carney’s neighbourhood of Rockliffe Park on the outskirts of Ottawa gives a sense of the leap he is making by moving to London.

It is the city’s most prestigious address, close to the prime minister’s residence, but it is a quiet village that feels a long way from Mayfair or Notting Hill.

“People think that it’s an affluent community and very snobby, but it’s the total opposite of that,” says Marilyn Wilson, an estate agent who lives in the area.

Few of the houses are particularly flashy, and Mr Carney’s is one of the more modest; it is valued at C$1.3m (£817,000), which would not buy anything spectacular in London.

His four daughters went to the local state school, and Mr Carney can be seen playing tennis at the local community centre, or out for a run: he finished the 2011 Ottawa Marathon in 3 hours 48 minutes.

He and wife Diana are active members of the “hosers”: volunteers who go out at night in winter to spray water on the local ice rink, so it will freeze for the children to skate on.

British papers have already taken an interest in Ms Carney, highlighting her interest in environmentally friendly products and concerns over economic inequality and climate change.

On Twitter, she has sounded firm about their plan to return to Canada, and the National Post has reported that the Carneys plan to rent their house out, rather than selling it.

Rockliffe Park, meanwhile, is showing signs of Canadian authorities’ efforts to cool the housing boom. Several homes being sold by Ms Wilson have been cut by hundreds of thousands of dollars from the original asking price.

© Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012