Toronto is a city of deeply committed neighbourhoods and communities…loving this city is about finding your niche.
Note: I was born and raised in Toronto. I moved away, and came back because I love it and my family is here.
- I’ve heard about Southern Hospitality, and I’ve been to cities where strangers say hello on the street and new friends immediately invite you to join them for a meal. Toronto is not one of those cities.
- There is no place in the world more diverse than Toronto. I really believe this. Of course, there are a lot of places I have never been…but Toronto has such a remarkable mix. 49% of our population was born outside of Canada. Woot!
- Toronto is the tenth most economically powerful city in the world, and is the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks. Toronto is a money city.
- Toronto has a long history that nobody in Toronto really cares about. We are all very modern here, and most people don’t really have a long history living in Toronto. That is one tragedy, I think…we don’t celebrate this city’s great history the way a city like New York does.
- Toronto is a city of shortcuts. If you drive in this city, you know about the Bayview Extension. If you bike, you might take harbord and cut through the university to Wellesley. If you walk around Toronto, there are countless alleyways to duck down, where you might just find a hidden pub or an afterhours.
- The people in Toronto are like the city itself; initially a bit cold, but fascinating once you take the time to get to know them. Toronto has a reputation for being unfriendly, but I think it is that we just aren’t as superficially nice. We choose our close friends carefully, and treat them well.
- Toronto is a fundamentally liberal city with (right now) a deeply conservative mayor. We have an identity crisis as a ‘megacity‘ that combines voting districts in the suburbs with voting districts in the city. We need to find some common ground, people!
- We love our brick houses in Toronto, and our dark, monolithic skyscrapers downtown. At the same time, our moderate architectural tendencies are balanced with our investment in some pretty radical buildings, including the Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario College of Art and Design. And of course the CN Tower and Skydome (erp, I mean Rogers Centre…yeesh).
- Toronto is a city of deeply committed neighbourhoods and communities. We are a city of arts-lovers, foodies, dog lovers, concert goers, comedians, cyclists, Leafs/Jays/and even Raptors (sigh) fans, avid readers, film geeks, Greeks, Chinese, Koreans, Italians, Portuguese, Indians, Pakistanis, and so much more. Loving this city is about finding your niche.
- A lot of Torontonians lament how they wish we were more like other cities. They love the hustle and bustle of New York, the opportunities in LA, the laidback healthy lifestyle of Vancouver, the hip and bohemian culture of Montreal, or even the forward-thinking artistic anarchy of Berlin. This is a great city with a complex, and we need to love our city for what it is, not lament what it could be.
Photo of the Toronto Skyline courtesy of Shutterstock