Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Toronto, Deal Wit It.

We get a lot of flack, us Torontonians.

They call us self-absorbed, cold, arrogant, and ignorant. They say we are pompous, shallow, and are comprised of exclusively the 1%...

...shit son, I lived in a basement for 3 years and ate canned tuna to survive... But at least it wasn't in Scarborough, amiright?


I kid, well, mostly.

I was born and raised in Toronto, and I love this city.

But, that DOES NOT mean that I don't love other cities in Canada...! I've travelled all over the east and west coasts, throughout Ontario, and as soon as I get some money I'll be heading to the prairies and the territories.

There is this attitude that Torontonians hate the rest of Canada...THAT IS NOT TRUE. They also say we think we are better than the rest of Canada...well, this is where feelings get hurt...

I think the big issue is that when we compare cities on a "better or worse" scale, we're often using VERY different criteria... And, frankly, the benefits of small town living vs. large city life are so disparate, you can't legitimately compare them side-by-side...!

So, wtf is so good about life in the big city? Well:

  • I live in downtown Toronto's west end (not Junction west, but west, alright?!), and any night of the week I can walk out my door and get a meal from almost any nationality. 
  • I can walk, or bike, or transit to work.
  • We get big events like Nuit Blanche!
  • I don't have far to go if I need an international airport.
  • Dim Sum. For reals, yo.
  • Major sports teams! Okay, so the Leafs may suck...but..hey, who doesn't love THE underdog...sigh.

  • I can walk to my local hockey rink in the winter and play shinny. 
  • I can spend a pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market buying organic veggies and listening to live music. 
  • I can walk 10min up the street and hang out at Comedy Bar (fun times y'all).
  • There is always big and small theatre happening.
  • The Toronto Film Fest is in my backyard (so to speak)

But most importantly, for me, on a daily basis I get to interact with people from all over the world, with different ideas and viewpoints from my own. It's a constant thrumm thrumm thrumm  of activity, food, and stimuli...and I fucking love it.


But I also have some big love for small town life... My family cottage is located just outside of Goderich, Ontario. A town of just over 7,500 people, mostly Dutch background, on the shores of Lake Huron.

So wtf is so good about small town life? Well:

  • It's QUIET. you can grab a book and sit and hear nothing but your thoughts...and that is really cool.
  • The woods. I've spent hundreds of hours just hiking and exploring the woods. Learning how to find deer trails, edible plants, pioneer junk, and just enjoying being in contact with the natural world.
  • You can swim in the lake without fear of...well...you know. 

  • There are farmers markets with REAL farmers, selling the best fruit and veggies you've ever had.
  • You can go to mom & pop shops, which have all but died out in Toronto.
  • Biking on the road doesn't mean dodging car doors, pedestrians, AND Rob Ford's gaping maw.
  • There is a sense of community because it's small enough that citizens actually DO have a community...

So what the hell? Why can't we all just say that there are ups and downs to both big and small cities? Well, I think (sorry if I step on toes here...) generally more people like what a big city has to offer. And with Toronto being the biggest city in the country, there will be more here that more people want.

In the end, it's an individual choice, and neither one is the "right" one universally.

And hey, lighten up folks.

When Someone Says they're moving to Mississauga:
Borrowed from HERE

 Oooo, meta.

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