Let’s put the bias front and centre: I hate Toronto.
Like most Canadians my disdain for Tdot is deeply rooted in jealousy. Yes, Torontario is the most populous region in Canada, but in a land so vast and culturally diverse as ours it’s disappointing that so much of our media and business decisions are carved on the canyons of Bay, Yonge, and Bloor.Hockey Night In Canada is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. TSN will lead with anything Toronto. The Globe and Mail‘s pages are filled with ads for the arts and culture scene on Queen St. The CBC broadcasts the national news from the shadow of the CN Tower.
Those who are from or live in Toronto love it. The media landscape of the country speaks to them and their interests, they don’t see anything wrong. Step outside the golden horseshoe, however and the voices of variety are silenced.
So we’re jealous. Plain and simple. Toronto is Marsha Brady, the rest of Canada is Jan and we’re sick of Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!
I spent the past 2 weekends in the centre of the universe and while part of my opinion was solidfied, the edges were softened. I spend far too much time on Yonge St when in Toronto. It’s a dirty, ugly, strip of cement in the heart of the city. However, step 2 blocks west of it and you’ll discover beautiful oases, like Oriole Park.
I took a Gray Line sightseeing tour of the city – one of those cheesy double decker buses and discovered more unique neighborhoods lurking in each corner. Casa Loma, The Distillery, St Lawrence Market, Yorkville, The U of T .. they’re all great little corners to spend a day and forget you’re in a megatropolis.
Then there’s the waterfront, it may be beautiful, but good luck getting to it when you’re downtown.
South of the Gardiner Expressway, Toronto’s lakefront is undergoing the same metamorphosis Vancouver’s Expo lands have been experiencing the past 15 years. Glass condos are replacing industrial warehouses, shops and boardwalks line the shore – but it’s a 20 minute walk from the heart of the city. The freeway acts as a choker, cutting Toronto’s downtown from the beauty of the water – and it’s a shame, because it’s gorgeous down there.
I left the city liking Toronto a little more, but not hating it any less.
Now I know where to go to escape the feeling of being in Toronto, but I’ll still describe my favorite NHL team as “whoever is playing the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
What do you think? Is Toronto the capital of Onterrible or Onterrific?