I Don’t ♥ You Toronto, But Maybe We Can Be Friends

Hey Toronto…We need to talk, I know it’s not very original, but the line “it’s not you, it’s me” works here. I’ve only really spent time with you this month and that clearly is not enough time to understand all your depth and complexity. Still, I feel like we had a good run and it was fun while it lasted. Remember that time I got lost in your labyrinthine back alleys late one night on the way home and you opened up a wormhole that spit me right out at my back door. Or, all those times when you’d trip me with your phantom curbs in the sidewalk–hilarious, I fall for it every time!

I’ve really liked how you’ve organized yourself and packed so many different people, places, sights and sounds all interwoven in one place, but still kept things distinct and varied–like a quilt of plaids. You’ve also got some great ideas on stuff: 24hr streetcars, great options for recycling and compost, lots of end-of-trip bike facilities, and those super cute (and quiet) house sparrows that flutter around all over the place–best invasive bird species ever! Where you really shine, however, is in your bars and restaurants, or maybe this is just where I’ve spent the most time. It’s amazing how so many of your pubs have secret outdoor backyard areas or rooftop patios. I’m also a huge fan of your reasonable liquor laws (get it together Vancouver!): you can get a drink at a restaurant or a cafe without food–what a concept! I’d love to stick around to explore more, but I don’t think I can maintain the pace of the past month, we’re moving too fast and I need my space.

Again, not speaking from a lot of experience, more just my initial impressions, but you’ve got some serious issues Toronto and I don’t think I could live with you permanently.  I understand you’re a giant, spinning, churning humanity machine and you’ve got huge pressures to make sure everyone gets their food, water, electricity, their garbage picked up, and their sewage treated. Sometimes, however, I think you’re a bit too efficiency minded and it makes you seem a little impersonal and machine-like. I wouldn’t say I’m so shallow that it’s a deal breaker, because it’s what’s inside that counts, but you’re not exactly a stunner in the looks department. Especially coming from the drop-dead beautiful Vancouver with its ocean, mountains, and trees, you’re a little flat and dirty. Also, I only say this because I care, but at times you smell bad and it’s really unattractive.

All-in-all, Toronto, I think you’ve got a lot to offer and could make some people very happy and comfortable; we’re just at very different places in our lives. I feel like I’d need to change too much of myself to be happy living with you. I’d need to get a brand new set of hobbies (running in circles at the park, buying a hipster bike, drinking weak lagers, etc.) and interests (art, barhopping, wearing parkas). I just don’t have the time or interest to do that at this stage of my life. Thanks for the good times, I’ll definitely be back for visits here and there, but if I don’t see you for a while, take care of yourself.

2 Replies to “I Don’t ♥ You Toronto, But Maybe We Can Be Friends”

  1. Oh my gosh Jon you’re such a good writer!! I love how you’ve matured out of your relationship with Toronto, especially since we both know that Vancouver is your true love.

    Hope you’re well, friend. Miss you mucho.

    1. Miss you too! and Vancity! But looking forward to getting to know this corner of the world really well. It’s all in the contrast.

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