Although Toronto prompted many a wrinkled nose from the Quebecois I left behind,  I saw why once I arrived. Immediately off the train, absent all french chatter floating with the snowflakes, English slaps the pavement with the rain. In fact, before I’d left the train, I met a woman and her mother returning home in hopes of making in time to reach their dying aunt. In many ways, this was an omen of the honesty Toronto reflects. Canada is not, contrary to many beliefs, untouched by national ailments which antagonize even the most stable countries.

Homelessness constitutes a dominant dimension of ‘realism’ propped upon all corners in all weather where it was near non-existent in Quebec. The hue of the clothing had been exchanged from a European flare to either the spectrum of dark gray and black business wear or the same palette tailored to the average Joe. Even the tone of the advertisements had been replaced from themes of ‘Carpe Diem’ to those reflecting  crisis management:

  • Thinking of suicide? Don’t. 
  • Interested in Internet based cognitive Therapy for Depression and Anxiety? Look no further!
  • You’re child is unconscious and smells like cleaning products. What do you do?
  • What happens when your mother falls and her speech becomes slurred?

My first subway ride was accompanied by these visuals and a sad saxophone’s rendition of Brittany Spears’ “Hit Me One More Time.” Believe me, it takes on a whole new meaning to hear, ‘my loneliness is killing me’ when is isn’t sung by  an immature pop star.

img_3214None-the-less, what Toronto may lacks in upfront charisma, it gains back in its urban industrial identity. Known to as an immigrant city, the ethnic diversity that Toronto in many ways organizes and gives character the city. My two stays book-ended a camping trip in the middle of Ontario, so didn’t really have the time to uncover the city as I normally would.

Personally, I came here specifically for that reason to find a high quality low-light camera. Toronto being a natural trading center offered more numerous and affordable options to shop between. It’s location within a few hours of a number of other sites I wanted to see made it a prime location.

Not only did I find the perfect camera, I did have a good time while in the city. All things set, above are simply my first impressions, not the last. Although my stay was brief, I compiled a short list of what I was able to cover within reach of the city below (*with the exception of Caledon Heights, but I hear great things about skyline views here!).

  • Union Station
  • Downtown Dundas
  • Distillery District
  • St. Laurent’s Market
  • Greek District
  • Chinatown
  • Contemporary Art Museum
  • Oriental District
  • Torrance Dark Sky Preserve
  • Niagara Falls
  • Caledon Heights
  • Scarborough Bluffs

In either case, never a dull moment!



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