Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top 10 Things I Love About Toronto

Over a year since I’ve blogged??? Good Lord. Well, I need to change that.

So in the spirit of counting blessings – which I’m reminded that I need to do more of – I’m going to try and blog about the good things in my life. And one of those is something I take for granted every day: the city in which I live. I always tell people how much I love Toronto and some agree and others don’t understand what there is to love about the city many people call The Big Smoke. Well, a lot, as it turns out. It’s more than just traffic congestion and people going too fast to enjoy what they’ve got here. Without further ado, here is my Top Ten Things I Love about Toronto list.

The villages within the city: Bloor West Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, The Kingsway, Leaside, Greektown. You name it and Toronto’s got it. These villages within the city make the city feel more vibrant and less anonymous.

The ravines. Toronto is a city of creeks and rivers that snake through the city and help break up the concrete jungle. Once you follow along a footpath and hear the rushing stream beside you it’s like you are transported into the country.

The parks. From the huge (High Park) to the small neighbourhood parks dotted throughout the city we have a lot of green in this city. Not enough downtown parks for sure but there is still a lot of space to run around in if you need it.

It’s on the water! We sometimes forget that we have Lake Ontario on our doorstep. But the bike paths along the water remind us that we are not surrounded only by skyscrapers and asphalt.

Theatre! Thank God for the Mirvish family and all the other theatrical productions both professional and amateur that dot our city. I’ve seen productions here that could and do rival some Broadway productions.

The Shopping. Seriously, from the discount to the high end you don’t have to travel far to get what you need.

World renowned hospitals. Hypochondriac that I am I appreciate knowing I’m only minutes away from some of the best health care in the country, if not the world. Anyone with kids thanks the heavens every day for The Hospital for Sick Children. You name the illness and we’ve got a hospital that specializes in treating it. Go Toronto!

Sports teams. Okay, I may not be a Blue Jays or Maple Leaf’s fan but I appreciate the fact that we have a centre big enough to accommodate that kind of entertainment.

Transportation. Specifically Pearson International Airport, the Island Airport and the TTC. Seriously, I love having an airport in the city where I live. I’m only twenty minutes away from boarding a plane should I ever decide to make a last minute trip to the Bahamas or something. And taking the TTC every day into work allowed me to finish several books and spend every morning and evening commute reading instead of battling traffic. Sure it needs improvement and I hope it gets the money it needs but I’m a big fan.

And the number one reason that I love Toronto:

The people. Again, seriously. We are a friendly city (despite our reputation for being snobs). For the most part we are a helpful, polite, peace-loving bunch. Sure, in a city of over 3 million people you are going to have problems (and I have seen some interesting things!) but after living here almost thirty years and having met some superb people in that time, we have an amazing bunch of people in this city.

I’m sure I could write a few more favourite things about it but I’ll stop with the top ten. What’s your favourite thing about T.O.?