Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Toronto: A darn-good city.

This summer, Toronto has gotten a lot of flack from a lot of people about a lot of things sucking in our great city: gun violence, garbage collection, disappointing subway (or lack of it) plans, gun violence, city hall hard-asses being stingy with the food truck permits, and gun violence.

But do we really suck that much?

No.  Not at all.

Personally, I love Toronto.  I love that:

I can walk my dog down an empty, silent street late at night and still feel safe.

We have graffiti that promotes cleanliness and national pride.

I can leave a sign like this on my front stoop and come back to a bucket full of money. $36.87 to be exact.
A few years ago, a friend moved here from Hong Kong and said that while Toronto is "nice", its also boring compared to Hong Kong.  I whole heartedly agreed with her and then added, that while it may be boring and not have the 24-hour excitement of Hong Kong or the ruins of Rome or the fashions of Paris or the attitude of New York, we do have Farmer's Markets every day of the week (including St. Lawrence Market, deemed the best in the world by National Geographic), miles and miles of green, serene, clean and safe running trails snaking all over the city, abundant and clean drinking water that we can enjoy straight out of the tap, more than 10 major hospitals with some of the best doctors making some of the most ground-breaking discoveries in the world, and Greg's Marshmallow Roast ice cream, just to name a few thing.

And you know what? Even though it might be "boring" at times, I'll take boring over the excitement of  earthquakes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes, droughts, hurricanes, typhoons, nuclear melt-downs, and collapsing governments any day.

Toronto is not be perfect; there are still a lot of things we need to do to get better.  We need a better way of dealing with people suffering from addiction and mental health instead of just complaining about the problem with homeless people. We need to stop tearing down beautiful buildings and start preserving the amazing architecture in this city, such as the Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Ave. We need to make more of an effort to embrace everything that makes this city cool and start understanding that the benefits of marathons, food trucks, street festivals, and urban farms far outweigh the risks and inconveniences. And if we'd just lighten up a little, we may have an identity that extends beyond "like the 'States but cleaner'.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because today, as I was walking along College St., I saw this:
 and thought, only in Toronto...

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