Toronto is a city of proud neighbourhoods.
I have lived in three of Canada’s greatest cities. I grew up in Montreal, lived for twenty-five years in Vancouver and now I live – and love living – in Toronto. Montreal is one of the most exciting cities in the world, a uniquely French twist on the multi-ethnic mix that is characteristic of urban Canada. Here “pasta” is “pâtes” and you can get a “sandwich au boeuf fumée kacher” to go along with your poutine (which is not kosher at all). Vancouver is beautiful. Period. One of the most stunning cities you will ever see.
Toronto can be quite exciting. It is certainly one of the most multi-ethnic cities in the world, but really to me what characterizes Toronto is its essential hominess. This is a place where people live and work. Sure, you might be irritably brushed aside if you are standing on the left side of an escalator (stand right, walk left is the rule on subway escalators where people are hurrying to work or appointments), but you might equally see a dad in a three piece suit sitting on the sidewalk outside a Pizza Pizza, having lunch with his two small children.
Another characteristic of Toronto that I really love is our pride in our own neighbourhood. Anyone you meet will tell you their’s is the best neighbourhood in the world, whether it is Greektown on the Danforth, the “Annex” just west of the University of Toronto, hipster Queen West or young urban family oriented Lesleyville.
The last is, of course, the best. (You can guess where I live). You could visit it on one of the myriad of neighbourhood walking tours offered in the city. In a recent one, visitors were invited to explore Ed’s Real Scoop, our neighbourhood ice cream store. The ice cream and cones are made right there. It is worth the TTC ride, believe me. We usually have a few pints in our freezer.
(Article by Peter Weiss)