Hi. Since Ben has picked his hometown Gyor for his first Wanderlust article, thought I would go along the same line for mine. I am Canadian. Valid passport✔️ Beavers are my favourite animal ✔️ addicted to maple syrup ✔️sing to at least one line of the National Anthem✔️ In friendly terms with Canadian geese✔️. Yup, I am qualified. So I thought I would bring things back to the town which I was born in and talk about all the magic that happens there.
I left the country once I was born, and returned when my mum gave birth to my brother. My most vivid memory of Toronto in 1993, were petting zoo, necklaces made out of candy and cheerios, and playing (chasing) baseball in the backyard with my cousin. Now when I think back, my teacher and friends at the kindergarten were very nice to me, a little asian girl who spoke very little english at that time. Kudos to Canadians for their cheesiness and niceties.
We were lucky to pay the city a visit last October, to briefly spend some time with the Beregszaszis. The family enjoys shopping in bulk and sharing donuts in dozens. We spent a lovely day with Debbie (sister) visiting second-hand bookshops on Bloor Street West, peeking at front porches around the corner of Honest Ed's (Bathurst Street) then all the way down to Kensington Market. To top things off, we found a pretty awesome Apricot beer!
We can't help but compare the two places we've visited in the same trip, New York and Toronto. By culture the prior has a lot to do with name dropping and being chic 24/7. All day, all year, people in NY are trying to achieve something cooler, bigger, greater.. which can be intimidating at times. Somehow Toronto has that side to it too, however, it felt like they are more at ease in taking things at their own pace, doing their own thing. Without trying too hard, they reign supreme in the music scene (Feist, Broken Social Scene, Timber Timbre, Always.. the list goes on) and various other form of media/art, notably comics. And of course, let's not forget the prestigious TIFF.
Honestly speaking, I am not rooting for either of the cities, or any, for that matter. They are all kinds of wonderful in their own unique ways. Coming back to the whole wanderlust theme, Toronto seems to be a great city to roam around downtown, eating your weight out of donuts and embrace yourself in sub-culture, without compromising your outdoorsy side with quick access to lakes and waterfalls under 3 hours drive (Nigara Fall and Muskoka Lake). It's diversity at its best and we can't wait to go back.