I have a love/hate relationship with Toronto.
|The Good - High Park (I took this recently)|
Now, before all my fellow Torontonians start calling me names, my feelings don't actually say much about the city itself. It's more about me. Toronto is an awesome place. I love our different neighbourhoods, as each has its own style and distinctive feel to it. I love the opportunities, I love that start-up culture is celebrated, and I love that you can pretty much do anything here. Seriously. Anything. We have cultural diversity, fantastic businesses, art, entertainment, sports (don't laugh - Leafs are winning), and one of my favourite parts - great bands playing everywhere, on any given night.
But, Toronto isn't for everyone. Some days it can be a very cold and impersonal place, a sea of anonymous faces in a concrete jungle. (Can you tell that I like to avoid the downtown area?) It's overwhelming. There are off-putting things about this city that I can't quite put my finger on - something besides the traffic, the high cost of living, and the notion some people have that Toronto is better than everywhere. We'll chalk it up to a random feeling.
|The Bad - Rob Ford|
All that said, I tend to be somewhat defensive of where I live and also where I come from. I was born & raised in St. Catharines, after all. And since moving here, I've gotten mixed reactions when people have asked where I hail from. One such reaction includes the "Oh. Sorry to hear it". And that's when my defensive wrath kicks in. Yes, I left the place. But it's my hometown. It's where my family and friends are, and where I still go to escape this city. And if anyone wants to trash it (even when certain points offer definite validity - it's a college/university town, after all), I am liable to yell & demand that you take back any negative words about one of my cities. It's a personal thing.
|The Ugly - The Gardiner falling apart (via thegridto.com)|
Since I started it, let's further pry open the proverbial can of worms here - Toronto: love it? Hate it? Indifferent to it?