I was in Toronto again in the first week of May.
I was there on business again, working with a client and buddy of mine, Sean, on the content for a corporate show that was happening in the Bahamas. Sean keeps talking about moving back to Vancouver. If he does, I’ll miss these trips to Toronto. It’s a very different scene from Vancouver, and even more different from Victoria. It’s a cool town to visit.
There is a little coffee shop down the street from Sean’s house and home office called the Hastings Snack Bar. Toronto has greasy spoons like no other city I’ve known. It seems every block has one or two of them, and at each one when you walk through the door it’s as if you could be in any decade of the past 60 or 70 years.
At the tail end of the trip, I had nearly a full day to myself. I just walked around for hours. I wound up in one of the city’s several Chinatowns on Spadina Avenue, then wound up on Kensington. It’s a real scene there – it had a feel like many parts of Mexico I have been to, but instead of feeling richly immersed in just one culture that wasn’t the one I grew up with, I felt immersed in dozens. It was a very cool area.
Having lived in the Commercial Drive area of Vancouver for a number of years, I had always said that there was no other place like it. Well, now I have found a place more like Commercial Drive than Commercial Drive is, and that is Kensington in Toronto.
I’ve said it before – I will say it again. I think Toronto gets a bad rap in Canada. Everyone loves to hate it, but as our largest city, and North America’s 5th (after Chicago), it really is a nifty place walk around in.