Toronto: An Civilized City
Toronto is the Canadian city that I know best. I grew up near it and saw it develop from a stuffy British puritanical city to the vibrant, multicultural , culturally rich and progressive city it is today. I have always liked the best that Toronto has to offer. When I was young their were few cultural venues to enjoy. I used to go to the Crest theatre, one of the few professional theatre companies at the time. Other than that there was Maple Leaf Gardens for hockey, wrestling, and concerts , or so it seemed to me. I do know, you could do nothing on a Sunday, as the city was locked down. Now there is a multitude of cultural institutions , as well as venues for opera, ballet and large theatre productions.
I will not sing Toronto's praise but I encourage you to read this article by an American visitor that is embarassingly glowing, although quite accurate. http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/04/6168/ Toronto as a city reflects in it's lifestyle many Canadian values including multiculturalism and civility. The author of this piece obviously has in her mind the contrast with the US cultural values and its cities .
Enough said. For those who do not know Toronto or Canada well you would finds this article informative.
Toronto is not the best city in Canada. It is in fact the city the rest of Canada loved to hate. Vancouver usually ranks among the best cities in the World. Montreal is also a liveable, culturally rich and vibrant city. If I were looking for a Canadian city to live in it would be Ottawa, our National Capital which is smaller with the wonderful country side close at hand. It is not only the center of government but is disproportionately culturally rich with may of our National cultural institutions there. If I were fluent in French , I think Quebec city with it old world French charm (celebrating 400 years of settlement this year.) would be a lovely place to live. There are others, Halifax, Calagary Edmonton and Victoria. (Sorry if I left your city out). They all share Canadian values of civility based on the Canadian historic commitment to "peace, order and good government."
(click on photo to enlarge)
Here is Toronto's skyline with it's phallic CN Tower and the womb like sports venue next door, which on a summer day slowly opens its roof to everone's pleasure . These are very visible symbols fo Toronto's vitality. If you click on the photo and enlarge it your will see a low building with a half round green copper roof, in front of the black towers in the middle. This is the grand old hotel, The Royal York, when I was young it was still the tallest building in the British Empire. Most of the tall buildings in behind are bank buildings and other financial institutions. How time has moved on.
One of the nicest things about Toronto is life on the Harbour. The Toronto Islands are a pleasant refuge from the hubbub of the city, easily accessible by a short ferry ride. It is Toronto's playground, site of many cultural summer events, and places for everyone from a nude beach to sailing clubs to the family small scale amusement park, Centreville.
If I were considering urban life it would be to live in the heart of a city where you would not need an automobile and could easily access the culturally rich offerings of city life on good public transit. Toronto is such a city.
I offer a couple of more web sites I found interesting which you might enjoy.
http://www.karenbennett.ca/FantasticToronto.html This is a portal site to literature that has used Toronto as part of its story line. What an interesting was to get to know a city: how it was preceived by writer with both its warts and glories over the years.
http://www.photojunkie.ca/my-toronto-includes/ This is a photographic site which has a series of photographs of Torontonians describing what they like about living in their city.
I hope you linger long on the hyperlinked sites in this piece and get to know Toronto and Canada a little better.