Urban Behavior: Toronto edition

“Will it be like Degrassi?” Joe joked about my upcoming trip to Toronto.

“I don’t think so,” I responded, though I didn’t know much about the Canadian teen drama. Or Canada in general.

In the less than 24 hours I spent in the Canadian city, I discovered Toronto to be a lot like Chicago in many ways. Toronto, too,  has a Great Lake flanking its eastern border, towering skyscrapers and a dining out scene that makes foodies salivate. Just add a slice of European sensibility, a pinch of greener practices and an extra dash of multiculturalism, put it in Canada—and then voila, Toronto!

At the urging of my favorite Canadian, Andrea, I wandered west down Bloor Street, a long street that bisects several of the city’s neighborhoods. My hotel was located in Yorkville, an area that rivals Michigan Avenue with exclusive, swanky shops like Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Walking just a few blocks, the landscape metamorphosed into the culturally rich, slightly more bohemian, college town-esque version of Chicago’s Roscoe Village, The Annex. I was so mesmerized by the street’s change that I, too, transformed—into that tourist with a camera, minus the vinyl fanny pack. Now, let’s begin the walking tour.

Tres intriguing architecture of the Royal Observatory Museum, located directly across the street from my hotel.

Tres intriguing architecture of the Royal Observatory Museum, located directly across the street from my hotel.

People abounded, even early in the morning, mostly due the proximity of the University of Toronto. I adored this little produce shop.

People abounded, even early in the morning, mostly due the proximity of the University of Toronto. I adored this little produce shop.

I was desperate for everyone, especially those dining at sidewalk cafes, to speak French. I only overheard two instances total. Alas, all the signs spoke the language.

I was desperate for everyone, especially those dining at sidewalk cafes, to speak French. I only overheard two instances. Alas, all the signs and inanimate objects insisted on speaking the language.

A foggy view of the CN Tower, taken next to the Al Green Theatre. I kid you not.

A foggy view of the CN Tower, taken right next to the Al Green Theatre. I kid you not.

This house kills me. I closed my eyes and pretended I was running through the English countryside for a minute.

The ivy on this house right off Bloor Street made me close my eyes and pretend I was frolicking through the English countryside for a minute.

Nope, still in Toronto. It must be a dream, though. It's a city that actually recycles, unlike Chicago. There was a receptacle like this on nearly every street corner. Gasp!

Nope, still in Toronto. It must be a dream, though. This city that actually recycles, unlike Chicago. There was a receptacle like this on nearly every street corner. Hella impressed.

I couldn't post here without mentioning something of the bizare variety. I spotted a few kiosks that displayed flyers for a "lesbian vampires" show. In case you're into that.

I couldn't end this post without mentioning something of the bizarre variety. I spotted a few kiosks that displayed flyers for a show featuring "lesbian vampires". In case you're into that. And one for a lady passing along Urban Wisdom. Couldn't we all use some?

Not pictured is my downtown adventure and tiny glimpse into the Canadian business world. From what I saw, I know there’s more I’d like to explore.

Until next time. Thank you for being a part of my six-block tour of Toronto.

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1 Comment

Filed under Chicago, city life, neighborhoods, travel, urban behavior

One response to “Urban Behavior: Toronto edition

  1. Anne

    Jane Jacobs is your Canadian counterpart. 🙂

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