I’ve been wanting to visit Toronto since 2011. A trip to the Toronto International Film Festival was planned that year, but passports were left behind and borders were never crossed. Since then Canada has played the part of the beautiful girl in high school which the nerdy kid (me) always wanted to date but could only be flirty lab partners with.
This weekend in Toronto felt like a High School reunion where that same beautiful girl finally paid attention to me. Like most reunions, our time together was too short and I was left wanting more. But, alas, here are some facts I will never forget about the gorgeous city:
1) The weather is a serious conversation topic in Canada. It’s not small or elevator talk. These people have serious complaints and crazy weather related stories.
2) The CN Tower was the tallest free standing structure in the world until 2007. I could not believe it.
3) Poutine is the “Canadian dish” we heard most about. The most common description we got was: it’s a plate full of fries that have been drowned in gravy sauce and peppered with cheese. We didn’t try it. It doesn’t sound that appetising before or after running a half marathon.
4) You need cash to get around Toronto, especially if you’re wanting to utilise their cute, red trams. Most taxis only accepted cash too.
5) Said cash is good to have anyway because it’s colorful, it will not rip and is waterproof.
6) Canadians liberated the Dutch after World War II and the Dutch are forever grateful. We arrived in Downtown Toronto just in time to see the “Thank you Canada – Dutch Liberation Festival”. Jack is Dutch so we grabbed flags from an event organiser and joined in the celebration!
7) The show Suits, which is supposedly set in New York City, is filmed in Toronto. They are lying to us all! A friend who works in the Toronto film industry said he sometimes walks down Younge Street to see that the shop fronts and restaurant names have changed. The next day, the street goes back to normal. It’s much cheaper to shut down a major street in Toronto than in New York City and they already share a striking resemblance.
8) The Flat Iron Building in Toronto is the cute, tanned, younger cousin of New York City’s. It’s got so much personality!
9) I have completely lost my ability to discern accents. I didn’t recognise one Canadian accent once. I blamed it on the fact Toronto is a truly diverse city, but Jack said that is no excuse. I can’t pick an Australian from an American one unless I am told to listen out for it.
10) National Geographic named St. Lawrence Market in Toronto’s Old Town the #1 market in the world for 2015. The market is open everyday of the week except Mondays, which is the day I chose to visit. Plan wisely.
11) Canadians are so nice.