Toronto

toronto

Last week I took a trip to Toronto. My first visit to the city in 12 years. When I flew in last Wednesday I was like Toronto is amazing. I need to move here asap. But by the time I left on Monday I was ready to come home to the clean air, the slow pace, and of course, my love. Here are some highlights and thoughts after five days in Canada’s city:

The food was unreal. Like, out of control good. My first night in town I ate at Lee and I’m still dreaming about Susur’s Signature Singaporean-style Slaw. If I was rich I would go back to Toronto just to eat that slaw. I had a board of directors dinner at The Chase. Also unreal. And on my last night in town I had the 9 course tasting menu at El Catrin to celebrate a successful trip. I couldn’t move, but oh my, it made me happy.

Work trips are work trips are work trips. Trying to make them into anything else will only cause stress. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to learn this. If I want to explore or see friends or family or have time to myself, I have to add an extra day. Remind me of this next time, okay?

West coast Canadians are snobs. Maybe not absolutely, but definitely relative to anyone east of the Rockies. Here at home, strangers don’t talk to one another, they don’t say hi or strike up conversation. Not true in Toronto. People are just friendlier there. And apparently when Torontonians come out west and tell us where they’re from the most common response is a sympathetic “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s too bad.” Guys! That’s not cool! Let’s collectively be nicer.

Diversity if beautiful. I live in a devastatingly white city. It’s boring. And the standard of beauty here is all too often the petite, blond pseudo-hippie. Also boring. Toronto was an interesting and exciting breath of fresh air.

It’s the place to be for professionals. When I graduated university at 22 I was so ready to start the rest of my life in the city I wanted to be in: Victoria. And while I loved ever minute of it, I’m regretful I didn’t spend a few years in Toronto growing professionally and experiencing big city living. At this point I’m on track with my goals, but I can’t help but wonder what life would have looked like if I spent some time living in Toronto. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Kalie. She lived across the hall from me in first year residence and we shared an apartment with 2 other great girls in fourth year. We hadn’t seen each other in probably 6 years, so catching up over dinner was such a pleasure. I’m so proud of her. Last year she was in Cats and currently she’s acting in a movie opposite Nic Cage. So, I pretty much am friends with a celeb.

And the absolute highlight: spending two days in a board room with our board of directors–retired diplomats, a VP at one of Canada’s largest banks, a senior partner at one of Canada’s largest law firms and others. Together we reviewed strategies and made plans and throughout it all all these established professionals listened to and respected what I had to say. I’ve never felt more grown up. Please, no one tell them my secrets.

 

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