It’s hard to believe that five years ago I really hated Toronto. Of course, back then, my circumstances were…different. But Toronto – and I – have come a long way since then. We’ve reached a mutual understanding of sorts. For me, it was more of the sudden revelation that hit me the last time I returned to Vancouver that people in Toronto were nicer. Oh sure, I’d had friends tell me as much, how Toronto gets a bad rap, how Vancouver cliquish mindset makes it nigh impossible to make new friends. I’d suspected as much going on two years, toyed with the theory but refuse to fully accept it. And then, last year, I put it to the test, using my dogs as a barometer.
You’re walking down the street and see a dog in an adorable outfit. Who doesn’t stop chat, offer a passing comment, or even the briefest of smiles. As it turns out, most Vancouverites. Torontonians, on the other hand, can’t help themselves when they cross paths with a pug in a petticoat or frenchie in a fancy foulard. In Toronto, we can go half a block without someone asking to take a picture or offer a pet. In Vancouver, our dogs were lucky not to get stepped on.
It was altogether bizarre and totally upended my assumptions about the laidback west coast.
People ask me if I miss Vancouver and, to be honest, there are some things I do miss. Things like the gang at Seafood City on Granville Island, or Denise and co. at The Book Warehouse on West Broadway. In Toronto, the fish markets are not as good while most of the bookstores tend be managed by hipster douchebags. And, while I do miss my home, I don’t really miss being a homeowner. I enjoy being right downtown, steps away from shops, restaurants, museums, and chocolate shops. Most importantly Akemi and the dogs are happier.
We are perfectly content.
Which is why I predict my next show will probably take me back to Vancouver.