There is a scene in the movie Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts where she is at dinner al fresco in Rome with a group of international friends and they decide to give each city a word. New York is ambition. Rome is sex (how presumptuous indeed!). I thought I would do this for each new city I visit as well as some from past travels. Toronto’s word is transitioning.
This is a city that knows what it would like to be but is not quite there yet. Let’s face it, it’s Canada’s version of New York but with friendlier salespeople and cleaner streets. It is just as high-strung and filled with suits, however, slightly less well-tailored. In so many ways, you can tell Toronto is still a Canadian city. People are still generally kind, you still hear ‘sorry’ every now and then, Tim Hortons still outnumber the independent coffee shops, and people are still under the impression that flip-flops are appropriate weekend city footwear. Toronto is eclectic, a wonderful juxtaposition of big city luxuries and a hipster/hippie subculture, akin to San Francisco in a sense (recreational marijuana use included). The only difference being Toronto hipsters will wear unexpected pops of leather with $300 Chelsea boots and will proactively seek out every free art show, yet will not wince at spending $12 on a craft beer...
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Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned freelance writer, foodie, and fashionista from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.
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