“You love Toronto. I didn’t think you would ever leave,” said my friend.
“I didn’t think I’d leave!” I said when I was back in Australia.
I loved Toronto from the word Go.
I think I should be the Mayor (move over Rob Ford) based on the fact that I am a strong brand Toronto advocate. “It’s a nothing city,” said a fellow Aussie traveller in a very matter of fact fashion. “Oh, I think it is great!” I said excitedly. My buddy had lived in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo and was somewhat underwhelmed by the city.
Canada was my first big trip away from Australia and Papua New Guinea in my late twenties and I thought Toronto was great. I loved how multi-cultural Toronto was and learning about maple syrup, the Raptors, Bieber fever and the Canadian “Eh”. Although I was overwhelmed being away from Australia and the family, I was excited and ready to take it all in my stride.
1 coffee shop job later, 1 retail job, 1 advertising gig, many beers, baseball games, basketball games, learn to ski, learn to snowboard lessons, many nights partying on Ossington Avenue, 3 epic Halloween parties, 1 nose piercing later and 3 years of living in Toronto, I still loved Toronto.
Perhaps even more than when I first arrived.
I cried and cried when I left Toronto. I did not know what to expect when I arrived in Toronto, but I was hopeful and excited at the possibilities.
I was homesick for Australia and my family in PNG so I left Toronto, but it still holds a special place in my heart because I feel like I grew up in Toronto. I became an adult there and my own person.
My 3 favourite countries are Papua New Guinea, Australia and Canada. I have only ever lived in 3 countries and my friend thinks I will love any country I live in. But, I really do love those 3 countries and Toronto is extra special for me.
Love ya T.O and your Torontonians.
Side note: I think it holds a special place in my well-travelled Toronto-bashing friend’s heart as well because she is applying for permanent residency now!
Side note 2: If tourists want to seem like a local in Toronto, say TORONNO, do not annunciate ToronTO. When you annunciate, it is a dead giveaway that you are not a local.