I’m on the last leg of my jaunt around the Eastern Time Zone, which means if it’s Wednesday, this must be Toronto.
Unlike my Baltimore leg, which was all about first impressions, my time in Toronto is all about memory. I used to live in Toronto and on each return visit, as the years go by, I am amazed by how much I remember and by how much I have forgotten. Buildings and streets I haven’t thought of in years come back to me with immediate familiarity the instant I see them. But then there are other times when I have to reach back into the recesses of my memory and think, “Have I been to this restaurant before? Do I remember how to get from here to there?”
There are a lot of things about living in Toronto that I miss when I’m not here. Like street cars. And patio restaurants. Upper Canada Lager. Victorian architecture. And how you can sit outside till well past dark on a September evening and not feel chilled.
And then there are the things that drove me crazy about living in Toronto. Like the traffic. And the smell of garbage lining the streets in front of the storefronts at the end of a hot summer’s day. The traffic. That there are people here who think when you say “out west,” you mean Mississauga.
And did I mention the traffic?
Each city has its own advantages and disadvantages and I was lucky enough to experience Toronto’s. It took me a long time to figure out how to live in this city, but once I had it mastered, I was happy to call it home for as long as I was here.