Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Home, Unfortunately, Isn't (Yet) Where My Heart Is


When I was a kid, I didn't like downtown Toronto. There were things about going to downtown Toronto which I liked - it usually meant going out for dinner or some other sort of special occasion - but downtown Toronto as a place, I wasn't a fan. It all seemed cramped, and dirty, and smelled of sewage or cigarette smoke. I missed my clean, spacious suburbs.

Of course, I also hated spicy food as a kid, so apparently there's no accounting for taste. Now, however, I feel like every day I'm not in the city I pine for it. I'm currently working on my Master of Information, and so I have class at UofT's St. George campus two days a week. I'm fortunate enough that I have had some extensive breaks between classes, which have allowed me to spend some of my afternoons walking the streets. I should probably use that time to study, but I can study in Scarborough, where I sure as hell am not rushing out to walk the streets in my afternoons.

Toronto is a really beautiful city, in a lot of ways. I feel like a lot of people living here don't truly appreciate that. There's so much diversity packed into such a small area and to most people it just feels normal. I can probably find any kind of ethnic food I want within a twenty minute walk from UofT's Robarts Library, and in Toronto, that's normal. I can walk through countless beautiful old buildings, and some fascinating examples of modern architecture. And personally, I can do this for hours without getting bored.

Unfortunately, I still live in the suburbs, about as east as you can get and still be in the city limits. I have a nearly two hour commute to get downtown. And if I go out at night and leave downtown after 1:30 in the morning, I'm lucky if I'm home before 4 am.

I'm not putting grey over green. I still love the natural beauty of true rural and especially wilderness environments. I still love to camp and hike. But I don't want to live in Algonquin park (despite how I may feel during some of my visits there).

And while the suburbs do have their own charm, I'd trade it all in an instant to move downtown. As soon as I'm done school I will be moving. One year from today I hope that my occasional habit of looking at apartments online will be more than just dreaming.

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