What are the worst things in Toronto? Let me express them to you.
PEOPLE WILL LINE UP FOR ANYTHING:
Visiting Toronto in 1976, feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir famously called it “the city of sheep”. Not much has changed in 40 years. If anything it’s become worse. As the buildings get higher, the lines get longer to the point where any moderately marketed novelty food item will command a ridiculous wait time, even if the product is middling at best. Torontonians’ fear of missing out makes them miss out on the most important commodity of all: free time. People from Toronto, are the type of people who, on their deathbed would whisper to their children with their last dying breath “I wish I had waited longer in line for the Yeezy pop up”. Experiencing the city doesn’t require a long wait. There are plenty of unique experiences and products that only require your sense of adventure and curiosity! Namaste!
You know who could use yoga? Toronto drivers. They are really stressed out. They’re always in a rush because they have wasted so much time waiting in line for something and now they have no time left to spend with their children or dogs or cats or loneliness. Look at them driving around aggressively. To the left someone is running a red light, to the right someone is turning without signalling. It troubles me that people have difficulty signalling. It’s just a little stick they have to move beside the steering wheel. I think they can’t do it because their wrists are too fat and weak from waiting for and eating too much ice cream. They need to get out of their cars and go for a run. No one gets an endorphin rush from driving, you get an endorphin rush from living and loving. Have you told someone they’re beautiful today? Pet a dog.
People in Toronto could be so beautiful, if they just had better style. Everyone is drowning in pool of Uniqlo straight leg pants (probably because they have weak looking legs because of lack of yoga and too much ice cream). All the colours are so dark. Are they attending a funeral? The funeral of fashion? Turn that style frown upside down. Wear a bright colour. In fact, wear all colours. No black. That’s a challenge. Are you up to it? I believe in you. You don’t have to dress like Steve Jobs. He died of cancer only six years ago but his fashion sense died long before he did. He was like a style zombie, neither dead or alive. Do you want to end up like him? I’m being your fashion ghost of Christmas future right now. You know how Scrooge sees a grave with his name on it and that’s what makes him become a better person? I’m showing you a grave with your swag on it. It’s not a vision of what will be but rather what could be. You can still change your destiny.
Speaking of destiny, it seems like the destiny of people in Toronto is to be cold and distant. Eating too much ice cream and waiting too long in line can wear you down on the inside. In Toronto, no one says “Namaste” when they meet. They will say hello with a strained expression, the type of face you make when your underwear is not comfortable. What type of underwear do people wear in this city? Is it the right type? If you don’t know what the “right type” refers to you’re already beyond help. Everyone is in a rush. Everyone is very focused on themselves. I blame it on condo living. My yoga instructor agrees. When you live in an area like Cityplace (that west of the Skydome dead zone) or Liberty Village (where no one is truly free) what kind of life do you lead? You live in a building far away from shops and restaurants. You order juices on Uber Eats and have a guy bike them to you while you sit at home. You go to the gym in your building. You take an elevator to the parking and drive to where you need to go without going outside. You take an Uber to King St to party and an Uber back home. You’re divorced from the very city in which you live and it makes you less mindful of your fellow human beings. Take a walk. Practice smiling. Interact with people. Break out of your isolation. Be less entitled. Stretch daily.
The politicians of this city don’t stretch enough and they don’t meditate. They have zero vision. Thriving neighbourhoods are replaced with condo canyons where the only businesses are Shoppers Drug Mart and a dry cleaners. The fortunate might get a Rabba. There is no movement on transit so the downtown becomes more and congested. They are too scared to invest in infrastructure. They are too scared to build another downtown subway. They can waste 3 billion dollars on a one stop extension to Scarborough that would serve less people than a bus route. What do I know of city governance? Maybe they exist on another level of consciousness where these decisions make sense. Maybe in their reality they didn’t build the Bloor St bike path to fail (it’s borderline unusable if you’re a serious cyclist). Maybe it makes sense to keep property taxes artificially low and have a huge budget deficit. Maybe their lack of a vision is a vision beyond my humble understanding. I haven’t achieved enlightenment yet like they have. Maybe by deferring dealing with major problems until some time in the future they are setting us up for a learning experience where we will suffer greatly and come out of the pain with a new humility. It will build character and we shall all be better off for it.