NIMBY… Not in My Back Yard But I want it in my neighborhood…
Toronto the good has been a fairly conservative city over the years, but about five years ago it started to become a cool place to be or a trend setting city with the likes of Drake the rapper and other folks from business and entertainment having an emotional tie to the city for some reason or another. These folks not only invested in the city, but made it a cornerstone of their lives, where we that live in this city sometimes seem to take it for granted. Many of these people see that this city not only is a clean city, but one of diversity with its multicultural aspect to it, where you can get whatever you desire in this city from north, south, east or west.
I have been to many cities and for my money l would stack Toronto up against any city on the globe. Hog town has come a long way from the very conservative days of the past where you couldn’t get a drink on Sundays and most evening the city would shut down by 8.00p.m. We were very conservative over the past, but since we have become a very progressive city with a wide range of things to do and visit. Some may say that we have not progressed enough, but l would argue that the slower pace has benefited Toronto in its growth and its quality of life here in the city of Toronto.
My experience visiting other cities is that there is a sprinkling of diversity, but nothing like we have here in Toronto. The dynamics and the options that we have here in the big smoke are endless, but the quality that these areas offer are top drawer. You may be familiar with these areas but let me give you a glimpse of what l am talking about.
This section of the city in my estimation, is probably the most conservative part of Toronto, but a very classy section of the city. North Toronto has an unbelievable selection of quality restaurants and eateries. Yonge and Eglinton or better known as “Young & Eligible” house a very youthful mix of folks with a very high energy associated with this part of town.
The neighborhoods in this part of the city house a very upper middle-class section with a high concentration of young people. This section known as North Toronto also has many unique boutiques with an array of specialty shops that cater in fragrances and rare items that you may not find elsewhere. This section of town also houses the Mount-Pleasant East section that has a vast selection of bakeries, eateries and a small theatre that has a long historical presence in Toronto.
Lawrence Park East & Lawrence Park West also make up the North Toronto experience and much of this section is very well manicured with a great many ravines and walking paths that connect to the Sunnybrook Meows that also offer horseback riding right here in the north section of the city. This section of town may be a bit conservative, but it totally developed a great deal over the past five years.
I would consider this section of Toronto stemming from the waterfront north to about St. Clair with a modest east west boundary. Where this part of town has the historic business section of Bay street with its skyscraper that includes many historic buildings of which there are too many to mention…Old City Hall and the old stock exchange tower are just a few that need to be visited. This section also houses the famous CN Tower and the Rogers Centre along with the Scotia Bank Area where the Leaf’s play hockey. And the iconic grand old lady the CNE which is one of my favorite places to visit both in winter and summer.
China Town is a staple of Toronto along Spadina Avenue that represents next to San Francisco the largest Chinese section next to Hong Kong…here you will find anything and everything Chinese and the restaurants are rated very high in the rankings of best Chinese food on the planet. This section of Toronto also contains the famous Kensington market that has housed many immigrants over the years. This section has housed and employed many immigrants over the years and has started many families with their first job or first purchase from this iconic section of Toronto.
Yorkville is the ritzy section of town with its famous Brand store that makes up Bloor Street, a section of Bay street and the world-renowned Yorkville Avenue that is rated to the likes of Buck Head in Atlanta and sections of New York and Los Angeles. Yorkville is easily one of Toronto’s most stunning neighborhoods. You will find a stretch of boutique shops and designer brands in the district’s most distinct area, carrying big names like Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Hermes as well as a number of luxury hotels.
Yorkville wasn’t considered its own town until it was annexed into Toronto in 1883 – here, you’ll see remnants of this historical background like Victorian architecture and cobblestone streets.
The East section of Toronto is where you start to get an ethnic flavor and a more multicultural diverse selection and options to pick from. When l think of the east end the first thing that comes to mind is…” Greek Town” on the Danforth. This section houses an unbelievable amount of Greek cuisine and many cultural stores that sell a variety of Greek goods. However, this part of Toronto also has great stores and some cool entertainment venues, but their biggest claim to fame is their yearly “Taste of the Danforth” which is a week-long food and fun fest that attacks thousands of folks a year.
This section of Toronto includes the Beaches, Cabbage town and Old East York…. these locations have such a diversity of demographics with all folks from different parts of the world all living in harmony. The famous board walk in the beaches is something that needs a visit at one time to capture the serenity and beauty of Lake Ontario. The Balmy Beach Club is also a very iconic institution that is housed on the beach and brings that very special feeling to this part of Toronto. The last great feature of this part of Toronto is the Scarborough bluffs that is very special, right in the heart of the city and is a must to visit.
This section is my favorite part of Toronto and in my opinion the most diverse and exciting part of town. Starting with Bloor-West Village, Trinity – Bellwood’s, Little Italy, Little Portugal and the Junction just to mention a few. These sections of the west end are just a small sampling of what is available in this unique section of hog town. The cultural diversity and the humble neighborhoods make up the character of this part of Toronto.
The multicultural sections of the west end house some of the best restaurants and eateries in the world…not to mention the newly rejuvenated Ossington Avenue strip that runs from Dundas to Queen Street, which offers a very unique dining and pop culture experience…a very New York soho feeling, but much more unique in character.
The transformation of the Junction neighborhood is an amazing transition from old industrial run-down spot of the city to a new and vibrant hip part of Toronto…. this has been our trademark here in Toronto where it has been a slow transition, but well worth waiting for.
I have tried to give you a small sampling and flavor of Toronto the way l know it, but everyone has a different experience when visiting these wonderful spots. Either way, if you get a chance, take a drive and experience these areas that are right in your own backyard.
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