Toronto: A nice place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit
Excuse me, are you a tourist? Yes? Okay, then: Hi! My name is Toronto, and welcome to my city! We’ve Been Expecting You!™ Do you like my new slogan? Really? Because it’s important to me that you are Somewhat Satisfied, Satisfied or Very Satisfied with your visit, and I will be asking you about that before you leave. Want to know something funny? The new slogan isn’t new at all! It’s actually a retread of an old ’70s jingle for a hotel chain. It went like this: “We’ll be ex-PECK-ting YOUUUUUUU!” Nice, eh? Anyway, here’s your welcome candle. Let me show you around. No! Really! I insist. I’ve shunted the kids into the backyard, just like Tourism Toronto CEO David Whitaker told me to do. Let’s go.
Did you know Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods? That means there’s lots of places with homes where you can walk and look at the homes. Oh, you so do NOT have that in New York City! New York has boroughs, not neighbourhoods. It’s totally different. My neighbourhoods have their own unique shops and restaurants, like the Fox & Firkin or the Friar & Firkin or the Gull & Firkin. Cool, eh? See these homes here, around Chinatown? They’re not much to look at, but they have a riveting history. They were going to tear them down to build an expressway, except they didn’t! Neighbourhoods are one of the reasons Jane Jacobs called me North America’s greatest city. Who’s Jane Jacobs!? Oooooo-kaaaaay. You’re going to be a challenge, aren’t you?
This is Yonge-Dundas Square™. Actually it’s not a square; it’s an irregular polygon, just like Times Square in New York City. But it’s totally not like Times Square. It’s cleaner. And emptier. That’s a Sears there behind all that cleavage. It used to be an Eaton’s. Timothy Eaton was the greatest retailer in Canadian history. His company went bankrupt a long time ago. His stores were exactly like Sears, except that people from Rosedale would have been totally happy to be caught dead in Eaton’s. What’s Rosedale? It’s another neighbourhood! They have the nicest liquor store ever. Let’s go! No? Why not? Oh, what do you want to see the CN Tower for? It’s so touristy. And it’s not even the tallest building in the world anymore. It would be better if we visited one of my beautiful river valleys, but I don’t know where they are. Did you know Toronto is the greenest city in North America? Or at least we want it to be. Can’t you tell?
What? You want tickets to see a show? Oh, they kind of suck these days. Even those creepy guys in blue face paint are gone. They were anti-union. But you can see a riveting high-society show trial of former impresarios for free. Everyone’s talking about it. Wait! Leaving so soon? Can I ask if you were Somewhat Satisfied, Satis— You’ve got a plane to catch? There’s no subway link to the airport, but it’s a quick drive. Good luck with the traffic on the 401! Where are you going, anyway? The Rockies? Wow, that’s far. But you’ll come back, right? As my slogan says, “We’ll be ex-PECK-ting YOUUUUUUUU!” Don’t keep me waiting too long.