In the beginning of June, I attended the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference in Toronto. Growing up in Rochester, New York, I was no stranger to Toronto. A few hours over the Buffalo/Ontario border, Toronto was my first "Big City," my first "International City." I saw my first four musicals in Toronto, I got drunk for the first time in Toronto (yay 19!), but after leaving Western New York for its swanky cousin Manhattan, my fond memories of Toronto were forgotten, filed away under the "I used to live near Canada" chapters of my life.
My re-introduction to Toronto was a PLEASURE! Here are the three things I most admire about the city of Toronto:
Friendly and Helpful People
You've pulled over to the side of the road in your car. It's raining. You can't figure out which direction you're supposed to go. The GPS on your cell phone no longer works because you've left the country, even though you're only two hours over the border. Suddenly there's a rap on your window. An older gentleman, in a gray button down shirt, peers into the window.
"Where are you trying to go?" He asks with a heavy Indian accent.
You breathe a sigh of relief. Help has found you.
The people of Toronto are so incredibly friendly (as long as they're not driving!), it's such a refreshing change of pace, especially for a New Yorker.
I kid you not, you could eat off the streets of Toronto. I'm used to scanning the ground before me to make sure I'm not about to step into a pile of dog poo, or onto a rat, or on a dirty blood soaked napkin (I spend too much time in New York!), I didn't know what to do with myself in Toronto. I had to fight the urge to skip merrily down the street reveling in the fact that there was nothing to impede me.
Name a country, any country and you're bound to find a person in Toronto who was born there. Toronto is beautifully diverse and this diversity translates quite well when it comes to food. One minute we were enjoying Saag Paneer, the next Pho, the next Falafel, the next vegetarian roti. Toronto is a great place to eat!
I'm so happy TBEX brought me back to Toronto!