Wednesday, May 10, 2006

That Night in Toronto

Growing up in Sudbury, Ontario (and the outskirts thereof), I always considered myself something of a "small town" guy. There was something attractive in not having to contend with congested traffic on a daily basis, having a big yard with trees, knowing your neighbours by name, and other things attributed to small town living. This was further reinforced when I moved out to Saskatchewan and lived in Carlyle for 3 years, a place with a whopping population of 1200. Sure, I missed some of the conveniences of an urban centre (theatres, restaurants, etc), but regardless of that, I was fairly content.

When someone out there would ask me how I liked it, since I came from Ontario (a word which was often spoken with thinly veiled disdain by the locals, since it was a strange and alien place filled with them "city folks"), I would tell them that it wasn't that big a deal, since I was a "small town" guy from Northern Ontario, which was completely different. I would even often add that I wasn't a big fan of Southern Ontario......and Toronto in particular.

All this is slightly ironic since now I live just north of Toronto, and a great deal of my work time is spent within the very "center of the Universe" that I used to put down at every opportunity. And contrary to my previous opinions about the place (which were formulated primarily by a Grade 8 field trip and a couple bus excursions as a teen to see a play and a Jays game), I've come to rather enjoy the place. Not necessarily the nerve-fraying traffic or industrial eyesores that populate the Greater Toronto Area landscape, but the downtown core in particular.

Last night, I was downtown for work. It was about 4pm and some co-workers and I had sat down for a quick bite on a patio at the corner of Front and York. The sun was shining, the weather was warm with a cool breeze. Traffic and pedestrians buzzed through the intersection on their way home from work, many dressed smartly in business attire. The area was full of twenty-somethings, many who were likely students. Blue Jays jerseys and Pearl Jam t-shirts caused those in the crowd to pop out at me, reminding me of just two of the events going on downtown that evening (one of which I had full intentions of attending as of a couple of months ago, but for which plans did not materialize). I began to wonder what it would have been like to go to school or live in downtown Toronto. How would I have enjoyed living in a condo or apartment, taking the subway or walking where I needed to go? To be in such close proximity to so much culture, entertainment and activity might have been an interesing experience. Would I be happy with such an urban fantasy, or is my "small town" reality more in keeping with my personality. I suppose we always wonder if things are better on the other side.

In consolation, I am close enough now that I can experience a lot of the aspects of big city living anyway, and my job takes me down there pretty frequently. Perhaps it's a happy medium.

In summary, I guess what I'm trying to say is, I need to see more concerts. Therefore, extended family should try and win more tickets on the radio since apparently they have Cliff Claven type knowledge of obscure musical trivia.

And because I'm cheap. (the real reason I can't live in Toronto)



Blogger Tam's thoughts said...

Dave I can tell you that I miss living in a small town in Saskatchewan. I like being home and being able to see our family, but there was something about Sk. I would go back in a heart beat. That might change after the kids are born.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous andrea said...

Kid...S? plural? do you know something we don't know? heehee

10:41 AM  
Blogger Tam's thoughts said...

We will find out June 8th if it's more than one. We are just prepared mentally if it's two.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

You do realize that the concert is tonight right (Wed)?...uh-oh, maybe you could've went after all?

And relax about the concert thing. I hear Nick Lachey is going on tour, I'll try to get you some tickets okay?


9:11 PM  
Blogger Dave said... was two nights, actually. Tuesday and Wednesday. In both instances, I was working....about a 5 minute walk from where Eddie and the boys were rockin' out. A tragedy worthy of Shakespeare.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Eileen said...

I'm a person who never knew anything but the city...if I'm somwhere rural or even "suburban," I kinda don't know what to do with myself, and I take my cues from my hosts or something. Nice to hear it from the other perspective...

11:01 AM  

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