This messy

“Streets with cars bikes, pedestrians, and transit all mixed together; store displays spilling out onto the sidewalk, competing with street vendors for your attention; utility poles covered with posters and walls painted with graffiti; and buildings in a jumble of architectural styles beside and on top of one another” (Reid, p.18. 2010)

I was curious what kind of people would love toronto when I first came to this city, it is a huge contradiction from vancouver where I had lived during the past four years. The streets are slippery during the snow, the condo buildings are short of water on a regular basis, crazy climate… I preferred the slow paced life-style that I could walk along the seaside every afternoon. I enjoyed to live in a smaller city where everything is organized and beautiful. Toronto is humongous to me, I felt breathless and pressured walking among the high rises. The people on the street are walking at a fast speed like they are almost running, everything is messy, you can see different kinds of people on the  same street, homeless, middle class, creative class…The ‘glass giants’ sprout out from the great-grandpa time’s houses…

My perspective of Toronto changes a bit that after one year living here, I found this city is extremely convenient for me.  I can walk to eaton center after class, have lunch with my friends in a restaurant nearby, then walk back to school for the afternoon class without a car or any kinds of transportation. My high school social teacher described the Canadian cities as ‘Mosaic’ because it lets everything keep its original identity, yet it is still a nice picture to look at. There’s always something in Toronto amazes me that I can never find in Vancouver. Bahan Center is a typical example, it is the computer science building in U of T, it’s a hybrid building with glasses and old houses, a new way to balance this city. People let those historian houses keep in another way and give it a new life.

I don’t know how to describe my feeling towards this huge city, it’s very complicated and messed up.  I like its energetic that every single person works hard , but I don’t like the fact that they are working so hard for their living that they don’t have much time to enjoy their life. I could strongly feel the difference between Vancouverian and Torontorian. Vancouverian greats the strangers warmly on the streets, they generously gives change to the homeless, they even spend 15 minutes to walk you to the right street when you are getting lost. Torontorian doesn’t wait you for the elevator, there’s always only several cents in the homeless’ cup, they barely smile to strangers…All I could say is the people reflect their city, you can’t judge the people.


Reference : Kingwell, M. 2008. Toronto:Justice Denied. The Walrus, February. Online

Reid, D. 2010. Bless this mess. Spacing (Summer), 18-23. Course Website.


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