Toronto is one of my favorite cities in the world, not because of traveling, but that it is probably the best city I’ve ever lived in. As a university student, I spent several years in Canada’s biggest city, and this came after many visits as a kid and teenager to see my grandma and other relatives there. Toronto is clean, safe, and prosperous, which makes it seem boring, but it’s also very diverse and multicultural. You can meet and interact with people from all over the world, whether it’s the Caribbean or Asia or the Middle East or Africa. Almost half of its population was born overseas, which is more than New York City or London. Anyways, since graduating from university and coming to Asia, I hadn’t been back to Toronto until last year.
While I saw some of my relatives and visited my grandmother’s grave (she passed away in my final year), I also spent time walking around downtown and checking out some sights. It was a strange feeling playing tourist in a place you’ve lived in for years but it was also pleasant. The time went by fast even though I spent five full days in total there as I balanced family visits and travel.
Toronto was as pleasant as before, but it seemed to have gotten more upscale and has more shiny buildings and skyscrapers. It even has a new, fast train between its Pearson airport and downtown that is just as modern and convenient as any airport train in Asia. Of course, its subway system is still rather modest (trains were newer but the lines were the same and the new card system was a bit inefficient), but as they say, some things never change.
The CN Tower was the world’s tallest structure and tower up until 2007 and 2009, respectively. Having been
up the CN Tower several times when I was younger, I didn’t bother to this time
Ripley’s Aquarium, next to the CN Tower, did not exist when I was in Toronto.
Union Station, Toronto’s main train station and airport train terminus, and the CN Tower
Royal Ontario Museum and its “Crystal” front extension
The ROM was just as fascinating as when I last visited, sometime in the early 2000s!
Nathan Phillip’s Square, featuring the two curved buildings of City Hall
Ryerson University’s Student Learning Centre stands out on Yonge Street (Toronto’s main downtown street
but which actually runs 56 km from Toronto to Lake Simcoe)
Another shot of Union Station and the CN Tower at night
Eaton Centre, iconic downtown shopping centre
Massey Hall, one of Toronto’s most well-known arts performance venues, which was built in 1894