So, finals are officially done and May is practically here, and that means for another summer I'm packing up 90% of my life and going back to Toronto. Every year this begs the question from friends and strangers alike whether or not I want to stay in Vancouver or go back to Toronto? And even more, which city do I prefer? It's not that I don't want to stay in Vancouver for the summer. I have seriously considered staying on the west coast, but I can't say that I've disconnected from the east coast yet. Plus, I get to see my family and go to the cottage. So between that and the money I save living in Toronto, I spend summers back at home.
But this doesn't mean I like Toronto better. The longer I stay out here the less I'm sure about which city I like better. My first year in Vancouver I couldn't stand it, the weather, missing home, and university in general had my life in circles. However, over time I've built a family here, I've become accustomed to university and learned to deal with the rain (I'm not going to say I like it, I'm not crazy).
What made me fall in love with Vancouver? There is the obvious, I'm a fan of the people I've met. A city is only as good as the people it's filled with. Aside from that, Vancouver is active, people are constantly on their feet and looking for something to do. Granted, exercise is a hobby I rarely engage with, but it's nice always having the option. I can always find someone to walk the seawall with me or take the Sea to Sky up to Whistler. In addition, Vancouver springs are outstanding, not only are they super early in the year (compared to the rest of Canada), but the cherry blossoms make the city so beautiful it's practically distracting. I've loved engaging in the local music scene. The west coast has a thriving independent music industry and I've loved the way it has welcomed me over the past couple years. I've been able to grow as an artist and performer that Toronto wouldn't have allowed me to do. And finally, being by both the ocean and mountains is more than amazing.
But what about Toronto? Growing up on in Toronto provides a slight advantage - not that I'm keeping score. My family and childhood friends are there, and I've spent so much time getting to know the city. But if you ignore that obvious step up, Toronto is more of a city than Vancouver is. Toronto feels bigger, faster and more alive. I understand that it's not for everyone but I love feeling like my city is moving, it keeps me focused on looking forward rather than standing still. A bigger city also means more diversity and more experiences. Everyone in Toronto is that little bit more eccentric. Being normal is weird and being weird is normal. On a personal note, I love walking in Toronto; people in Toronto walk more often. It sounds stupid, but they just do. Finally, I love the snow in the winter, Toronto with a fresh layer of snow almost rivals a Vancouver spring covered in cherry blossom petals. Plus, when it rains it pours and then stops. You don't get seven days of grey like you do on the west coast.
Don't get me wrong, neither city is perfect, but neither is bad. I love both. Took me a long time to get to a point where I could say that, and I accredit it mostly to the people I've met, but I love both cities. There are days in Toronto I miss long walks through Kits, and days in Vancouver I'd kill to be at the Brickworks. Sorry if you were looking at this post to validate your opinion on your favourite city, that's not really what I'm here to do. I'm going to miss Vancouver this summer, but I am excited to get back to my roots for a little bit.
From me, with love, to you,
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