It's an Uptown vs. Downtown world in Toronto. With so many different neighborhoods to choose from, whether you live North or South of the Bloor/Yonge subway line affects everything from your daily commute to your social life.
Basically, it runs your entire life. There are some common struggles when you live north of Bloor, whether you call Yonge and Eg., Yonge and St. Clair or the Summerhill/Rosedale areas home.
1. Your friends won't visit you
Chances are, everyone in your social circle lives in the West end of Toronto. As in pretty far west. That means they won't subway past Bloor station and won't think where you live is cool. So get ready to always be the one making the trip to the seemingly more fun areas your BFFs live in.
Photo cred - Michael Carinhas
2. The lack of cool (i.e. hipster) bars is depressing
What north Toronto has in charm, with its family-friendly apartments and dog culture, it lacks in hipster places to drink on the weekends. Sometimes you just want to grab a glass of wine with a friend and an old-fashioned pub or chain restaurant just doesn't cut it.
3. No matter what, you will always spend one hour on the subway
It doesn't matter if you're only going two subway stops, the subway will either go super slow or you will spend forever waiting on the platform. It's a fact of life. And if you're going South or West, download some podcasts and get ready for a long commute. You will feel the envy when you meet friends at a bar on the weekend and they've taken a quick streetcar ride over or just took their bike.
4. Rent costs more
Here's some sad math: the safer the area, and the closer an apartment is to the subway, the more it costs.
5. The Condo Construction Is Crazy
Toronto has gone crazy for condos in general, but nowhere is this more obvious than at Yonge and Eg where you can't walk even half a block before stumbling upon a new construction site. Dust and noise are only some of the problems you're going to face. Once those condos are ready and people move in, get ready for even more crowded waits on the Ellington subway platform.
6. There's a total lack of people watching
One of the joys of living in Toronto is the opportunity to people watch. You're always bound to see someone interesting, whether you're at Dundas Square on a weekday afternoon or at Dundas and Ossington at night. But people north of Bloor are pretty normal.
Photo cred - Derek Wuenschirs
7. West Queen West is super far away
What is probably Toronto's coolest, trendiest, and most fun neighbourhood takes forever to get to via TTC. West Queen West is where you want to spend your summer and fall weekends, from browsing the popular indie bookstore Type Books to reading in Trinity Bellwoods Park, not to mention the many stores, restaurants and bars.
Photo cred - Toronto Street Fashion
8. Say goodbye to vintage stores
The thrill of a good find, an afternoon spent browsing a small charming boutique -- it's just not happening anywhere north of Bloor.
9. You can't escape North Toronto's dull rep
There are tons of advantages of living north of Bloor -- or else no girl would live there, of course. The areas are safe, the apartments are generally pretty decent, and everyday conveniences are easily met by the many supermarkets and drugstores -- not to mention the beautiful tree-lined cemetery between Davisville and St. Clair. But it's a quiet part of Toronto, and not much is ever happening. You will always have to leave to find something fun to do on the weekend, whether you're attending a street festival downtown or looking for a cultural event.
10. People will be surprised you live there
There are too many condos north of Bloor to count, and they're all populated by young couples or young professionals, all in their 30s. If you're a twenty-something girl, chances are your friends live in the west end or downtown, and you will get some surprised look when you meet someone for the first time and they learn where you live. Hey, it may not be super cool or trendy, but at the end of the day, at least you've found a place of your own in the big city.