13 Struggles Of A Torontonian Who Recently Moved From Downtown To The GTA
It's a hard life out there.
Photo cred - Freaktography
Downtown Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area feel like completely different worlds. Living in either will completely shape your experience of the world around you. Most people in their 20s transition from the GTA to downtown, and then eventually move back to the GTA as they get older, but a decent amount of folks move back in with their parents after graduating (tough economy, yo), and find themselves back in the 'burbs. As someone who grew up in the GTA and now lives in the city, I have a lot of gripes about GTA life, and I'm sure other suburbanites can relate.
Seeing your downtown friends is a huge hassle
Toronto is already predisposed to making you schedule your life to the minute if you ever want to see anyone. This only gets worse the further away you move from downtown. Everyone is going to get brunch at Aunties and Uncles, but there's no way you'll be able to make it unless you wake up super early. Unless everyone you like happens to randomly live in the same neighbourhood as you, you're going to see them all a lot less.
Going out to party takes way more planning
Your Friday nights are not going to be as straight forward as they were before. Your best bet is to have a kind friend who'll let you stay with them for the night, because you're probably not going to be able to make it all the way back home from Croc Rock at this hour. If you're lucky and only live in Etobicoke, you have to make sure to go home before the last train West has left. Which is at like, 1:30.
Fast food is not any more convenient than cooking
Your takeout options are greatly diminished. There might be a McDonalds or two sprinkled around, but finding a decent Toronto eat like the Banh Mi Boys is highly unlikely. Leaving the house to grab a quick bite to eat is barely worth it. You might as well just make something at home. At least you'll save money!
Photo cred - Kristine
Being a night owl sucks
Anyone who does most of their living in the later part of the day is going to be bored and hungry a lot of the time. Very little will be going on in your vicinity, and you're going to have a rough time finding a food joint that's open past 9pm. Rough times, man.
You see a lot less people your age
Moving out into the 'burbs changes the demographics around you, a lot. Everyone you see will either be a lot older than you or a lot younger than you. You'll find yourself fighting the urge to get married, have children, and start planning your mortgage.
Leaving home for the day is a serious decision
Do you have everything you need with you? And by that I mean, everything you could possibly need for the entire day. There's no nipping back home in between commitments, because there's no way you'll make it all the way from the Financial District to Brampton and back in a reasonable amount of time. Planning your day out ahead of time is key.
You have to spend a lot more time dealing with the TTC
Any moment spent crammed in a tube full of strangers pressed up against you is a bad moment. When you know your train's been delayed again and you're probably going to be late to work, it becomes a living nightmare. Get ready for a lot more of that in your life. Unless...
You're getting a car
One upside to living out in the GTA is that traffic isn't annoying, so driving is a completely reasonable commuting option. The trouble comes if you ever try to take that car into Toronto proper, because you'll be getting stuck in traffic pretty much as soon as you hit Yonge Street, or Bathurst, or pretty much any other major street, and there will be points when it makes more sense to walk than to be in a car.
Photo cred - Freaktography
Cab drivers all hate you
Forget about ever calling a cab to take you home again. Most of them will look at you crazy if you even mention Mississauga. You wouldn't want to take that cab ride anyway though, because it'll probably put a $60 dent in your wallet.
Holidays are lonely
Everyone else is meeting up for lunch at Supermarket, and just generally having a good time with their friends, and you're stuck at home because getting into the city will take too long to be worth it. Here's hoping there's something good on TV.
Convincing people to come over will be a joke
No one is coming all the way up to Markham to hang out with you. And why should they? Just accept the fact that any time you want to hang out with your friends, it's going to involve a lot of work on your end.
Your out of town friends will never want to come stay with you
One of the most fun things about living in Toronto is getting to show it off to friends who don't know it very well. Taking people to Dundas Square, then telling them that only tourists go to Dundas Square is a great time. Sadly, if you're living in the GTA, there really isn't much to show off. You'll watch friend after friend choose another host over you, and it won't feel good.
The FOMO is real
You watch more and more cool events go by without being able to attend them. Your friends will have all of these inside jokes from things that happened when you weren't around. Popping into the Cameron House to catch a show on a Thursday night will be impossible. It's rough dude, and no one blames you for being bummed.