Toronto is constantly evolving. Since the new millennium, we have seen several changes in the city that are now central to our cultural identity.
However, we have become so accustomed to these changes that we probably don't even realize how recently they came to be. I have compiled an official list of all the important changes Toronto has seen since the year 2000.
1. The Skydome becomes the Roger's Centre (2005)
This is a change that has not yet gone under the radar. In fact, many people refuse to accept the change and still call it the Skydome.
2. Toronto nightlife staple, The Guvernment, shuts down (2015)
The Guvernment was a legendary nightclub complex that often featured big DJ's, including Toronto-native deadmau5 at its final event before the demolition. The Guvernment was known to stay open late for after-partying ravers, sometimes as "late" as 10 AM!
3. Summer Music Festivals become hugely popular (2012)
Toronto-based music festivals including Veld, Digital Dreams, and Desifest all emerged in 2012. Bestival came later in 2015. OVOfest started earlier in 2009, but rose in popularity around the same time as other summer music festivals.
Photo cred - Alux
4. Canada's Wonderland sets national and international records (2008)
The Behemoth was opened in 2008, and was Canada's tallest and fastest rollercoaster for just four short years until Canada's Wonderland beat its own record by opening the Leviathan in 2012. The Leviathan still holds Canada's record for tallest/fastest rollercoaster, and even ranks internationally in both height and speed categories.
5. Ripley's Aquarium becomes a Toronto tourist staple (2013)
While it is still very new to Torontonians, Ripley's Aquarium has become an essential activity and landmark for every tourist that stops by.
6. The C.N. Tower offers the thrilling "EdgeWalk" (2011)
It used to be just that you could dine up high in the C.N. Tower, but since 2011, you can now walk its circumference.
7. Casa Loma becomes an Escape Room venue (2015)
Casa Loma has long been a tourist attraction, but in recent years it has stepped up as an entertainment venue. Casa Loma holds symphonies on the regular, and now hosts escape rooms.
8. Toronto's Pride Week steps up its game and becomes one of the world's best (2005)
While 2005 was already the 25th anniversary of Toronto's Pride Parade, it was year that the then chief of police, Bill Blair, decided to personally walk in the parade, which inspired the participation of political figures to as well. Since then, enthusiasm for the Pride Parade has blown up. As of 2014, Toronto has the 4th largest PrideWeek worldwide. Now there's something to really be proud of!
Photo cred - @verbruggenmartijn
9. Distillery District reopens, reinvented (2003)
The Toronto Distillery District reopened the village with the vision of transforming it into something exciting and unique, rather than establishing it as a historic site. They have succeeded in doing so, and since 2003 have earned a status as one of Toronto's top destinations for arts, culture, and entertainment.
10. Pool bars become a massive summer craze (2013)
Sipping cocktails by the pool has forever been mankind's vision of paradise, but we used to have to book a trip to Mexico or Vegas in order to indulge. In 2013, Cabana Pool Bar emerged as a response and was able to offer a local option. Success and demand have led to the rise of several other Toronto pool bars, including Muzik and the Thompson.
11. Nuit Blanche comes to Toronto (2006)
'Nuit Blanche' translates to 'All-Nighter', and exists in cities worldwide as an annual night-time arts festival. Torontonians have been gathering in the city's core every Fall since 2006 to explore and interact with the contemporary art installations created by local artists.
12. Uber changes the transportation game (2012)
In 2012 we started to say goodbye to overpriced cabs and tipping. When they say there's an app for everything, they really weren't kidding. A few taps on your iPhone can now get you a ride in 10 minutes or less.
13. Drake rebrands Toronto (2014)
This sounds silly, but it's real. The world's biggest hip-hop star is proudly representing Toronto on an international scale, which has made us so much cooler and culturally relevant than ever before. In 2014 Drake announced that his next album would be called "Views From the Six" and would be an homage to the city. Who would have ever thought the C.N. Tower would be pictured on the world's number one album?
Photo cred - Vv Magazine
14. The C.N. Tower adds night lighting (2007)
Do you remember looking at the C.N. Tower in the past few years and suddenly realizing that it wasn't always adorned in colourful LED lights? Same here. Turns out, they were only added in 2007, and they keep the C.N. Tower looking incredible, day or night.
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