Moving anywhere new can be super intimidating, especially if that means across the country. If you’re one of those lucky individuals that have had the opportunity to make the trek over to the other side of Canada, then you might just know what I’m talking about. Sure, there are many similarities between the East and West coast, but there are also some huge noticeable differences.
So, which coast is better? That is completely dependent on your personality, lifestyle, and overall preference of living. I’m glad we live in such a diverse country that gives you the option to experience both. But don’t start with me about how expensive domestic flights are...
1. What do you mean there are no nearby mountains, ocean, or abundant amount of trees?
You don’t know what you’re missing, until it’s missing. This was one of the biggest adjustments I first had when I landed in Toronto. The city itself is huge, and there are so many more neighbourhoods to discover. But if you ever want a glimpse of what nature looks like, you need to travel outside the downtown core. That sounds like a mission in itself. On the bright side, Toronto has the CN Tower and Drake, so what else do you really need?
2. Make a friend that has a cabin in Muskoka
Everyone knows someone, that knows someone else, that has a place in Muskoka. Be their friend.
3. The never ending construction has become my alarm clock
7AM sharp, that is when the construction beings outside. If anything is guaranteed in Toronto, it’s that there is always a new building, sidewalk, or just straight up pothole that needs to be fixed or developed. This city is constantly expanding. Some might say it’s necessary for innovation, my sleep schedule says otherwise.
4. The TTC is a lifesaver, but also everyone’s worst nightmare
What is a streetcar? There are so many options for public transit; multiple lines and modes of transportation that I had never experienced before. But don’t get too excited, that doesn’t mean it’s reliable. In fact, the TTC is almost more inconvenient and untrustworthy than helpful. Traffic is torturous downtown, and depending on the time of year – you’re either standing in puddles of melted snow or boiling hot packed like sardines. I’ll walk, thanks.
5. The PATH will become your best friend, as long as you get along
Don’t fight it, don’t ignore it, and definitely take advantage of what the PATH has to offer. No one really told me what this place was until after my first winter living here. It’s not an easy relationship, the PATH can either drive you insane or provide you the greatest shelter during those long winter months. This needs to exist in every major city.
6. Don’t even bother buying an umbrella
Unlike the West Coast, it hardly ever rains here. If you’ve ever walked on Bay Street during a windy rain storm then you'll know that was probably the dumbest thing you could have ever done. This street is a wind tunnel and will tear your sacred umbrella to shreds.
7. Goodbye four season weather, hello never-ending complaints of winter and summer
This is probably the biggest understatement a true Torontonian will ever tell you. Everyone is so accustom to the extreme weather here that they don’t even know what they’re missing. It’s like we’ve skipped the Spring and Fall altogether and just decided to jump straight into either something too hot or cold. Thank you Toronto for ruining my love for Fall layers.
8. Invest in a lifelong parka
Don’t cheap out. Winter’s are no joke here - just ask me when my hair freezes when stepping outside after a shower. This will be the best investment you can ever make. Even if you look like a distant relative of the Michelin Man, you’ll be thanking me later for how cozy you are.
9. Excuse me, did you say bagged milk?
Why does this exist? How? I still have so many questions...
10. Torontonian’s like to be healthy, but don’t rub it in your face
Yes, some people are obsessed with Whole Foods and juice cleanses, but at least they mind their own business about it in Toronto. Everyone is just too busy concentrated on their own lives to take the time to gloat about their latest Barre class to you.
11. Leggings are not acceptable as pants
Lululemon just screams the West Coast, so I grew up believing leggings were the norm for pants, but not anymore. People in Toronto will silently frown upon you if you even dare to think this is something acceptable to wear out for dinner.
12. Toronto Islands
Tandem biking anyone? I’m still in denial that this can be considered an island, but at least it’s something.
13. Brush up on your sports teams
People are deeply passionate about their local sports teams, and who can blame them? We have all the major league teams here (some better than others), so take your pick on who you want to cheer for. Better yet, there’s always something playing during the year. So just pretend that you know what is going on and you’ll be fine.
14. Your nightlife options just got a bit more complicated
Not sure what vibe you’re feeling tonight? No worries, Toronto has you covered. Whether it be a low-key bar on Queen Street West, club hopping on King Street, or if you want to enjoy an upscale dinner in Yorkville – Toronto really has it all.
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