Photo cred - Trường Linh Đường
It's good to be young. You've got your whole life ahead of you, you're energetic and idealistic, and you like to have fun! And while being young in Toronto is particularly great, it can be better. There are a lot of things about this city that make life hard for those of us just starting out on our journey. We've listed a few changes that would make it all a bit better below.
1. Cheaper cabs
Getting from one end of the city to the other is a huge pain, even before you get to the hurtin' it puts on your wallet. Us broke youngsters can't manage these ridiculous cab fare rates.
2. An end to subway drama
Of course, we wouldn't even really need cheaper cabs if the subway weren't such a nightmare. It would be great if there weren't delays every day. And on top of that, wouldn't it be nice if the subway didn't close at like 1:00am every night? I'm sure that would free up a lot more young people's weekends.
3. Bars staying open later
The night life here is great, but it would be better if last call wasn't at 2:00 am. For those of us who are slow to get out of the house, this usually means we only get an hour or so at the chosen spot of the night before we have to find some grubby after hours to go to, or convince our friend with the biggest apartment to let us move the party there.
4. More bike lanes
Toronto is becoming more and more of a bike city, and this is primarily because of the 20-somethings who find it cheaper and less annoying to bike to and from school and work than deal with the daily subway chaos. Unfortunately, the infrastructure hasn't caught up to this. There's way too many streets downtown that don't have bike lanes, making getting around on two wheels mad dangerous.
5. Cheaper rent
This one comes up in a lot of my lists because for. real. The rent here is nowhere near reasonable.
6. More free events
There's tons of cool music festivals, art shows, and museums in this city. The issue is, they're rarely free, which isn't great for the financially challenged among us. Free events, or at least events with reduced prices for on certain days, would go a long way to help out the young people in this city.
7. More opportunities for urban agriculture
It's totally possible to eat cheap in Toronto. It's also totally possible to eat healthy in Toronto. Doing both at the same time isn't always so easy though. Fresh, organic produce at reasonable prices can be hard to come by, and not everyone can make it to Kensington Market once a week. More space being made available for urban gardening would fix this, and would make the city look a lot prettier too!
8. More apartments allowing pets
During my adventures in apartment hunting, I've noticed that not a lot of apartments allow you to move your pets in with you. I don't have any pets, but I know a lot of people who do, and many of them have been fucked over by this nonsense.
9. More public outdoor green space downtown
There's only a couple of parks downtown, and while we're not going to have much use for them for the next couple of months, parks are an excellent place to chill for free in the summer.
10. More cheap late night eats outside of downtown
If you live in the Annex and have a late night food craving, you'll probably be alright. But anyone living outside of the core of the city is going to have a hard time finding anything cheap to eat past 9:00. I don't know about you guys, but after 9:00 is when I do most of my eating.
11. More paid internship opportunities
When you're in school, or freshly out of it, and you're trying to make your way in the world, internships are an excellent way to pump up your resume and learn new skills. But when you've also got to make sure you've got enough money to pay rent and buy groceries, working without being paid really doesn't feel like an option. Paid internships are key.
12. Better access to tenants' rights
Folks moving out of their parents' place for the first time are often easily manipulated into doing things that make their lives harder by their landlords. This would be a lot easier to avoid if young people were made aware of their rights as tenants in school, or made aware of where to find information about those rights.
13. More work/ higher minimum wage
These two go hand-in-hand in a lot of ways. Unskilled labour, which is generally more accessible to young people, should be able to sustain their lifestyle. This should either mean that young people are able to get enough hours at their job to make rent and groceries, or the minimum wage should be at a level that allows part time workers to live comfortably.
14. More opportunities to showcase independent art
There's a lot of young people doing creative things in Toronto, and it's awesome! The indie music scene is sick, and no matter what kind of performer you are, people will come to see you do your thing. There aren't as many opportunities for visual artists to show off their stuff, and that is a downright shame. Urban art initiatives like the Montreal Graffiti Festival would go a long way to fix this.
15. A cat cafe
More and more cities have cat cafes, but not Toronto. This is unfair. Cat cafes make everything better.