Living in a big city can be intimidating, but also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Sure, there are a lot of risks and responsibilities living downtown – don’t even get me started about rent prices. But it’s all about that trade-off.
Being in your 20s is the prime opportunity to discover yourself, seek adventure, make mistakes, and figure out what you want down the road. It’s not about settling into any huge commitments or feeling tied down by huge obligations. We get it – we all have to survive and make a living somehow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while doing it. Here's a list to why, even if for a little bit, everyone should experience living in Toronto.
1. The millennial population is growing, and showing no signs of slowing down.
You will be surrounded by people that are around the same age, have that same ambition and drive, and also just understand your struggle. So this might spark some healthy competition, but at least you’ll never feel alone. Toronto is constantly moving and innovating, that if you’re caught sitting still for too long you get left behind. Millennials are the biggest drive to this, and if you’re up for the adventure, there’s no telling what can stop you!
2. No car? No problem.
Believe it or not, you don’t need a car to survive living downtown. Everything is conveniently located that if you can’t walk there, you’re only a few steps away if you take the TTC. Sure, we all wish we could have that luxury of being all warm and cozy in a car during the brutal winter months, but if I can save a couple hundred dollars every month from parking and insurance, I think I’ll survive.
3. You are free to be YOU.
One of the most attractive things about living in Toronto is the diversity of people and this sense of inclusion. People aren’t afraid to be themselves, and that’s the beauty of it all. Think of the city like a judgement free zone, so keep doing you!
4. Eating on a budget can be done.
There’s no shortage of cheap eats in the city. No matter what your budget is, you still have the opportunity to indulge in some amazing finds. Whether it be a night out with friends, spending time with bae at a new restaurant, or simply looking for where to grab the best (cheap) groceries – Toronto will show you the way with open arms.
5. Toronto is Canada’s biggest hub for start-up culture.
Everywhere you look, there are new businesses popping up. Not to mention, that Toronto is the home of some of the biggest incubators in the country (even the world). For anyone in their 20s looking to get a head start, but not interested in the corporate culture --- this is the place for you! Whether you join an existing team or have a creative idea of your own, you’ll find your place.
6. But, there are endless opportunities to network and grow your career no matter the industry.
That being said, Toronto is a thriving city for anyone to further their career in ANY industry. It’s this time in your 20s to take risks and explore the various opportunities at your doorstep. Don’t get frustrated just because that first job didn’t work out the way you wanted, it never does. Instead, think of Toronto as your playground, you just need to find your favourite ride.
7. We work hard, and play harder.
This is the (unofficial) Toronto motto. There is a reason that we work so hard during the weekdays, and it’s so we can truly commit to living in the evening as well. Those bills aren’t going to pay themselves.
8. Night life is LIT.
This is no exaggeration. Have you ever been to King Street, any night of the week? Torontonians are not ashamed of going out on a Monday or Tuesday. The best part – there is a neighbourhood for anyone. King Street isn’t your vibe? That’s cool. I’ll meet you on Queen West in a quiet hipster bar!
9. Brunch is sacred.
This is basically our religion. Anytime someone says the word brunch, it’s like the whole room turns their heads. Sunday afternoon is an excuse to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and make time for friends and loved ones.
10. You can be a tourist in your own city.
Let’s admit it, sometimes we get caught up in our daily lives a bit too much and forget to enjoy the little things in life. Like the fact that you can just walk a couple blocks and find yourself in a completely new neighbourhood of environment of people. Your 20s are a time to explore your favourite parts of the city, without really having to commit to a single one. Also, you might just find some cool hidden spots to step up your Insta game – don’t even pretend you weren’t thinking that.
11. We are host to some of the best musicians and music festivals.
Toronto is the stage for all the must-see musicians of the world. No matter what your musical tastes are, you’ll find happiness knowing that they’ll probably have a tour date stop in Toronto. Same goes with music festivals. No need to fly anywhere far, you’ll make some of the wildest memories at OVO, VELD, Digital Dreams, Wayhome, and the list goes on.
12. Did someone say shopping?
Whether you live in the mall, prefer window shopping on Queen West, or on a mission to grab the best vintage finds – Toronto has you covered. And because we all know that you 20-year olds are on a budget, well just watch out where you take your wallet. These shops can be way more tempting that you thought, I know from experience.
13. You’ll make friends from around the world, without ever needing a passport.
There are people from all around the world living in Toronto. Maybe it’s because they’re here for school, work, or simply because they hear how amazing this city is. Whatever the reason, you’re bound to meet some unique individuals that you never would have imagined. Embrace this opportunity to expand your network, because who knows where you’ll end up (living) in your 30s.
14. But you need that passport, because the multiculturalism here will inspire you to travel.
Your 20s are the time to travel. Embrace the fact that some of your biggest responsibilities are paying rent, or paying off student loans. Okay, so those are some hefty dues, but this is the time to seek adventure and not feel tied down by something or someone. Plus, staying in hostels only sound fun for so long…
15. We are all about team spirit.
Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan, or simply joined the bandwagon because all your friends care about it, Toronto will accept you. In your 20s, go spend stupid amounts of money on overpriced beer and hotdogs at a Blue Jays game, or wave your towel loud and proud when you see Drake at a Raptors game.
16. You’ll develop some thick skin.
Yes, I’m talking about the brutal winters in Toronto. If there is anything that you can be proud about while living here, is the fact that you made it through -40 degree weather to complain about the humidity in the summer. Let’s be honest, we love to complain in our 20s, but at least now you know why.
17. Toronto is home to some of the friendliest people.
Do not underestimate the power of a smile. Torontonians are some of the friendliest people you will meet, just don’t be intimidated by tunnel vision focus during the weekdays. We definitely warm up once we get to know you.
18. Weekend getaways are only a skip, hop, and a jump away
Toronto is not far from a little adventure down South. Or if you want to stay in the country, there are plenty of small towns or nearby cities to venture away to without breaking the bank. As you know, in your 20s, you’ll take any excuse you can get to fuel that travel bug.
19. How can we argue with it being one of the top cities in the world?
Don’t just take it from me. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Toronto was ranked as the world’s best place to live. Not to mention, Toronto is in the top 10 safest places to live list so that's pretty lit.
20. The diverse individuals you meet are guaranteed to change your life…for the better.
Toronto can be hard place to adjust to. There are a lot of factors that might drive people insane, but if there is one thing to keep you grounded and satisfied, it’s the amazing people you will meet in this city. Who knows, you might just meet your best friend for life in your 20s.
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