29 Things You Will Only Understand If You've Ever Lived In Toronto

Home sweet home!

If there’s one thing Torontonians love to do, it’s complain about Toronto. However, it’s a totally different thing when someone outside of Toronto complains about our wonderful city. Only we’re allowed to do that. Or Drake. Drake can say (or sing) anything he wants about our city. If you look closely, you can see him running through the 6ix with his woes.

Read more: 11 Things Everyone Secretly Loves To Hate About Toronto

Speaking of woes, here is a completely and totally unbiased list of 29 things you will only understand if you’ve ever lived in Toronto. The good, the bad and the basic.

1. TTC might as well stand for Totally Time Consuming

At least you can always blame TTC when you’re late for work.


2. Feeling like a boss when you happen to catch one of the sleek new Streetcars.

You’ll be arriving in style if you’re going anywhere on Spadina, while the King and Queen streetcars make you feel like you’ve stepped into a 1980’s time warp.


3. The Metro vs. Presto Debate

That moment when you finally decide to commit to the Presto card only to realize that your subway station doesn’t have Presto machines installed yet and you’re left fumbling for subway tokens. (*cough cough* Rosedale).


4. The PATH a.k.a the final maze in the Triwizard Tournament

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in Toronto, what goes in The Path does not always come out. For all we know, Voldemort might have hidden a portkey somewhere- it would explain a lot.


5. Standing in line for Uncle Testsu Cheesecake

Standing in lines is pretty much a fact of life if you live in Toronto, but at least this line has light fluffy cheesecake at the end of it (and a super quirky bag so you can flaunt your cheesecake on the TTC).


6. Avoiding the Eaton Centre on a Saturday at all costs

And forget about Christmas shopping, unless you’ve trained extensively for the Hunger Games.


7. Immediately regretting the decision to live anywhere near Maple Leaf Square

At the time, living in the heart of the city sounded great. But, some days you want to go grocery shopping and without having to fight through throngs of Leafs/Raptors fans in “Jurassic Park.”


8. Dealing with aggressive TFC fans

You can’t miss them- they’re covered in red, always holding a beer, and occasionally make loud noises to attract attention.


9. Street dogs are infinitely superior to the hot dogs inside the ACC

Let’s face it, the hot dog is one of the main reasons you go to a Jays game. Nothing is worse than a mediocre hot dog after waiting in a ridiculously long line up at the snack bar. Save yourself the trouble and go for the street meat before the game.


10. Having photoshoots with a Toronto high-rise condo window/balcony backdrop

Exposed brick is also an acceptable substitute. And if it’s not your condo, find friends with condos and #fakeittillyoumakeit.


11. Friends coming to visit just to take a “CN Tower picture”

If you don’t have a picture with the CN Tower, did you even go to Toronto? (Pics or it didn’t happen)


12. Having no desire to actually go in to the CN Tower

You see it every day, but when was the last time you ever actually saw the inside? I mean, we all did it once… as a kid.


13. Immediately spotting tourists by the way they say “Toronto”

TORonnO or TARronA or ToronTOE? Potato Patato.


14. Shamelessly using every Toronto nickname for an Instagram caption

T.dot, T.O., 416, The Six, or better yet the 6ix. #Views


15. Accepting Drake as the official Toronto mascot

Although we highly doubt Degrassi or Forest Hill counts as “starting from the bottom,” we still feel a thrill of excitement when we see him sitting front row at the Raptors games.   


16. Knowing which buildings are used for shooting Suits

And making sure everyone else knows (in case they didn’t already know it’s not filmed NYC). *Bonus points if you actually work in one of those buildings and take a selfie with one the cast on your way home.  


17. Bragging about being one degree of separation from Royalty

Not only does Prince Harry make frequent visits (usually staying at the Royal York right across from Union Station), Suits actress Meghan Markle is on her way to becoming a Princess. She and Prince Harry have been an item since his visit to Toronto for the 2016 Invictus Games. Rumour has it they may even be living together in Toronto.


18. Celebrity spotting at TIFF

Whenever TIFF season rolls around you have to make sure to keep your eyes peeled, you never know if you’ll be bumping into Scarlet Johansson on the street. Or, you could just hang out outside the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Either way, constant vigilance is key.


19. When The Christmas Market Comes to Town

All we want when Christmas comes to town… is for the annual Christmas Market not to charge for admission or make people wait in line for their yearly dose of Christmas spirit. Bah humbug.


20. Skating at Nathan Phillips Square

We wouldn’t recommend it on New Year’s Eve, but on any other day it’s a fun and free way to enjoy one of the few “wintery” activities Toronto has to offer.


21. Trying (and usually failing) to get the right angle for a picture with the TORONTO sign

This welcome addition to our fine city has been a hotspot for photo-ops (the sign is like the new CN Tower). Getting the entire sign to fit into your picture, without tourists photobombing and climbing over the other letters- Mission Impossible.


22. Dragging your significant other to the Distillery District to take a picture with the Love Locks

The first step is getting them there; the next is working up the courage to ask a kind stranger to take the picture. With luck, all the letters will be included.


23. Going to St. Lawrence Market just for the free samples

It’s basically the Costco of Toronto.


24. The struggle of going for brunch literally anywhere in Liberty Village

As the watering hole for hipsters and young professionals, Liberty Village is home to many great food spots. Only a handful of select people have actually experienced these great food spots since it’s impossible to beat the brunch rush on a weekend. I have yet to get a table at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. Maybe they only reserve tables for people who liked the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino?


25. The dangers of Queen St. Warehouse

A five dollar food menu is a millenial’s dream, but don’t be fooled, those drinks add up fast.


26. The Price of The Porch

Sure, rooftop patios are a great way to spend those warm summer days. But, after a while you’ll realize you’re spending ten dollars to sit on a patio while paying twenty dollars for a beer (or a bucket) and suddenly it’s not so relaxing. Then again, a bucket’s worth of booze might be worth it.


27. Getting to High Park in time to see the cherry blossoms

Every year it sneaks up on you. Spring is finally here to stay, the cherry blossoms are blooming and everyone is making the pilgrimage to get those pictures. You tell yourself you’ll get to it soon, maybe on the weekend. A week comes and goes, you finally get yourself out there but the blossoms have already fallen off the tree. The cycle repeats.


28. Mentally preparing to see all kinds of naked people in the Pride Parade

At first, it’s a bit of a shock, but you quickly get used to it. If public nudity is not your thing, avoid sitting on any of the patios in Dundas Square during this time.


29. Never getting sick of the Toronto skyline

It might be the same buildings from different angles, but those buildings mean home and there’s no place you’d rather be.

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Jessica Young Just your average tea-loving, tree hugging, story-telling human with a passion for history and all things purple. Follow my Instagram adventures @jessicaecyoung.