If you're one of those have to wake up at 5am to make it in time to the station, to catch the 7am train heading downtown to Union, we feel you. You're fairly young and you love TO, but you're living in the suburbs outside the city. Maybe you live there because you would rather live with your family and in a more spacious city. But chances are that you simply cannot afford to live downtown in the city of dreams right now. You tell yourself that it's okay, that you can live with the view of houses for miles and strip plazas at every corner. But I know just as well as you do that it is not exactly the place for a super curious Generation Y kid to be spending their days.
As a millennial kid situated in the 'burbs at the moment, we know your struggle. Toronto is the place of fun and the better nightlife scene. Besides the HUGE issue of having to leave the party early to catch your GO Bus home or finding a friend's place to crash at when you're out late having a good time in Toronto, here are some other woes that young suburbanites that should-be-Torontonians have to deal with.
Photo Cred - Rita Russell
1. Getting To Work Is A Job In Itself
Literally all the professional jobs you want are downtown aka an hour drive away (2-3 hours during rush hours). Part time jobs during college or university is fine to get you by, but once you graduate? You want to put that degree into good use at a grown up-salary paying job. Fortunately and unfortunately, most professional work is in Toronto, such as in the financial district. If you're driving, best of luck trying to find a decent parking spot for the week, and with the price of gas nowadays... prepare to sell off an an arm and a leg for funds.
2. Driving Is A Constant Struggle
You thought you had anxiety driving in traffic in the suburbs. But oh man, it's nothing in comparison to the stress and road rage you will experience with Toronto. With Toronto's crazy roads under construction all year round, one-way streets, traffic, cyclists on the road... need I go on? When you start having to commute downtown on the regular, it is kind of a similar feeling to when you are sitting in your first university class after high school and the professor is telling you that everything your high school teachers have taught you is wrong. Safely driving in the 'burbs has NOT prepared you for the condensed city traffic. At all.
Photo Cred - Laura Pederson
3. The Waiting Game
Being a suburbanite in Toronto feels like you're in a constant state of waiting. Waiting for the train to Toronto in the morning, waiting for the Go bus, waiting in lines to top up your Presto card because of how much money the Go Transit sucks out of your account per day, waiting another half hour for the next Go Bus because the one you were in line for at Union to head home filled up too quickly with other tired suburbanites eager to get home. You'd think the consistent waiting would've made us more patient by now... yeah, no.
Photo Cred - Toronto Raptors
4. Being Judged For Saying You Live in Toronto
You want to rep the 6 too, but you know deep down you just don't. You grew up watching Wheelchair Jimmy on Degrassi, who then hit rap stardom under the mononym Drake. As a world-famous rapper, he represents Toronto everywhere he goes and even brought more fame to the city by bringing more buzz to the Toronto Raptor's franchise. You just want to fit in with the native Torontonians who live in the city and feel like you're part of it all. It doesn't matter how many Raps games you've been too or lint rollers you have. Let's face it, we ain't running thru the 6 so much as laying around watching the MMVA's on TV in Brampton and Ajax.
Photo Cred - Trip Advisor
5. Fun Things Don't Happen, Like Ever
There's nothing to do in the suburbs. There's tons of lovely nature around, but if you are looking for somewhere to take a date or hang out with friends? Toronto has all the cool spots. I can't count the number of times my fellow suburbanites and I have tried to find a place around to hang out. There's bowling, pool, the movies, maybe go-karting at Playdium in Mississauga. But you can only do these few things so many times. Toronto is an endless amount of places to explore. Kensington Market, Distillery District, Art Gallery of Ontario, Snakes and Lattes, Harbourfront, CNE, Scarborough Bluffs, stargazing with U of T's AstroTours, there's even O Noir - a place you can dine in the dark. The list of fun and interesting things to do in T.O is endless, but no young suburbanite has gas or bus money to travel down there every weekend.
Photo Cred - Carlos Osorio
6. The Public Transit Hustle
The suburbs does not have the blessing of a subway route. Be sure to truly appreciate the TTC subway implementation in Toronto. It's efficient and gets you where you need to go quicker. It can be a pain to deal with the very occasional breakdowns, but dealing with buses above ground is far worse. Especially if you're living in the 'burbs and the only way to get around is by super sparse and late city bus transit service. Toronto has options costing the same price as it does to ride a Mississauga or Brampton bus, and it helps a bit with the traffic of people.
Photo Cred - HighParkToronto
7. Meeting People Just Doesn't Happen
It's harder to meet people in the suburbs. As a millennial, you are likely looking around to meet some new people either to settle down in a relationship or for friendship purposes. Or both. Growing up in a smaller city like Oakville or Pickering, you get used to many of the familiar faces and same friends you've known since you were little. Which is not at all a bad thing, but sometimes a new presence in your life can be refreshing and a good change of pace. Toronto is one of the most diverse and populated cities in Canada with always a lot going on. People are friendlier, more open to talking to people, and there's just so many kinds of people who are looking to meet new people as well.