Things I miss about Toronto / by Jessica Lee

Oftentimes I will think about the University of Sydney student who left this beautiful city at this time of year to go study on exchange at snowy and cold University of Toronto.

What the heck were you thinking?! Why would you want to do that!?

But alas, that is how the exchange program works. A number of people from Toronto go to Sydney and a similar (if not dead on exact) number of people from Sydney go and take their place in Toronto.

I wonder if the person who took my place in Toronto- is he or she miserable? Or perhaps enjoying life like I am here, except in snowier weather (that is now turning into Spring). Maybe this person has never seen snow in real life before and is excited by the prospect of building snowmen and igloos. Maybe this person wants to eat poutine, wear a toque, play some hockey, ride a moose to school and wrestle with beavers. Perhaps they are doing all that and are having the time of their life in Toronto. Who knows...


I wanted to share with you all a few things I miss about Canada, specifically Toronto.

Here goes:

I miss walking down Queen street at Spadina on a sunny day, seeing all the familiar shops: McDonalds, the hot dog stand, Horseshoe Tavern, Due West, H&M, Steve's. Sometimes when I'm walking towards the Eaton Centre, the door for Lush is open and I can smell all the soapy aromas as I pass by. There are usually vendors that sell jewelry and a tree stump that someone painted "hug me" on over and over again. I miss passing by French Connection, Lululemon, the fancy dress shops... The City TV building. It's not like I actually go in these shops every time I pass by, but I miss seeing things I'm used to.

I miss successful shopping trips at the Eaton Centre, carrying heavy shopping bags (usually from Indigo Books) at night, entering the subway from the H&M side of Dundas station, knowing I'll have to cross under and use the escalator to get the side that goes Northbound. I didn't appreciate it then, but I like the routine of finding a subway seat and pulling out reading material (usually NOW Magazine) to last me until when I have to change stations at Bloor/Yonge.

My family recently changed apartments (I live at home in Toronto). I will probably never take the same route I've taken my entire life back to the old apartment. When I get back home, the new apartment will be foreign to me, I'll have to get used to the new bus times and new subway stations. All those nights spent at Broadview subway station waiting for my bus- they will never happen again. I live uptown now.

I miss getting off the subway at Union station and walking down to Harbourfront. Seeing water always put me in a better mood. I miss chinatown and getting pho with friends, my favourite pasta place beside U of T where I reward myself after a great study session at Robarts library.

I miss Smoke's poutine. We would get a poutine, hide it in our bag, and sneak it to the theatre with us on winter days.

I miss my hot chocolate spots. All the places around Toronto where I would meet up with friends, chat with strangers and really connect. I miss walking through the expensive Yorkville area, walking through Holt's and in my head pretending I'm extremely rich. I miss the smell of an Anthropologie store- and feeling all the fabrics of the clothes they sell there.

I have had great memories in Toronto. I miss my friends back home.

But I don't want to leave Sydney!