on college street (literally, not figuratively).

January 11, 2007

growing up in vancouver is a fantastic experience. there aren’t too many places where one can build a vibrant city nestled in between the mountains and the sea. unfortunately, its corporal beauty sometimes mesmerises the senses to the point where human addition is seen as unwelcome. as someone who studies the relationship between (physical) space and (constructed) place, this can be frustrating at times.

this is why i love toronto so very much. toronto is built on the shores of lake ontario. the landscape, save for the subdued spectacle of the don valley, is generally unremarkable. people here have had to build their own attractions. as such, when people say that one can drive for an hour in toronto without seeing a tree (untrue, by the way), it’s for a good reason. these are real canadians, ones that have come to a barren land and forged a city out of it, instead of the postmodern approach of building around what pre-exists (or, more accurately, pre-existed).

in absence of unadulterated nature, torontonians have grown comfortable with each other. indeed, they’ve needed to. wave after wave of immigrants has called upon fair toronto to open her arms and shelter them. not that she hasn’t had her struggles, of course. that being said, this city is, without question, one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world.

venice has its canals, rome has its hills. even chicago, new york’s working-class cousin, has the legendary “el”. toronto, however, has its people. it is the city of languages.

i’m off to find jane jacobs’ house before i retire for the evening. photos will be posted somewhere.

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