T’ronto as the Locals Say it!

The city of Toronto seems a city of many small areas. I failed in my period here to find what can be categorised as an actual Downtown. Instead, I spent my time discovering several individual villages within the central Toronto area, as well as beyond. Among these were yet another Chinatown. I seem to have become quite used to the idea of Chinatowns by now, and I must admit that it no longer excited me. I quickly continued onwards to hippie commercial Kensington Market which though pleasant didn’t catch my fascination for long. It seems filled with the same India inspired hippie stores as you find anywhere in the Western World. However, it should only be fair to mention that these were mixed with a few second hand and vintage stores and some trendy and not so trendy cafés which gave the area a more unique look than had it just been Indian hippie stores.

On the map I had bought I also realised that I passed through the fashion district and the designer strip and other strange names which highly likely were given to these places because of the general shops they contain, and as an attraction to tourists.

Finally after a trip by the invisible and covered up waterfront and my first Second Cup since Edmonton, I arrived at Lawrence Market and the Distillery District. Both were very nice. While Lawrence Market seemed similar to other such places from my trip, with groceries, jewellery makers and the likes, the Distillery District was a little cobble stoned escape from the usual American city. It is a place for the posh and artistic as well as tourists who dream to be. Here are galleries and sculptures everywhere, and though the prices are high the craftsmanship is unique. Or… In one shop I saw a children sized copy of the Egg by Arne Jacobsen. Now, I know that there is no copy right protection on this design in North America, since it is an old masterpiece. However, while they might sell cheap Chinese produced copies in diverse fashion stores, I disliked the idea that in a place such as the Distillery District made to promote the unique work of new Toronto designers, salesmen don’t respect a designers products. With or without copy rights. And then they had the audacity to claim in a little note on the chair, that they had made it out of respect for the original designer. It seems wrong to sell knock-offs at such an otherwise original and inventive place.

I don’t know if it was because I stayed with a friend out in Richmond Hill and only went in to Toronto by day, or if I had the wrong guidebook, or it was the lack of a local guide as my friend was extremely busy, but I end up leaving Toronto with a feeling that I didn’t really get to see it. Though I saw some of the areas, I didn’t end up at that cosy bar or restaurant. I didn’t have that experience that made Toronto stand out. And that is sad, because I heard a rumour that there are tons of such bars and restaurants in Toronto, and that it is one of the most exciting cities to visit on the North American continent. So well, it seems I will have to return one day.

Zofka