I was heading home from the studio a few days ago when I looked up and saw this sign in a window: Toronto is Awesome. And I thought, “You know what, it really, truly is.” I will not get into the garbage that the city has been going through since certain things by our Mayor were confirmed in the fall. But what I will say is that when all of that was going on and when we as a city seemed to be the butt of every joke, it felt like there was a grey cloud hanging over this city. Everyone just seemed to feel disappointed in what we were becoming, or at least in what our city was perceived to becoming. Josh and I sat at a swim-up bar in Cuba, surrounded by Brits who knew everything that Toronto was going through and we just had to sit there and listen to it while sipping our piña coladas. It was tough. I have lived here in this great city since 1999 and have always been proud to call it home. I love traveling and seeing new cities but I stand by in saying that what we have here is really great.
The past couple of weeks have been particularly awesome. I cleaned out my purse a couple of days ago and I was amazed at what I had found in there. Tickets to all of these great events that I had attended. Holy heck – just look at that diversity. Near the end of February I caught Agnes Obel at the Great Hall. Agnes is an incredible singer-songwriter from Denmark and this was her first time here headlining a show. On a random Wednesday, we headed to the Art Gallery of Ontario to catch The Great Upheaval exhibit before it presumably headed back to the Guggenheim. The exhibit was full of work from artists that you learn about in all of your art history classes and here it was, hanging in front of your eyes. Did you know that an individual membership to the AGO is only $100 a year? And if you’re a couple, it’s only $130. This gives you access to all of their exhibits, basically anytime that you want to go. On wintery days like as of late, I love spending an afternoon wandering the halls here, looking for inspiration.
On March 3rd we caught a hockey game as the Toronto Maple Leafs played the Columbus Blue Jackets. Our Leafs didn’t win but we sure had fun watching the game. That Friday I took my niece to the Ontario Science Centre. We spent six solid hours looking at everything we could. She seriously could not get enough of it and was disappointed when I told her that it was time to leave. On Wednesday, I met a bunch of photography friends at the Bloor Cinema where we watched Everybody Street which is a documentary film about street photography in New York. On Thursday, I played a game of soccer through the Toronto Sports & Social Club before busting it to the ACC to see Arcade Fire. Remember when they won Best New Album at the Grammy’s in 2011 and lots of people said “What the heck?! Who are these guys?!”
The Arcade Fire show on Thursday was nothing short of magical. There was a lot of noise when the show was announced because the band had requested that everyone dress in either formal attire or costumes. People thought it was pompous. I thought that it was fabulous. When else do we get to get dressed up except when we have to attend a wedding? The night was magical – everyone was up in their seats dancing throughout the entire set. There was a man dressed as a lobster behind me and a teenage boy in suspenders in front of me. The crowd was so varied but together we bopped in time to the music. I loved every second of it.
It’s easy to get boggled down when the leader of your city is someone who you would rather not even be in a room with. It’s easy to get boggled down when the snow and cold just won’t stop and all you crave is to be outside in the sun. But it’s also easy to get out and take advantage of all that Toronto has to offer. Toronto is awesome and I am so happy to call this city my home.