The late Anthony Bourdain had a few thoughts about Toronto as he arrived via a cab on the Gardner Expressway: “It’s not a good-looking city. It’s not a good-looking town.” The celebrity chef, author and traveller added, “You’ve got all the worst architectural fads of the 20th century.”
For someone who has travelled the world, he is probably not wrong. Let’s be honest, Toronto can’t compete with the rolling hills of Lisbon, golden sand beaches of Sydney, cobblestone streets of Quebec City or serene gardens of Kyoto (just to name a few beautiful cities). Heck, even the coastal city of Vancouver has us beat with a dramatic mountainscape! But hey, we have the CN Tower!
This is not a post to hate on Toronto. In fact, I love this city and have called it home for over 9 years. And I think it’s easy to find beautiful and interesting spots around T.O. You can, for example, stroll around one of the over 1,500 parks that dot the landscape! Visit the enchanting Toronto Music Garden, meet some animals at the High Park Zoo or grab a drink (yes, you can do that in some parks now) and explore the colourful murals at Underpass Park.
Speaking of art, our city is filled with unique public art installations. On a recent stroll around the West Don Lands, I found Lamp Posts by Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. The artist describes the piece as “lampposts in a wide variety of styles, materials and heights that have come to characterize eras or areas.” It is an unique way to capture the infrastructure changes throughout history.
Looking for some of the best views of the city? Visit the Humber Bay Shores community in Etobicoke and walk along the Martin Goodman Trail and Humber Bridge. Day or night, you will be amazed at how beautiful the city looks, especially when the skyline glistens and reflects on the waters of Lake Ontario.
Is this post simply a collection of the unique photos I could find of Toronto? Yes. Can we compete with other cities around the world? Also, yes! Because while we may not be as “good-looking” as other cities, there is one thing that makes us incredibly unique: our multiculturalism and people. There are over 250 ethnicities in Toronto with over 180 different languages. This multiculturalism is beautifully woven into art, festivals, cuisine and businesses found throughout the city.
Once again, Bourdain had some thoughts: “The fact that over 50 per cent of the residents of Toronto are not from Canada, that is always a good thing… That is easily a city’s biggest strength, and it is Toronto’s unique strength.”
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