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Why I hate/love Toronto…

August 30, 2013

Okay, so let’s not kid ourselves. While Toronto has some great world-class assets, it also has a lot of explaining to do. It’s growing faster than city planners can deal with. The developers basically have a free run of it in the condo gold-rush that is downtown Toronto development. Toronto is now the fourth largest urban centre in North America. Do you realize just how many people that is? 2.5 mil in Toronto proper and 5-6 mil in the GTA.

Needless to say, as much as I glorified some of Toronto’s assets yesterday, I also have a lot to bitch about.

10 reasons why I hate Toronto:

1. Stupid, stupid, stupid people. So many stupid people. Distracted people. Rude people. Indifferent people. Pedestrians step in front of cyclists. Cyclists weave in front of buses. Drivers race yellows and miss red lights while making business deals on their cell phones.

2. Stupid, stupid, stupid people. So many stupid people.

3. Two million cars – all on the road – all at the same time.

_DSC58164. The “new” University of Toronto buildings.

Who the hell is the fascist bureaucrat/architect who approved the new buildings in and around the College/University street corner?

Jesus, its like some Blade Runner vision of Hell!

Look at these pictures! These buildings almost don’t look real.

And the poor saps who work/study in these boxes? What a fucking nightmare that must be!

How does an administration with one of the most beautiful university campuses in the country, that has tourists stopping by all summer to snap pictures of Trinity College and Hart House and such, have the gall to approve these monstrous pieces of shit?

 

 

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5. That South by Southwest summer breeze, coming in from Hamilton and dragging with it air pollution coming in all the way from Texas, through the American mid-western industrial belt (or what’s left of it), over the Hamilton steel and chemical factories, and then straight into Toronto. The collective pollution of 100 million people creating that yummy scratch-in-your-throat and layering your skin with a thin film of paste.

On the air quality index Halifax has the cleanest air of any city of 250,000 or more, in the world. In a measurement scheme where the lower the number the better, Halifax rates a 4. Toronto’s number, on a good day, like today, for instance, is 29’s. And often reaches into the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s in the summer time.

6. The maddening crowds that come out for any officially proclaimed and city-approved public event. Caribbana and Pride are the worst for this, what with their 1.5 million people – but the Beaches Jazz Fest, Taste of the Danforth and a multitude of other money-making events that crowd the summer schedule all bring with them insane crowds of people who insist, despite the fact that they are shoulder to shoulder in 35C sunshine, that they are enjoying themselves. (See again: #1 and #2.)

7. People who shop in malls on beautiful sunny summer Sunday afternoons in August. I just don’t get it.

8. The sad sad state of cycle lanes. I have always cycled in Toronto, and have seen at least a 500% increase in bike riders over the past ten years. And studies show that if tomorrow Toronto had even twice the bike lanes it has now, and if they were on Bloor, and Richmond, and John, and University, bike use would instantly double or possibly triple on top of that.

But the drivers still have the upper hand, and the ‘burb representatives on city council just can’t wrap their heads around the idea of planning and creating bike-friendly streets.

9. The Toronto Zoo. Don’t care if it is educational. Zoos are cruel and unusual punishment. They should be illegal.

10. The Royal Ontario Museum. Inside and out – it’s just a mess.

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