David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

thoughts on Canada

So far I've been in Toronto a couple of days. I've walked around my neighborhood some, but haven't gone too hideously far from Harbourfront Centre; maybe a mile or two. What I've seen is pretty interesting so far.

My initial gut reaction was that Toronto feels like a smaller city than it is, in terms of car traffic and the numbers of people you see walking around. Not sure why that is; it may be that I'm using DC, which has street crowds larger than the city's actual population, as a model, but it doesn't feel that much bigger from Former Jurisdiction City, which is under a million, and that's odd because Toronto's population is more than three times that of FJC. The relative lack of traffic was a little jarring, and I wondered if everybody was walking or on public transport, but then I'd've expected to see more people in the street. Then I went to the Eaton Centre mall, and found out *they were all in the Apple store.*

Visiting Canada so far is like going to a parallel universe, almost. It's very much like home, until something isn't. Some of the differences are nice, and some are just weird. There are lots of small grocery stores about, which is really cool; I like saving money at the big box places back home, but there's something to be said for walking a couple of blocks to pick up some milk. (You definitely see the price difference, though.) One thing definitely feels very weird: way fewer black folks. Toronto is an extremely diverse city, with a huge amount of its populace being immigrants to Canada, but the majority of the immigrants -- I think something like twenty percent of the city's population -- are East Asian. Coming as I do from the DC area and then a Florida city with a pretty hefty African-American population, it feels a little odd to look around and see so few black people. It's sort of like being in a WB drama.

I also ate my first Tim Horton's donut today. Canadian Maple, if you're curious. Cost me 0.85 Canadian, which I think comes to about a nickel US, or one-squintillionth of a Euro. Not bad, but if Krispy Kreme ever opens up here they'll kick Tim Horton's ass.
Tags: travel
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