Monday, October 17, 2011

Toronto SuX!

I travel the world and love multi culturalism, I like cities, diversity, night life, cafes and the idea of after work drinks with colleagues. So on my quest for a job and giving Canada a chance I thought I would also give Toronto a chance. I moved there after I finished college in 2003 but after three months returned to my hometown with my tail between my legs, I was devastated I didn’t make it in the big city. That was eight years ago so I thought perhaps the reason was because it was my first time away from home and I was young.

I conjured up images of myself with a job downtown walking down Young Street with my Skirt from Colombia, my scarf from Bolivia and my vintage brown leather boots from Buenos Aires. I would shop in China town then head over to Kensington market to browse then buy a bottle of wine before retreating to my chic apartment with my new best gay guy friend. I would be Carrie Bradshaw of Toronto with an exciting nightlife and coffee shops where everyone knows me. I could live in Toronto even though I wouldn’t be able to travel as much but at least I would be cool in Toronto.

With high hopes and my vintage books I took a bus to the National job fair at the Metro Convention centre. Reality blasted me in the face as I got off, it was either that or the freezing cold winds coming off the lake. It was blistering cold. The tall grey buildings of Toronto loomed over me reaching up the grey smoggy sky. I was along Front Street near the CN tower and the Sky Dome to the Convention centre passing hot dog vendors Memories of when I used to live here came flooding back, hot dogs were my Friday treat myself to lunch meal but they had gone up in price from $2.00 to $3.00. How pathetic was I?Right I was making $10.30 an hour, I was very pathetic.

I was shocked to find I had to pay $5.00 to enter the job fair, $5.00! The unemployed has to pay to look for a job this is ridiculous people are making money off my lack of money. I had an open mind though I was going to discover new and exciting opportunities and be inspired.

That wasn’t so much the case. After 10 minutes of walking around all I found were job recruitment agencies, the police force, fire fighters, a new American clothing store called Express, Sun Life Financial, TESOL to teach abroad and lots of immigrant services. Being born in Canada I felt out of place. I felt like people were looking at me wondering why I was there. I thought I would make the most out of my $5 so I stood in line to get my resume critiqued I overheard a Caribbean lady complaining about the lack of jobs in a job fair, “That’s right sista!” I wanted to shout. I gave up on the job fair and made friends with a Scottish girl and decided to walk around with her and explain what the different companies were. She went off to talk to immigrant services and I ditched my quest for the good life in Toronto for free pens and lip gloss.

Now I am about to generalize so don’t get all offended on me but this is my blog and my opinion. Toronto sucks! Sure you have multi culturalism but everyone lives in Immigrant neighbourhoods that are segregated unless you live downtown but then you are pretty well off because you can afford downtown so you’re a little different yourself. You have night life every night of the week but the damn city is so spread out and well the subway isn’t cheap at $3 a ride, if you walk its only bearable five months out of the year.

It’s a corporate world, people are there for business and climbing the ladder, they take their one week vacation in Punta Cana and arrive back in time for the 9:00am meeting. Yawn! Torontonians are slightly uptight and a bit up their arses. I was at a birthday dinner with 17 people and I’m not an alcoholic by any means but the table was still bare of drinks when we had finished out starters and were onto order our mains. I was puzzled, "was this restaurant not licensed?" I asked this out loud and the girl in front of me said oh no here is the drink menu. "Thank god!" I thought I had had been reading the wrong menu. I guess everyone else had been as well, aren’t we all silly. I made a comment to the same girl that I felt a bit naked out to dinner without a glass of wine to accompany my food. She looked at me like I was from another planet. I carried on, “You know usually when there is this many people you would see a few bottles on the table especially if it’s a birthday.” She looked offended and just looked at me straight face and said, “Um it’s not like that here.”

Ah! Ok so not all of Canada is like this I know I mean in Montreal this would be the norm. Damn French Canadians why do they have to be so cool and why do they have to speak French! It’s like they are the cool kids but I can’t play because I don’t speak their language so I am stuck with these English nerds of Toronto. Let me be cool too! That’s right you hippies in BC know what I am talking about, you are cool too! as well as the cowboys in Calgary, the laidback farmers in the Prairies, The islanders out east and the maritime folk.

I remembered why I left Toronto; it wasn’t because I was a small city girl who couldn’t hack it in the big city. It just really wasn’t my style. In a city that wears back pea coats and power suits I just don’t fit in with my colour and flair. I want night life and diversity but I don’t want to be the token white girl in an all one race community, I want to be amongst my friends who are Canadians; being Black, Latino, and Brown, gay, purple what have you. I want to work but still be able to afford to travel and go out to restaurants. I want to have my cake and eat it too! I want wine with my meal! I’m taking my Argentina vintage boots and my neon green top and my bright Brazilian flower necklace somewhere else.

1 comment:

  1. As a world citizen myself and a proud Torontonian for the past 10yrs I beg to differ! Toronto is a wonderful city to not only work in but to truly live in.Its vibrant diversity is like being snuggled in a patchwork quilt on a cold Canadian winter night.The warmth of international communities congregate in parks,neighborhood diners,coffee mecas and the plethora of bars,clubs and restaurants.Community centers,clubs and public libraries with great sources of work/job info are literally everywhere in the city.I so wish you could experience Toronto again and refresh your view of this amazing city!Summer is almost here and I can't think of a greater time to come to TO and enjoyable festival,parade or waterfront trail bike or day at the island.


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