Friday, September 18, 2009
It's difficult not to be jealous of Vancouver. And, by the way, I'm not one of those Toronto haters, who bitch and moan about the TTC and compare our poor metropolis to far larger cities, like NYC and London. If you know me, you'll know that I defend my hometown at its most guilty. So, this make it hard to admit that Vancouver has us beat on a lot of fronts.
First, there's all the natural endowments that are physically impossible to compete with: the mountain backdrop, the Pacific ocean, the mild weather. But then there's the city itself, which manages to make condos, overpasses and dockyards pretty. The other night I was walking over the Georgia Viaduct, an intercity overpass that easily could have been the Gardiner Expressway, and it was...pleasant. I don't think any Torontonian would dream of walking on the Gardiner (ahem, excluding the Tamil incident of a few months past). Then there's the bike paths that snake all over the city, some of which are clearly labelled for pedestrian or cyclist use. (That means no ugly showdowns like on the Beaches boardwalk.) There's real fruit and veg here! You know, stuff that saw the sun not too long ago. The only downsides I've seen so far (not including the obvious blights like the Downtown Eastside) are the high cost of living and the timid concert crowds. I think I heard one "woop" at the Vanderslice show. Don't worry, I'm not about to become a Toronto transplant here who spends the rest of her years slagging Hogtown. I just wish Toronto could have one of Van's perks. Give us Stanley Park and we'll call it even.