25 Reasons to Love Toronto in May 2022
Toronto Life magazine has compiled a list of things Toronto residents are proud of and admire.
Canada's largest metropolis has repeatedly made lists of the world's best cities. It was ranked as the fourth best city in North America for IT professionals, was voted the best city in the world for working women. But what do Toronto residents themselves love about it?
Reason 1. In November 2021, Canada's national monument, Massey Hall Concert Hall, opened after two years of restoration. The building was built in 1894. Montserrat Caballé, Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti performed in this hall. In 2013-2021 a seven-story annex with rehearsal and dressing rooms was built next to it. The main stage was reconstructed and brought up to modern standards, preserving its historic appearance where possible.
Reason 2. Toronto residents have found many ways to support Ukraine. They went out to rallies, raised money, organized cultural events, and hired Ukrainian refugees to work. A children's hospital admitted Ukrainian children with cancer and gave them all the help they could for free.
Reason 3. Three players on the national soccer team hail from Brampton, a Toronto suburb, and they scored three of four goals in the game against Jamaica. It was the third round of World Cup 2022 qualification — and the decisive match that determined Canada's participation in the Championship.
Reason 4. Canadian television finally shows a popular series that is not only filmed in Toronto, but also tells the typical problems of its residents. In many American series actually filmed in Canada, the events take place in the United States. The sitcom Sort of, about a non-binary man from a family of Pakistani immigrants living in Toronto, began on CBC national television in 2021. The series appealed to Canadians, received many awards and nominations and will be renewed for another season.
Reason 5. The immigrant student we wrote about not long ago has become known around the world as a symbol of workers' struggles for their rights. With her knowledge of the law and the support of her compatriots, Satinder Kaur Gruewal got justice. Her employer paid her all the money she was owed.
Reason 6. A gesture that shows a person is in danger and asks for help saved the life of a 16-year-old girl in the United States in November 2021. The Canadian Women's Foundation in Toronto came up with the gesture, which is easy to show with one hand, in April 2020, during the pandemic, so that women could call for help in domestic violence situations, such as by speaking by video link. The foundation distributed the gesture and its meaning on the social networking site Tik-Tok. The girl showed it from the abductor's car window, the other driver understood her and called 911.
Reason 7. Toronto often hosts tasting events: people try small portions of food disguised so that it is impossible to determine the taste in advance. Among such events, a tasting of exotic ice cream stands out. After a tour of the laboratory, where a professional chemist prepares Italian ice cream, visitors sample 16 variations with different flavors, among which may be caramel with honey, lemon ricotta, rosemary, olive oil, sea salt, rahat-lucum, brie cheese, walnut, bourbon, beets, etc.
Reason 8. Toronto's neighbourhoods and suburbs are actively developing and becoming distinct communities with their own characteristics.
- Writer and screenwriter Catherine Hernandez wrote a novel about life in the Scarborough neighborhood, reflecting on her experiences as a family daycare provider. Both the book and the film made from it in 2021 have won national awards, and the neighborhood has become nationally known.
- The city of Brampton is becoming a "technology mecca. 10% of its residents have a higher technical education. Brampton is home to the headquarters of the Canadian space company MDA, branches of Amazon, Canon, and the Ryerson Venture Zone startup incubator.
- The town of Pickering opened a big casino in 2021 and is now building its own little Las Vegas called Durham Live. In addition to casinos and hotels, there will be movie studios, movie theaters, concert halls, an indoor water park, a botanical garden, restaurants, stores, office centers, and high-end apartment buildings.
Reason 9. Donor organs for transplantation in Toronto are being delivered using drones. Unither company commissioned by medical professionals has created an unmanned drone with a camera in which lungs can be safely transported up to 30 kilometers, while keeping temperature and vibration under control. The drone is equipped with its own GPS system and ballistic parachute. In September 2021, for the first time in history, donor lungs were delivered from one metropolitan hospital to another in six minutes.
Reason 10. Dalano Benton, a player for the Toronto Raptors basketball team, loves his hometown so much that he changed his number to 45 after the bus that served his neighbourhood. Dalano Benton also promotes In Your City, a streetwear brand created by his friends.
Reason 12. There are two restaurants in Toronto that make pho as good as Vietnamese. Pho is the national Vietnamese soup with rice flour noodles and pieces of chicken or beef. Basil, mint, lime, and bean sprouts are added to the soup. Pho soup has many variations: it comes with fish, with the addition of fish to meat, with raw meat, and even with sugar.
Reason 13. Orville Peck, country rock and alternative rock star, is known for never showing his face or giving his real name. He wears a black mask with a gold fringe, makes no secret of being gay, and does collaborative projects with transvestites. Orville Peck himself, though he lived in Canada for a long time, considers himself a South African, born in Johannesburg. Nevertheless, the musician was included in the list of people Toronto is proud of.
Reason 14. For only $25 CAD in Toronto, you can take part in a "Squid Game" like the acclaimed TV series and stay alive. The Activate Entertainment Centre offers quests where you can test your agility, speed, flexibility and wit.
Reason 15. Toronto skater Kevin Alves finished 37th at the 2009 World Championships and 27th at the 2010 World Championships, and 19th at the 2010 World Junior Championships. Along with figure skating, he has worked as a model and acted in movies. His most famous roles are in the drama series "Yellow Jackets", the characters trying to survive after a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, and in the fantasy series "Castle and Key" from Netflix.
Reason 16. Two Toronto women have launched an innovative brand of vegan condoms called Jems. They are hypoallergenic, gluten-free and meet all standards of conscious consumption.
Reason 17. Thanks to government subsidies, Toronto is building 10,000 units of financially affordable housing. That's very good news, because not many people can buy an apartment, much less home in a Canadian metropolis right now. And thanks to changes in the laws, new condominiums will be located near major transportation hubs.
Reason 18. Mustafa Ahmed, poet, singer and filmmaker, the child of immigrants from Sudan, was born in Toronto. Mustafa wrote the poetry that made him famous as a teenager, participated in the hip-hop group Halal Gang, and in May 2021 released his first studio album, which was short-listed for the Canadian music award Polaris.
Reason 19. In the two years of the pandemic, bars in Toronto hotels have changed dramatically. As many as three hotels have reconstructed bars in different styles:
- Royal York turned to history, decorating the interior in the Art Deco style;
- Park Hyatt decorated its "Writers' Room" with oak stained wood and paintings, complementing the panoramic view from the 17th floor;
- Drake Hotel laid pink and yellow rugs with psychedelic patterns and hung pop-art paintings.
However, we can't say that the hotels have departed much from their original style. The 2019 photo shows the interior of the Royal York and an art object near the Drake Hotel.
Reason 21. In 2019, Toronto opened a branch of Lighthouse Immersive, a company that puts on show exhibitions where works by famous artists are projected onto walls and accompanied by various effects, creating a sense of immersion. After the pandemic, the exhibitions reopened. Toronto now offers immersive exhibitions of Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh and Gustav Klimt, as well as group yoga classes in the midst of projected paintings.
Reason 22. Toronto's next-generation skyscrapers can generate enough energy with solar panels to power themselves. Batteries are everywhere: on roofs, cladding, windows and blinds.
Reason 23. Toronto's fashion designers create clothes that are suitable for work, yet remain as comfortable as if people were still working remotely. Stylish loose dresses and pants and comfortable sweaters have become the core of several fashion houses' new collections.
Reason 24. After two years of a pandemic, cruise ships carrying tourists are returning to Toronto. Between May and October, the city is set to welcome 37 liners.
Reason 25. Ryan Reynolds, who played superheroes such as Deadpool and Green Lantern, was born in Vancouver, but he's spending money on Toronto development. The actor has invested $750 million CAD in Wealthsimple, an online investment management service, sponsored local cybersecurity startup 1Password, raised over $1 million CAD for the city's children's hospital by selling sweaters, and donated $500,000 CAD to Water First Education and Training, a project that helps Indigenous communities solve problems with access to clean drinking water.